[Ron Paul has ended his run for president, this time.]
by Mary Ann Akers
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) may have ended his presidential campaign, but the libertarian gadfly isn’t exactly going quietly into the good night. Not without a lot of smoke, anyway.
Paul, the only presidential candidate currently on the New York Times best seller list (8 weeks in a row), is not only planning a book event during the Republican National Convention in September, he’s planning a one-day shadow convention that could well be the wildest party of the entire week. Especially if a certain famous pot smoking, bandana-wearing, long-haired, libertarian-leaning country star accepts Paul’s invitation to perform.
Yes, you guessed it: Willie Nelson.
The Paul campaign, which has morphed into a grass-roots movement called the “Campaign for Liberty” — is on pins and needles (and roach clips) awaiting Nelson’s response.
“We would be thrilled if Willie Nelson could come and he has an open invitation to join us,” says Paul spokesman Jesse Benton. Â (Benton, by the way, prefers that we refer to Paul as the politician who would “get rid of the federal ban on marijuana” rather than as the “pro-pot politician”.)
Besides inviting Nelson, who is unconfirmed, Benton says the Ron Paul shadow convention decided to ask MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson to be the emcee. And Carlson, a longtime libertarian, has accepted.
“When Ron Paul calls and asks you to emcee you don’t say no,” Carlson tells The Sleuth. “I’m sure it’ll be a good time and I love the libertarians.” (Sources say even Carlson, a responsible father and husband these days, would likely toke up if Willie showed up to perform in Minneapolis.)
Others you might see at the Ron Paul convention include such longtime friends of the congressman as Barry Goldwater, Jr., and Pat Buchanan.
Paul decided to have his own convention since he hasn’t been invited yet to have a speaking role at the real GOP convention. And he isn’t holding his breath for an invitation, either. “He has not been invited to speak and we are not expecting that invitation to come,” Benton says.
As for the Ron Paul convention, Benton says it “isn’t a protest or anything negative about the Republican convention. It’s going to be a celebration. We want to celebrate limited government and constitutional liberty.”