Friday, September 28, 2007

1988 - The Ron Paul Campaign


The Family Doctor, and Congressman, from Texas

Ron Paul made the ballot in 46 states, which is not at all bad for a campaign that is, as always, underfunded and without its own personal billionaire. The Paul Campaign, coming as it did, in the immediate wake of the defection of Dick Randolph in Alaska provided a shot in the arm – but again failed to focus on strengthening local organizations. This time the problems with top down management came from the State Parties, however.

It had become a fact of life for the LP that those willing to run normally did so because there was some other motive that could be served by the monumental investment of time and energy necessitated by a campaign that could take most of two years. With Hospers this had not been an issue because he was not asked to invest the time. For Mac Bride his independent wealth made this possible and justifiable. 

Clark had promised and delivered a very limited period of time to the active campaign and returned to work. Bergland's campaign marked an alteration on how presidential campaigns were run. The potential for such campaigns to serve secondary agendas was a natural development and potentially allowed candidates to run who would not otherwise have been willing to make the necessary investment possible candidates. This alteration came with hazards that were never openly discussed. 
In the case of Ron Paul running for President also allowed him to augment the mailing list for his gold investment business, according to various gold bugs. There was no essential conflict between the two goals but this sea change, carefully watched by those who had run the Bergland campaign and working with Marrou, enabled future use of the ticket that would prove to be hazardous to the integrity of the Libertarian Party as a whole. Andre Marrou, first running for the nomination, accepted the nomination for vice president.

Again, the lack of a clear vision for goals and a well thought out plan for achieving those goals impacted the course of action; the LP was off course without even realizing it. It was about to get worse.

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