Once upon a time, an exciting young politician was elected governor of Minnesota. The 31-year-old “boy wonder” was clearly destined for great things, and within two years was giving the keynote address at his party's national convention—at which point he peaked.
Harold Stassen's high-water mark was that 1940 Republican National Convention, where he was part of Wendell Willkie's successful insurgent campaign for the presidential nomination. In 1944, Stassen was himself a presidential candidate. And in 1948. And 1952. He took a break in 1956, the year an incumbent Republican (Eisenhower) was seeking re-election, but Stassen was back at it in 1964 and every four years thereafter (except for 1972, when Nixon was seeking a second term). Harold Stassen died in 2001. However, his death had almost no impact on his election prospects. Those had predeceased him by nearly fifty years.
Today Ron Paul wears the mantle of perennial Republican presidential candidate, although he has a ways to go before he has as many lost crusades under his belt. In another distinction from Stassen, Paul is blessed with a visible and noisy coterie of devout supporters—supporters who live in their own special alternate universe. A letter to the editor of the Sacramento Bee is a case in point:
Don't count out Ron Paul in GOP presidential race
Re “Ron Paul wins majority of Maine GOP delegates” (Nation in brief, May 7): There's heated race going on in the Republican primary right now, but you wouldn't know it from the reporting by the mainstream media.
The MSM is reporting as if Mitt Romney has locked up the nomination already, which simply isn't true. The media is not reporting that there are huge turnouts of thousands at Ron Paul events all across the country; that Ron Paul has been winning delegates in many states, and that he has secured his name on the ballot at the Republican National Convention in Florida later this summer.
Ask yourself why the media is not covering this newsworthy information. Romney can barely draw 100 people to his rallies. It isn't over until it is over. Mitt Romney does not have 1,144 delegates yet, and Paul is gaining on him, fast.
By golly! You know what? Letter-writer MN is right! According to a recent Associated Press tally, Romney has only 966 delegates. As for Ron Paul, why, he has ... 104! (Note to mathematicians: the exclamation point is for ironic emphasis—not factorial notation.) As illustrated in a New York Times chart of the AP data, there are 821 uncommitted delegates. Given that Ron Paul is “closing fast,” we can easily see that a sweep of all remaining delegates will boost Paul to a staggering ... 925!
Ron Paul's supporters really can't do the math, can they?