Let us stipulate that Ron Paul is a highly imperfect messenger. He has all too frequently trafficked in conspiracy theories; his justifiable caution about government can veer uncomfortably close to paranoia. He has not had a truly convincing explanation for how his name ended up attached to newsletters in the 1980s that contained racist and anti-Semitic writings. And some of his advisers and associates have more than dubious backgrounds.
Let us also stipulate that Paul is not going to be the Republican nominee for president. If he wins Iowa, as polls now indicate is possible, he may well run second in New Hampshire, further deflating Newt and guaranteeing a long, drawn-out primary process. But after that, it’s hard to see where Paul wins outside of some western caucus states. And if he does stay near the front of the pack, the full weight of the Republican establishment will descend on him with a wrath hitherto unseen.
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