By Andrew Malcolm
The normal pattern of presidential political campaigns is that right at the start the candidates publish a book about their lives and thoughts, which may not be worth $28.95 and likely wasn’t really written by the candidate anyway.
But it gives them an excuse to travel the country seemingly free of overt politics to talk to virtually anyone anywhere about their book and plans for their candidacy.
It’s a great tool. Book signings draw TV cameras, and fans in the autograph line can be interviewed as if they were at a “Star Wars” convention: “I can’t wait to meet him!”
Not surprisingly, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the Republican with the libertarian streak and the only one to oppose the Iraq war, is doing things a little differently this year.
Now that his chances of snatching the Republican nomination away from Arizona Sen. John McCain are nil, and the Republican campaigns are basically overshadowed by the ongoing bitter dispute on the Democratic side, Paul is publishing a book, on April 30. But you can probably buy the book now on Amazon.
Regular readers of these items on the Ron Paul revolution will….
not be shocked that the book is titled, “The Revolution: A Manifesto,” and it’s a collection of his thoughts and writings from the campaign trail that cost on the order of $29 million. That’s for the campaign, not the book. He wouldn’t sell many books — even autographed — at $29 million apiece.
Paul and his loyal Paulunteers — more than 800,000 voted for him this election season — were an intriguing phenomenon this year for their passion and dedication (that group is probably still out on the windy interstate bridge waving “Ron Paul 2008” signs at cars passing underneath).
Their generosity and determination made him the most successful Republican fundraiser in the fourth quarter. He’s still got about $5 million cash in hand and no debt. What a conservative!
He beat Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson at various times and intends to wander the countryside as long as the money keeps coming in, like some kind of political Johnny Appleseed, sowing the seeds of a return to strict constitutionalism that he hopes will flower some years down the road, since not much happened in terms of convention delegates this time.
Much the way Goldwater gang planted the seeds of the conservative revolution in 1964 that led to Ronald Reagan’s ascension to the presidency 16 years later. It’ll probably be a long road for Paul and there are no guarantees, except that Paul will talk to virtually anyone anywhere during the weeks leading up to the GOP convention — in (of all places) St. Paul.
Only one thing seems certain: Paul and his Paul pals have no intention of voting for McCain.
Andrew Malcolm writes the Top of The Ticket blog for the Los Angeles Times