Ron-Paul-FFC-602x401At the risk of receiving the wrath of the Paulbots yet again, and yes you are a Paulbot if you come over here only to comment on negative Paul posts.  I have several friends and readers (and a contributor) who back Congressman Ron Paul, and at least they take the time to read all of our posts.  They are not Paulbots.  Some who commented brought up some legitimate points about Missouri.  Some helped to make my point, and demonstrated that one of Congressman Paul’s weak spots are his zealous supporters who can’t make reasonable arguments without insulting people.  I won’t say all of the bad behavior that happened on Saturday in Missouri was solely with the Ron Paul campaign, but much of the responsibility has to be laid at the feet of his strategy.   My title however illustrates, I believe, the central frustration supporters of other candidates have with his campaign.

For all of the talk of Ron Paul being better organized let me point out a simple fact that seems to be overlooked.  He is only well organized in very few caucus states and online.  If he were truly organized he’d win states, but he’s not.  So he’s chosen to go another route, and frankly looking back at the way he campaigned in Iowa (where he campaigned didn’t make sense) and how he’s campaigning lead me to believe that he was never really campaigning to win.

His strategy all along was to try to scoop up delegates in non-binding caucus states, as Paul staffer Jesse Benton pointed out:

Although Paul failed to win caucuses in states including Colorado, Iowa, Washington and Alaska, the process of awarding delegates in those states is not yet complete, leaving the door open for the Paul campaign.

Benton explained that while Paul hopes to win delegates in later primaries like California and Paul’s home state of Texas, the current focus is using Paul’s vast grass-roots network to pick up delegates during state conventions.

The Paul campaign is targeting the local meetings held in counties around the county that are part of the process of choosing national convention delegates, hoping to assure selection of Paul allies.

He’s pretty much left the campaign trail and has focused on these states.  Other candidates have not been able to focus on these states after the contests because they’re campaigning nationally in all of the caucuses and primaries.  They simply can’t organize to the extent that Paul has.  But historically they’ve never really had to before.

In Iowa the delegates have typically gone to the winner of the Iowa Caucus unless the winner was out by convention time.  I’m sure other states are the same.  What Congressman Paul is doing is well within the rules.  While they may be following the “letter of the law” they certainly are not following the spirit.  Santorum, Gingrich (well until last week anyway) and Romney have been running campaigns and are trying to win over voters.  Paul is taking a back door approach and is trying to run a coup winning delegates in nonbinding caucus states where he didn’t even finish in the top two, let alone win.

For what purpose?  The math doesn’t even support what he is doing.   He can not win the nomination there are not enough delegates to help him.  Some have suggested that he’s made a deal with Mitt Romney.  I don’t know if that is true or not.  The Paul campaign laughed that off saying they had no knowledge well, sorry if we can’t completely trust what you have to say based on past history.  Even if that is not the case the only person who benefits from this is Mitt Romney.  Is that what Paul supporters really want?  In either case?  I would hope not.  It does seem plausible based on Paul’s behavior.  He’s spent his time attacking Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, but has left Mitt Romney, the author of RomneyCare alone.  Doesn’t that seem strange to you?

Regardless, this plan will backfire as Kevin Hall pointed out on Sunday.

The Ron Paul campaign failed. Money is running out and your delegate strategy bombed big time … Even if you won every single delegate from the non-binding caucus states like Iowa (which I guarantee you won’t come close to doing), you still lose big …

If we give you all 345 of those non-binding delegates (which we won’t), add them to your current whopping total of less than 30, factor in a few more you might pick up with your repeated poor finishes in the remaining contests, and Ron Paul will acquire, at most, 450 delegates … And that’s a very healthy overestimation … Reality is, Paul will be lucky to get 300 … And Ron Paul is no Leonidas.

So, all the crap you pulled at county conventions, for all your efforts to stack State Central Committees, all the nonsensical ramblings about the revolution taking over the RNC convention, they all mean nothing … Not only will Ron Paul not win, he will finish a very distant third or fourth … Dr. Paul might not even have a significant presence at the convention. There will be 2,286 delegates there and at least 1,836 oppose him … The Paulbots need to think about the future and Rand Paul’s presidential aspirations. That means dialing back the nonsense … A good retreat is better than a bad stand.

I totally agree.  By keeping up with this they only hurt their cause.  They may be playing by the rules, but it’s still sneaky and not the way to win a nomination or to get your position heard.  Win elections.  Win over people.  Don’t manipulate the system and try to throw a coup.  People want to see hard fought campaigns instead of a minority of people snagging delegates because they know the rules better.

Photo by Dave Davidson – Prezography.com

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