I travel a lot for business, both that of my firm and on my own account, looking in on my investments. One thing I have seen in my travels this year is the surprisingly active and intense grassroots effort on behalf of Congressman Ron Paul and his bid for the presidency.
Paul's bumper stickers are everywhere, though they are just as likely to be stuck to a telephone pole as they are to cars. Something that has really impressed me though is the number of people gathering signatures to get Ron Paul on the ballot. Having been through this process myself while volunteering for Jim Webb, I know how much hard work it can be.
I have not seen any other volunteers for other Republican candidates gathering signatures. In fact, I've even heard some buzz that the current Republican leader, Rudy Giuliani, was having trouble getting his signatures in Virginia. No doubt this is due in no small part to the fact that Republican "volunteers" expect to be compensated in some way for their efforts. Whether it's being given a $20 or $30 ticket to an event like Shad Planking or the Iowa straw polls, many Republicans expect a little patronage in exchange for their support. Not so with Ron Paul's supporters.
The pictures in this post are from Richmond Tomato Festival at the 17th Street Farmers' Market back in July. They bring back memories from last year. This is what grassroots politics looks like, and right now Ron Paul is the only Republican doing them. My friend assured me that there we no other Republican campaign workers present at the event.