It looks like Paul's campaign is husbanding its resources carefully--not wasting anything (as a good fiscal conservative would be expected to do) and keeping its powder dry for when the best opportunity to use it comes along.The great question is when will the "best opportunity" come along and what will that opportunity be?
It's hard to see Ron Paul climbing back on board the Republican bandwagon. Ron Paul's base is very different from the rest of the Republican Party. He has drawn support from true libertarians and anti-war Republicans. It is hard to imagine these people climbing back in bed with the rest of the Republican Party, endorsing a candidate who is a cheerleader for Bush's War in Iraq, Bush's attack on the Bill of Rights, Republican deficit spending, and the epidemic of Republican corruption.
Likewise, it's hard to see the Republican base suddenly changing and embracing Ron Paul. The Republican base has been so thoroughly indoctrinated in the infallibility of George W. Bush and the righteousness of his War in Iraq, it's hard to imagine them ever supporting Ron Paul as the Republican nominee.
If Ron Paul doesn't have the ability to run for President as the Republican nominee, is there something else he can do to permanently alter the direction of the Republican Party and the conservative movement in the United States?
He could run as an independent.
Ron Paul has shown that he has the fund raising power to sustain a serious third party candidacy and the grassroots support he needs to get on ballots around the country. I have seen dozens of Ron Paul partisans out and about gathering ballot signatures in Virginia and the other states I visit on my travels.
Ron Paul would likely have powerful allies in such a run. With Christian conservatives mulling an independent run because of their dissatisfaction with pro-choice tainted candidates like Romney, Thompson, and Giuliani--Ron Paul presents an attractive potential standard bearer. Ron Paul is fiercely pro-life and already has a campaign organization in place. An alliance between Ron Paul and Christian conservatives like James Dobson would be a formidable instrument for chastising the Republican Party.
It is unlikely that Paul could win as an independent, but he would be able to guarantee a Republican loss, and in the end that is exactly what the Republican Party needs to jump start the process of reforming itself. No political party has ever reformed itself while it was in power.
Driving the Republican Party from power would be tough medicine, but Ron Paul is a medical doctor and he understands that sometimes diseased tissue must be cut away to make room for healthy new growth.
It will be interesting to see if he is willing to step forward and undertake the task.