Ron Paul's Movement Still Has a Voice in Colorado--But Can It Get Legs?

March 24 2009, 12:23 PM
ron_paul_official_congressional_photo_portrait_2007The Ron Paul revolution is still a work in progress in Colorado. Certainly the libertarian (small "L") movement led by the Texas congressman has made real (albeit small) gains in the state--and within the Colorado Republican Party. Paul won 9 percent of the vote in the February 2008 Colorado Republican presidential caucus. And several Republican candidates--most notably First Congressional District nominee George Lilly--were disciples of Paul (pictured). But parlaying those gains into greater power over the state Republican Party has proved, so far, unsuccessful for Paul's supporters. The Ron Paul delegates to the state Republican convention last year were much louder than they were effective. And when a lot of rank-and-file Republicans in Colorado hear of a "Ron Paul Republican," they still think of someone who's passionate, a little kooky, and politically impotent. And yet the battle continues. Christine Tucker, a Ron Paul supporter who unsuccessfully ran as a delegate to the Republican National Convention last year, also campaigned for state GOP chair at last weekend's state Republican organizational meeting. She eventually dropped out of the race before a final vote was taken, but not before causing an uproar: She insisted that party chair Dick Wadhams (who was easily re-elected) is a liberal who supports abortion rights. As Ron Paul himself has said, his revolution is a long-term fight. Certainly his supporters have gotten Republicans' attention. But can they move forward to be taken seriously as a political force?