Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bombs Away

Dr. Rand Paul's campaign for the GOP Senate nomination has designated today as a "money bomb" day. The campaign will try to raise a blast of cash (one million dollars in 24 hours) from the Internet, using the model that Paul's father Ron Paul perfected in his presidential campaign. Today was chosen because it is Ron Paul's birthday.

It seems to be working. The site brought in $3000 in the time it took me to type the preceding two sentences. A meter on the campaign web site lets you watch the money pour in. A YouTube video viewed by nearly 5,000 as of 11:00 a.m. also promotes the money bomb.

Today's "money bomb" is getting plugged around the country from web sites all over the Internet. As a result, much of the money that Paul raises likely will come from out of state.

The fundraising got a boost from the most recent SUSA poll, which showed that Paul is a much stronger candidate than many had anticipated. The odds-on favorite, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, leads Paul but only 36 to 27.

It would be a mistake for anyone to dismiss Paul as a nuisance candidate. He taps into voter anger and disgust over profligate government spending -- the emotion that has fueled recent town halls about health care and tea parties to protest bailouts. To be sure, Democrats like to portray the town hall and tea party attendees as activists bussed in from the RNC. But these are the libertarians and independents who were sickened by the Bush administration's spending -- regular people who value limited government, low taxes and liberty.

If Grayson can maintain his front runner status and win the primary, he would do well to remember the energy that Paul as tapped and the demand for an end to reckless spending. The Republican Party cannot survive (let alone win) unless we return to that core principle.

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