Tales from the Trail

Ron Paul: The Once and Future Conservative Favorite

USA-POLITICS/PAULRep. Ron Paul today seems to be little more than a voice crying in the wilderness of Republican politics. But the Texas libertarian and 2008 presidential candidate may have a lease on the future of the Republican Party’s conservative wing, at the age of 74.

Paul, the big winner in the presidential straw poll at the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference, ascribes his victory to young people who don’t like the way the Republican establishment is handling things.

“Right now, I think there is a disconnect with the people, especially with the next generation,” he told MSNBC.  ”They feel like the burden is being dumped on their shoulders and I think that’s what the vote represented, a lot of young people saying they don’t like what’s happening.”

The self-effacing congressman from southeast Texas got 31 percent of the 2,395 votes cast, leaving much bigger names way behind. Mitt Romney polled 22 percent vs. Sarah Palin at 7 percent and Tim Pawlenty at 6 percent.

“It’s hard to translate that into policy changes. But if we’re advocating changes that are right and proper, I’d say the young people are where you need to go,”  Paul said. “When I go to the campuses, I come away very encouraged. When I go to the Hill … they won’t admit anything’s wrong.”

Inside the Tent: Rally for the Republic

Former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul drew thousands of supporters to his “Rally for the Republic” event this week in Minneapolis,  across the river from the mainstream Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Jennifer Riley from North Dakota, who attended the rally and the Republican convention, talks about the differences between the two gatherings, and the emerging struggle between the “classic conservatives” and “neo-conservatives.” This video was shot by Inside the Tent contributor Ginny Saville, who is a Ron Paul supporter.

Reuters Inside the Tent equipped more than 40 delegates and other attendees in St. Paul and the Democratic National Convention last week in Denver with video cameras to capture the conventions from the ground up. Saville is not an employee of Reuters, and any views expressed are her own.

McCain’s Veep? The clear favorite is … nobody

WASHINGTON — Speculation about who would make a good vice presidential running mate for Republican John McCain ranges all the way from party also-rans Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney to Democrat Bill Richardson. But a new Gallup survey shows the largest bloc of rank-and-file Republicans — 31 percent — are those who cannot name a candidate for the job.

mccainflagThe next biggest group, 21 percent, prefer the choice marked “other.”

Huckabee and Romney, who were both defeated by McCain in the Republican presidential primary race, led the pack of named choices with 18 percent and 15 percent, respectively, in the telephone survey conducted March 24-27.