The Real Reasons Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee Stayed in the Race?

Okay sports fans, what was Governor Mike Huckabee and Congressman Ron Paul doing in the presidential race even after the verdict was clear that Senator John McCain had won the Republican nomination?  Answer? They were collecting names and addresses. 

Sure, everyone said John McCain had won but Huck kept acting dumb and saying, “Well, it isn’t over till it’s over and he hasn’t actually clinched it yet.”  And that was all the rationale he needed to keep puttering along.  There was one big southern state left, Texas, a state with a ton of evangelical, Southern Baptist voters and he had to keep the train going that long, if possible.  And it was Ron Paul’s home state.  By staying in the race both men were adding those Texas names and addresses to their data base for the future.

Well, you say, why didn’t candidates do that in the past?  They tried.  They have always tried.  But not many candidates have a readymade, built in constituency.   Ron Paul has a political movement going for himself.  There has been nothing like it since Goldwater.   And Huck is the only choice for Evangelicals who are spurned by media and other candidates.

In years past, on the Democrat side, Black candidates have stuck around long after they should have pulled out, just to collect names.  There was a reason.  And in 1988, Evangelical Pat Robertson kept hanging on in his effort to win the Republican nomination.  He wanted to stay in the race at least through California, with its population of born again Christians in Orange County, but he couldn’t do it.  The Robertson Campaign had virtually taken over the Arizona State Republican Party and would have likely produced an effective late ambush in that state but it was too far off.   The nomination was decided early and Robertson’s persistence would have looked divisive and stubborn.   The pressure was on.  He dropped out.

This election cycle was different.  So many primaries had been moved up, so early, including most of the voter rich states of the born again – conservative South, that  both Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul were able to create a rationale to stay in and build a data base.

And what will they do with it?  They will raise money, of course.  If Huckabee had had money this time, he would have arguably won South Carolina and the nomination.  Governor Mike Huckabee, like him or not, is the future of the Evangelical wing of the Republican Party because he now has “the list.”

And whatever anyone says about Ron Paul, his so called “fringe,” is the only political movement left with a systematic argument for the role of government.  He talks about strategic issues, while all the rest quibble over tactics.  There is no question that the Paulists now have the intellectual and moral power.  They are ignored or ridiculed because no one can answer their arguments.   And those arguments, left unanswered, will only cause their movement to grow.

Ironically, CNN, whose Wolf Blitzer- John King coverage was at times dead on accurate, and seemingly agenda free, was the only network to understand this.  They created real diversity and brought on a Black evangelical pundit who offered more sense on Huckabee in five minutes, than all the other BAF (Born Again Free) networks had done in two years of reporting.  But none of the networks did justice to Ron Paul simply because they couldn’t find anyone to argue against his positions.  The public wanted data on the horse race, the issues be damned.

What’s next?  Sometime, when all of this settles down, after McCain has not picked Mike Huckabee as his running mate, Huck will announce his Political Action Committee.  We will hear a lot from Mike Huckabee next time around.  His is a personal campaign. 

And Ron Paul?  His is a campaign of ideas.  His enemies in the political arena and in the media will come to realize too late that they made a mistake by ignoring him this past election cycle.  His army was left unchallenged on the battlefield.  Now their ideas have taken root and they will grow.  After the years of Obmamania are passed and Huckabee’s quixotic challenge four years later is exhausted, Ron Paul’s movement will still be maturing.  Obama, Clinton, McCain and in four years, Huckabee, will own the headlines for now.  But Ron Paul owns the future.


Published by Doug Wead

Doug Wead is a New York Times bestselling author whose latest book, Game of Thorns, is about the Trump-Clinton 2016 election. He served as an adviser to two American presidents and was a special assistant to the president in the George H.W. Bush White House.

14 thoughts on “The Real Reasons Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee Stayed in the Race?

  1. Brilliant piece!

    I find myself supporting Huckabee but longing for the principles of Paul and many pro life libertarians.

  2. Thank you for the great article!

    To me, Ron Paul represents freedom from an oppressive government and the returning of civil liberties and freedom to the American people. He has inspired thousands (and soon, millions) with his message and will go down in history as a brilliant visionary. Yes, he is the future!

    We Love Ron Paul for telling us the truth when no one else would and we will continue to spread his message.

  3. “…the verdict was clear that Senator John McCain had won the Republican nomination?”

    Maybe you should be aware that no one wins the Republican nomination until the Convention in September. That is why McCain is always referred to as “presumed nominee.”

    Don’t think for a second McCain is going to have an easy coronation at the RNC.

  4. Some truths about the Paulist movement:

    Libertarians have more in common with liberals than conservatives.

    Libertarians are not conservatives.

    This so-called “revolution” is an abject failure. If it was anything but, Paul would have more than 14 delegates.

    “Returning” to smaller and non-interventionist government? Let’s recall our history. I can think of several events from as far back as the early days of this nation that are clearly “big government” and “interventionist.” (the Loiusiana Purchase, Manifest Destiny, and The Mexican War).

    There are even more examples I could cite. Imperialism has been this nation’s bread and butter since its inception. I have no problem with that. I also have no problem with the US presently using military force to preserve its hegemony in the world, either. It’s what we’ve been doing for the last 200 years, Paulists. WAKE UP!

  5. Mr. Wead,
    You have no idea how absolutely correct you are about Ron Paul being the future. I have never seen a movement like it in my life. People from all walks of life, demographics, religions, races, sexes and political parties uniting behind the same with man a common set of principals. It truly is what works in a free society if we have a “fair” system to have such unity with such a vast group of people working together for the common good of everyone. Unfortunately, we are not working together within a “fair” system. We are in a system that pre-selects its leaders and gives its people the impression that they had a choice in who they were electing and there is a difference isn’t there? It’s true Paul’s stances cannot be argued because they make sound, sane, sense. Whenever we follow the laws of our land and we respect the rights of our people there is freedom and justice.

    You are correct in your notation of the very serious misstep of the media to discount Paul supporters and block them from the discussions because they did not have a defense. These people mean action and they have done their homework. I have a child in my home who can recite our rights. Who knows the real role and more importantly the ‘limits”of government. This child is asking the teacher when they learned about the Constitution why he didn’t tell them that a huge portion of the rights they just learned about had been gutted through legislation in the past few years? This child doesn’t care what party a candidate is in…they only care that this person whom they elected represents them within the limits of the constitution. I wish I could say as many adults know their rights too and the real role of our government. Nonetheless, these children are our future and at least they can teach their peers to hopefully compensate for the ignorance of prior generations who were led astray while their rights were stripped from them.

    Paul supporters do not sit around and hope someone else will do the work for them. It’s a dream follower of any candidate to have people who will really act, work, and go to great lengths for them. They will stop buying the media magazine or newspaper that violated their rights to free speech. They will not buying the products from the TV outlets who aired only people of the establishment view while censoring those they could not address because they had no answers to fight back against sane sensibly policies. They will no longer support any elected rep who does not support the people and uphold the Constitution. They will be watching all elected reps and making both parties accountable to the people. It will be a great force to be reckoned with and not just in the future…. but now.

    What’s sad and almost ironic to me is how foreign these time tested ideas of Ron Paul appear to so many others who support the other candidates who have the same agenda. The secret is there is no secret to Ron Paul’s ideas. There is nothing new here with Ron Paul. He is just going back to the traditional role of what the government was intended to play in our lives. Our rights and privacy have become so imbedded and invaded that far too many American’s have enabled themselves to believe it’s ok, it’s legal (it’s not) and they think they just have to learn to live with it.

    It starts at the top doesn’t it? If our leader thinks nothing of breaking laws, ignoring our Constitution, and bypassing international treaties that do threaten our nations security, waging war on two countries without a declaration, killing millions, to name just a few serious infractions- Infractions that the media has been implicit in aiding and abetting this administration into making the people think this is all just OK- then the people under him will learn to look the other way with deception, lies, and blatant disregard of the law and our Constitution. . The people who hold him in esteem will learn to have blatant disrespect for the serious violation’s of our rights as a means to an end. Forgetting all the bloodshed and the history of those who fell before us to afford those freedoms so easily discarded.

    The only time to fear small government is if the people do not feel they can govern themselves. Who here among us feels threatened to run our own lives? Who wants more government control of their paycheck, homes, livelihoods and even their parental skills? Have the American people come so far that they do not trust themselves to make their own decisions any longer? If so, we have far more things to be concerned with then these issues. Most people I talk to are ready to take back their lives and put a “Do not trespass” sign on the door for their over encroaching government. A government that wants to know all about them from cradle to grave but wants keep all their actions (legal and illegal) under lock and key under the guise of national security. These people want no more interference, regulation, and control in their lives. That is what true freedom is folks.

    The law is the law. Our rights should be untouchable unless we break the law. We will never gain anything good by sacrificing liberty under the guise of protection. We only become enslaved, frightened of our own shadows, and immobile to live a fulfilling life. No one wins in that if we are truly to live in a so-called free society.

    I want a country with no cameras in my child’s school. With no cameras on my street corner. Where we are innocent again until proven guilty. Where there are no secret courts, no denials of the right to an attorney, no secret wiretaps without court orders and no detainment for years without charges. I want accountability and respect from my elected reps. No late night deals of signing massive pieces of legislation that further enslaves me without having a voice or notice to stop it. I want my kids to live in a country where they are truly free to abide by the laws, mind their own business, and know they cannot be persecuted without proof or just cause.

    9/11 didn’t change anything in the end …It was this administration and our elected reps who changed everything. Right after 9/11 we were not Republicans or Democrats…we were all American’s and we were united. Since then we have become the enslaved through the legislation passed on the coattail of that tragedy. Using the patriotic fervor against us when we were at our weakest we were blindsided. We found out we were lied to on a massive scale. The media machine kicked in and the division continued even more. Pitting groups against groups again. People went back to their roles of division and labels. Not Ron Paul supporters. They welcome everyone who wants to join for the greater good of all Americans. What a novel idea. That is what separates him from the rest. He wants you all too. He welcomes you and wants us all to have equal rights as the wonderful individuals we are. Not because of our sex, race, or religion, but as the Constitution provides for equality amongst ALL individuals.

    Ron Paul said he didn’t want to be president to run our lives. He wants us to run our own lives and he has confidence that we can do just that. He didn’t want to be President for just republicans either. He wants to be president for all the American people. He promises to uphold the constitution and hold the government to the restraints within the limits of what the Constitution legally allows them to be.

    It’s called freedom folks.

    Mr. Wead is all over it with his accurate perception of what this movement really means. In a time of feeling like we are all being watched like criminals for no reason…freedom sounds awesome. It’s a not a new idea…it’s an old one we need to get back to right away. They say freedom is not free and nothing could be truer. If we want it back we have to make it happen. Have you joined the revolution yet?

  6. Another note on this issue of collecting names….

    This violation of privacy and our rights is rampant all over right now isn’t it?

    How many headlines have we seen whereas Terrorist acts have been misused to collect names of political American citizen detractors? Anti-war activists have already proven they became political targets and were investigated, harassed, and threatened illegally as a “group” because they were on a list that was illegally obtained from a group they joined.

    When our rights to freedom of assembly have been so devastatingly destroyed what is left for activists anyway?

    Now they are told “where” they can protest. Usually very far from the target of protests. They are made to get a permit to so-call “legally” protest so forget any element of surprise. They are controlled with massive resources at tax payer expense to further silence their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

    If the target of their protest is acting within the laws of this country they would not need such unconstitutional protection from their detractors would they? They would welcome the dissent if they knew they were not doing anything wrong and could address the people with those verifiable facts.

    But when we are talking about corruption, fraud, and treason, we will not see our rights protected. We will not see an administration that faces its detractors. We will see a dictatorship that must at all times maintain the “appearance” that no one on a grand scale is against their tyrannical actions. That will go to great lengths to silence its dissenters.

    The media has been their willing accomplice haven’t they? Only seeking to interview the most fanatic in the group, that is “IF” they even cover the event. What’s worse, is many of those pre-selected “fanatics” they choose to interview will be ousted to be plants and not even a part of that protest. Never seeking anyone in the crowd who appears sane, who knows the real issues, who is articulate enough to get through to the masses to show them the real reasons of why they are there. They will minimize the true numbers of those who showed up as well. The camera angle will try to help them with their lies. What’s to be said of the media’s role in this blatant deception of the people?

    More importantly why are the American people ok with such disregard for their freedoms to protest without persecution, without harassment, without illegal and unlawful personal attacks via investigations into them all? Are Americans ok with this kind of rogue government? I would think not if half of them knew a fraction of the truth.

    How many more headlines do we need to see whereas large banking institutes reveal to their customers that their personal information has been hacked into? What about large online services who claim thousands of their members information has fallen into the wrong hands?

    This has got to be reigned in. Those who violate personal information to the detriment of the people who trusted them with their information should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The dismantling of our rights to protest need to be reversed if we are to ever see criminals in our government and corporate America face the true numbers of people who are fed up with their lies, deceit, fraud, and illegal activities.

    Many of us are seriously concerned about the collection of names from many areas in our lives today and rightfully so. The question I would like to know is what is your stance Mr. Wead on the use of names for control, personal gain, or other means then revealed to the people when they were collected?

    I mean this is no offense whatsoever, but you did broach this important subject of collection of names and you have shared your background of working closely with the Bush administration. Do you collect names and allow them to be used by nonconnected entities to your site or share them with any others without telling your readers? These are fair questions because you are right to show concern with the use of our personal information and the collection of names.

    As long as our government can man handle their way into gaining information illegally, and unconstitutionally, on any group, regardless of the company, organization, or size, we all should have grave concerns with how our information will be protected and until our rights are restored it should make many think twice and carefully consider what groups they join.

  7. The paranoid wack jobs keep crawling out of the woodwork, don’t they, Doug?

    They may be “your” children, but never for a second lump me in with their ilk.

    I’d like to know when you are going to let them in on the joke. You know as well as I do that you do not adopt causes unless you stand to profit from them in some way.

    A person doesn’t become an Amway millionaire by luck.

    “This violation of privacy and our rights is rampant all over right now isn’t it?”

    This crazy broad from Texas and all her paranoid pals believe that the government is interested in them beyond skimming them for taxes. What egomaniacs.

    If the government were actually watching them the evidence gathered could serve as a cure for insomnia. Most anyone would be put to sleep by the mundane comings and goings of middle class drones driving back and forth from their menial middle class jobs and socializing with their middle class friends on weekends, performing such pithy tasks as bowling, small game hunting, four wheeling, drinking to excess, and philandering.

  8. I don’t know what you Losertarians are crowing about. I run my own life pretty well and I’m not saddled with paranoid fear.

    Why can’t you?

    I guess it’s like asking why you can’t go through life without declaring fealty to mythical supernatural beings, right?

  9. “I think Ron Paul is one of the few left who truly embody what being an American is all about.”

    So what IS being an American all about? Being an illiterate redneck dolt who fears what he or she doesn’t understand about anything beyond the same old 20 square miles they’ve lived and worked in their entire lives?

  10. “I think Ron Paul is one of the few left who truly embody what being an American is all about.”

    I think your idea of what an American is all about is tied into some romanticized and nostalgic ideal that can no longer exist.

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