"Paul, for all his crankishness, is the kind of conservative that Tea Partiers want to believe themselves to be: Deeply principled, impressively consistent, a foe of big government in nearly all its forms (the Department of Defense very much included), a man of ideas rather than of party.Ron Paul has the best ground game, no doubt. Drew Ivers, Ron Paul's Iowa State Chairman: "I would say we're probably a little bit better organized and the fact that we ran four years ago, that's been a plus. He's not an unknown entity."
Gingrich, on the other hand, is the kind of conservative that liberals believe most Tea Partiers to be – not a genuine “don’t tread on me” libertarian, but a partisan Republican whose unstinting support for George W. Bush’s deficit spending morphed into hand-wringing horror of “socialism” once a Democrat captured the Oval Office."
The only thing missing sofar was the emotional link to the traditional Republican base. Following Douthat's logic we could see Newt Gingrich role as GOP's John the Baptist introducing Ron Paul on a subconscious level as THE Republican. A humble congressman from Texas beating the brilliant Republican speaker of the House. An essential piece of Ron Paul's path to victory.
Jay Leno did a great interview with Ron Paul, view it here.
Great analysis of how Ron Paul plays chess while his adversaries play checkers. A comment december 17th that illustrates the mood in the campaign:
I think I've realized why the last debate seems to have made such a difference in attitude in some conservatives, and made neo-con talking heads go absolutely nuts yesterday.
We're converting Social Conservatives, and the neo-cons are smelling the majority of their people leave them for the peace candidate. They are using fear and mockery to try and keep the so-cons from leaving their coalition.
Huckabee has never been shy to criticize Ron Paul and had no reason not to in this interview, and he didn't mention Foreign Policy at all.
I'm not going to go too deep down into speculation, but if what we think is happening IS happening, we're going to win Iowa with 40%, and go in and snatch NH away from Romney at the last minute.
On a side-note, anybody else think Gingrich is going to have a turnout in Iowa barely higher than Huntsman? He's got the worst organization, momentum is flying out of his campaign faster than a taped up balloon, and he doesn't have any eager support.