Five things Ron Paul wants from the Republican National Convention

It looks as if Ron Paul is going to be an active participant in the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August. That will mark a big change from 2008, when Congressman Paul held a rival convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul while the GOP nominated John McCain nearby.

Here’s our take on the five things Paul hopes to gain from staying within his party’s tent in 2012.

1. Ron Paul wants to change the soul of the GOP

Dave Schwarz/AP
Presidential candidate Ron Paul speaks during the Minnesota Republican State Convention on May 18 in St. Cloud, Minn. While Rick Santorum won the Minnesota nonbinding caucus vote on Feb. 7, Paul subsequently picked up 32 of the state's 40 delegates to the GOP National Convention in Tampa.

Paul’s most ambitious goal is to influence the Republican Party as a whole, making it more amenable to his libertarian principles. That appears to be the point of his so-called “delegate strategy," whereby Paul supporters out-organize rivals in caucus states to win as many delegates as possible. In some cases, such as in Maine, the Paul forces have won outright control of state party organizations.

On May 19, for instance, Paulites won 12 of the 13 delegate slots up for grabs at Minnesota’s GOP convention. Combined with previous victories in the North Star State’s complicated selection process that means 32 of the 40 Minnesota delegates to Tampa will be Paul supporters. Sorry about that, Rick Santorum. (Mr. Santorum won Minnesota’s nonbinding caucus presidential nomination vote on Feb. 7 with a plurality of 45 percent of the vote.)

This is why Paul has eschewed any interest in a third-party bid.

“He’s gotten a lot of attention working through the two-party system and he’s gotten a lot of people involved,” said his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky, in a Fox News interview earlier this month. “I mean, the chairman of Iowa now was Ron Paul’s campaign chairman. The chairman of Nevada was a Ron Paul campaign person. We’ve won several states and are influencing the party and becoming the Republican Party.”

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