ST. PAUL—Last night, Ron Paul bathed in the adoration of thousands of people who don’t like taxes but love their pocket-sized constitutions at an alternative convention thrown in his honor in Minneapolis.
This afternoon, it was back to reality.
“I’m not likely to get much recognition in there,” said Paul as he walked out of security gates at the Xcel Energy Center, where the Republican National Convention is being held. He had gone in for an interview with CNN.
Since the Republicans still want nothing to do with him, and won’t let him speak, he had no more business there.
“I’ll tell you one thing,” he added. “When I’m back in D.C., I get a lot of recognition from members of Congress who want my endorsement and want my support, to help out, because they are in tight races and they know the grassroots Republicans are interested in what I’m saying.”
Paul walked passed an Italian restaurant where ‘O Sole Mio’ was playing ad nauseam and waitresses were handed out free samples of sausage and peppers. He went on. “If they were smart they would try to study why the young people like what I’m saying. I mean, their party is getting smaller–they need young people getting in–and at our rally last night, we had 15,000 of them.”
Paul said he thought choosing Sarah Palin as a running mate was “a pretty shrewd move on McCain’s part. Evangelicals like her,” he said. “By having her on the ticket and having [Senator Joe] Lieberman as a speaker and then maybe a Secretary of State means he’s appealing to everybody.”
Despite some stories about efforts by the McCain camp to win Paul’s endorsement, the congressman still did not find McCain especially appealing. Asked if he would vote for McCain, he said, “No, I don’t plan to.”