Actually, given the size of the crowd he drew, over the river in Minneapolis, indicates to me that he has a more energized, enthusiastic, and most decidedly younger group of supporters than the bedraggled McCain bunch that dotted the sparsely attended convention center in St. Paul the past few days and nights.
Like the Obama devotees, Ron Paul's followers are fervent and passionate about their guy who raised more money in the primary campaign than McCain. And thousands of those supporters trekked many miles to cheer Paul's Libertarian - leaning anti-war positions, and fiscal responsibility stance, two strong areas at great odds with bothMcCain and bush but totally in-line with Obama.
Paul has ripped into both bush and McCain for their foreign policy (no "preventive war" for Paul), condemned the war on drugs as "a total failure", and told his audience that "we do not need a national I.D. card". These are all positions that I ardently also support.
Evidently the "compassionate conservative" party of gw bush is a figment of the past that no longer exists and they made that clear to Ron Paul. They, the McCain crowd, denied him a speaking roll at the convention, and told him that they would restrict his activity at the gathering. So, he picked up his money and his energy, and his policies, and his thousands of supporters and presented a stark contrast to the dim and dower RNC at the other side of town.
And Paul did not stand alone on his stage. A parade of speakers criticized the bush administration and took direct shots at McCain. Jesse Ventura (remember him?) declared that our current fiscal policies are ruining the country. Doug Wead, a political historian Challenged the Republicans to come back to their roots saying "Tonight John McCain will be in St, Paul, but Saint Paul (playing on Ron's name) will be here in Minneapolis." He got a standing ovation for that remark.
Kathryn Isenberger a 58 year old alternative delegate to the GOP convention was seen at the Ron Paul gathering and said "I'm looking for the roots of our party and I think this is where it is."
So as the much touted myth of Republican party unity crumbles before our eyes, with scenes as varied as the jubilant crowd cheeringRon Paul on one side of the river, to the darker side of party dissent, but no less passionate, the protesters that were confronted by National Guard troops outside the "official" convention hall, theMcCain camp has decided to throw some kerosene on top of the whole mess and ignite with a speech by Sarah Palin tonight.
It's clear that any pretense of carry over from the "uniter", gw bush, has been tossed out like yesterdays garbage. It's no longer onward and upward for the GOP but backward, and downward with extremist positions which will prove as divisive and downright horrifying as anything we've ever seen before on the National stage.