Friday, November 9, 2007

Ron Paul Basks in Fundraising Glow

The Los Angeles Times reports that Ron Paul is basking in the glow of his recent one-day take of $4.2 million in campaign contributions:

He may be pushed to the edge of the stage, literally and figuratively, when the candidates debate. He languishes in the low single digits in polls.

But Rep. Ron Paul is getting his moment in the sun in his long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination after this week's formidable online fundraising - a reported $4.2 million in a single day.

The Texas congressman with the sharp libertarian bent thanked his supporters Wednesday for what is one of the best single-day fundraising totals in presidential campaign history. He insisted the event is not an anomaly but a sign of real progress, a claim supported by several Web commentators.

"Amazing! I have to admit being floored by the $4.2 million you raised yesterday for this campaign," Paul wrote to his supporters, adding: "What momentum we have! Please help me keep it up. As you and I know, and our opponents are only suspecting, we have success on our minds and in our hearts."

Assuming the fundraising pledges are fulfilled, the total would nearly match Paul's receipts for the entire previous quarter and put him well on the way to his goal of $12 million for the final three months of 2007. About half of the 36,672 donors (average contribution $103) were giving for the first time.

Mainstream political commentators continued to give Paul -- who advocates an immediate U.S. pullout from Iraq and the abolition of the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Education -- little or no chance of winning the Republican nomination.

But several commentators said the ability to raise so much money so quickly had enhanced his credibility and would force other candidates and the media to take Paul seriously.

"This is the single biggest example of people-power this [election] cycle," wrote Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, founder of the liberal-leaning website the Daily Kos. "And as annoying as it is that we're seeing it from a Republican -- and a crazy one at that -- it's nevertheless a beautiful thing to behold." commentator Glenn Greenwald wrote that the Paul campaign had become "a bona fide phenomenon of real significance."

Greenwald argued that Paul was catching on with people "hungry for a political movement which operates outside of our rotted political establishment and which fearlessly rejects its pieties, even if they disagree with some or even many of its particulars."
Well, as I've noted before, Paul is attracting all sort of fringe elements from across the political spectrum. But Paul's endorsement by Daily Kos and Glenn Greenwald - more than anything else I've seen - puts the lie to whatever core ideology those two hard-left bloggers presumably espouse. Indeed, as Kos and Greenwald demonstrate, any political figure who denounces the administration and the war - no matter how whacked out - will gain the backing of the country's most heinous America-bashers.