Ron Paul said he would be in this thing until the end, and man, he wasn’t kidding.
Although he’s already acknowledged that he will not become the GOP’s nominee in Tampa this August and he’s stopped campaigning entirely, his supporters continue to funnel money his way. Politico reports that Paul took in $1.78 million in May, and ended the month with $3.3 million in the bank.
What exactly does Ron plan to do with all that money if he’s not campaigning? Influence politics, of course.
In May when it was already obvious that Paul would not be clinching the nomination, Paul’s Nevada chairman Carl Bunce discussed Paul’s strategy of continuing to amass money and the allegiance of delegates headed to Tampa. “Romney would have to give [us] something,” Bunce said, if they’re able to collect enough delegates and money. “Who knows what that could be? It depends on how many delegates we get and how much leverage we have.”
Exerting political leverage with dollars rather than with a simple appeal to the American public would seem to co-opt the political system and the whole concept of democracy. Which might seem counterintuitive for an individualist like Paul.
But at the same time it makes sense for a free market purist like Paul to embrace the reality that cash is king. How might he shape the GOP at the Convention this August by virtue of the cash and influence he’s collected? As Carl Bunce says, “who knows?”
But one thing is for sure—Paul is not about to recede quietly into the background, no matter how thoroughly the mainstream establishment writes him off. Paul may help shape the GOP in 2012 yet.