Opinion: The rebel forces of Paul -- Ron Paul -- organize to resist John McCain


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As far as Sen. John McCain is concerned, the Republican presidential nomination is a done deal and he’s working on uniting the party behind him. But thousands of Republicans -- particularly supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul -- aren’t buying that.

In the Pennsylvania primary, more than 215,000 Republicans cast ballots for Paul or former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who quit campaigning weeks ago. Together, they captured 27% of the Republican vote.

That was tame compared with the uproar last weekend at Nevada’s Republican Party Convention. Or before that in Missouri.


About 600 well-organized Paul supporters overwhelmed McCain’s forces, as The Ticket reported earlier this week, and engineered a rule change that permitted national convention delegates to be nominated from the floor, wresting the task from party establishment leaders.

That evening, party leaders unexpectedly adjourned the session, saying the proceedings would take too long to finish that night.

But tongues were set wagging about whether the adjournment was a maneuver to save McCain from the embarrassment of being swamped by Paul delegates.

Eric Herzik, a political scientist at the University of Nevada, Reno, said the disruption reflected, among other things, that McCain had ‘yet to capture the hearts and minds of Nevada Republicans.’ Previously, Paul forces had elected about one-third of the delegates to the Missouri state Republcan convention.

As the 72-year-old Paul, who is unopposed in the November election for his 11th House term, suggested to his dedicated troops earlier this year in a video, they should prepare for for the long haul.

And buy his new book, which has promptly soared to the top of’s bestseller list.

All of which suggests there might be some drama or at least confrontations in St. Paul at the GOP’s national convention in September after all.

-- Maeve Reston

Photo Credit: AP