Ron Paul isn’t giving up on his bid for the GOP nomination, despite rumblings that the rogue candidate with a feverish fanbase might ditch the establishment altogether and run third party.
Indeed, the threat posed by Paul (basically exactly the Nader effect seen in the 2000 election) would almost undeniably hand the Obama administration a second-term in the White House. It’s almost funny to watch the more mainstream contenders tiptoe around Paul- who can be far more vocal in criticizing his own opponents- in order to not alienate his devoted followers who identify as conservative and provoke voting ennui if Paul isn’t on the ballot, or worse, knock his ideals among disillusioned GOP voters.
And Paul, for better or worse, seems to espouse Nader’s insouciance toward his potential effect on the established political parties- when Nader was warned that his interference could precipitate a Bush presidency, he was unmoved- and it’s easy to see Paul caring not for the fate of the Republican establishment if he chooses to go off the reservation and run as a third party candidate.
For liberal leaning voters, Paul is still a compelling candidate. Even absent more favorable stances on single payer healthcare and regulating business, his positions on foreign policy are commendable, and his stances toward civil liberties are downright awesome. But it isn’t the worldly liberal Paul is targeting with his new “Big, Bold Texan” ad, one airing in his home state.
The voiceover is the first thing you notice in the new Ron Paul ads, below, and it’s clearly one selected to pander to a certain demographic- and one that might be populated more heavily with low-information voters. Paul is probably one of the cleverest candidates we’ve seen in a long-time and intellectually superior to a Romney or Santorum, but the ad lays out the comparisons using some very basic visuals (including the screenshot above of an Etch-a-Sketch, a jibe at flip-flopping Mitt Romney.)
The Texan announcer says:
“Let’s get this straight. We’re debating between a big spending, debt ceiling raising fiscal liberal, a moon colony guy, a moderate from Massachusetts or a Texan with a real plan to balance the budget.”
The voiceover continues:
“Get with it people, only one candidate will stand up for Texas. Ron Paul isn’t playing games. Five federal bureaucracies gone. A trillion dollars cut, year one. Get Washington off your back.”
You can watch Ron Paul’s “Big, Bold Texan” ad below- do you think that the strategy will work to galvanize less-involved Republican voters to support the dark horse GOP candidate?