Ron Paul to Jon Stewart: thanks for the help

At a breakfast Wednesday sponsored by the Monitor, Ron Paul was clearly appreciative of the publicity that comedian Jon Stewart has been providing his campaign for president.

Michael Bonfigli /The Christian Science Monitor
Rep. Ron Paul speaks at the Monitor Breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, DC on Sept. 21, 2011.

Ron Paul’s got something to say to Jon Stewart. Two words, in fact: “thank you.”

OK, Representative Paul didn’t use that phrase exactly, but at a Wednesday breakfast sponsored by the Monitor, he was clearly appreciative of all the publicity that the famous Comedy Central host has been providing his campaign for president.

Asked how he was getting his message out through a skeptical media, Paul made a few generic remarks, then said, unbidden, “I think another person that’s sort of made my case ... is Jon Stewart. I mean, how could anything be more dramatic than what Jon Stewart did?”

What’s Mr. Stewart done, you say? We’re glad you asked! In recent weeks, boosting up Paul has become something of a recurring “Daily Show” subject.

This kicked off last month when Stewart complained that Paul had finished second in the Ames, Iowa, GOP straw poll, yet the media almost entirely ignored him afterward.

“How did libertarian Ron Paul become the 13th floor in a hotel?” Stewart said at the time.

Then, earlier this month, Stewart noted that at one point during the GOP debate at the Ronald Reagan library in Simi Valley, Calif., Paul said that a barbed-wire fence between the United States and Mexico was un-American, and he implied that it might eventually be used to keep Americans in, instead of illegal immigrants out.

“I’m telling you, this is why we need this guy in the race! He is the only guy in any political party who realizes that at some point we might want to sneak into Mexico,” said Stewart.

And in a long interview published in the current issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Stewart notes as an aside that it would be impossible to produce a video of Paul contradicting himself on issues – something the “Daily Show” staff routinely produces for many other politicians.

“[Paul’s] been consistent over the years,” Stewart said. “You may disagree with him, but at least you can respect that the guy has a belief system he’s engaged in and will defend.”

Let’s be clear here: Stewart has also said he’s not sure Paul should be president. Still, taken together, his statements make it sound like he’s got something of a political crush on the septuagenarian anti-intervention gold bug from Texas.

Even if Stewart’s kind of making fun of Paul at the same time.

“People say, 'Oh, that’s just the fun [the media] play with candidates, and this is how we direct things.' But [Stewart] really made our case,” said Paul at Wednesday’s Monitor breakfast.

Which leads us to one last point. You know how Paul could actually win?

That’s right. Run as a ticket. Paul for president, and Stewart for VP. And they could promise to make Stephen Colbert the White House spokesman.

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