There are a couple of interviews of 2008 presidential candidate Ron Paul worth a look. The first is his sit down Sunday with George Stephanopolous on ABC, and the second, a phone interview with Joe Scarborough on MSNBC. I’m not going to get into Stephanopolous’ uncivil treatment of a competitor who, in terms of percentage gain over time, is outperforming everyone (why else is he even on?). Paul’s a big boy, and treatment like that from a smug, fast-lane has-been, speaks for itself.
I think Paul is beginning to scare a few people and it shows; and that’s because there’s an increasing sense that he could become a Black Swan in American politics, much like Perot almost became in 1992 (and probably would have, if he hadn’t been such a complete dork). Indeed, that’s really his only hope — he’ll never get Blue Blood Republican support unless and until a swell of popular support compels it, politically.
The other scary thing about Paul is that he’s so transparent. He’s completely and unabashedly "on the record" and his political positions have been consistent on his stated principles for as long as anyone cares to check the record. And he even puts his money were his mouth is, by refusing to cash in on his lucrative pension and refusing government "assistance" in other areas such as student loan guarantees.
How do you demonize a guy who’s not hiding or shying away from a damn thing? Sure, you can highlight his positions explicitly, but even that’s increasingly backfiring as Paul is becoming better at explaining his positions in terms that make people stop and think, and that’s a very dangerous position for a typical political competitor to be in. The last thing you want is for people to actually think. You want them to react to emotional stimuli, expressly without doing much thinking.
It’s a big, big long shot, but certainly a lot less of one than several months ago. This could get very interesting and I’ll be watching.