You can fold up the dirigibles and wind down the local meet-ups. After announcing that he would throw his own convention during the GOP coronation in St. Paul, Minnesota, in September, maverick Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has officially thrown in the towel, again. The anti-Iraq war, small-government candidate with the rebel streak and rabid army of volunteers announced the decision on Thursday, but not before unveiling a second campaign that will divert the many gigawatts of youthful energy he collected during his pugnacious White House bid into a new effort.
"It is time now to take the energy this campaign has awakened and channel it into long-term efforts to take back our country," Paul told supporters.
"The presidential campaign was phase one," Paul's spokesman, Jesse Benton, announced. Turns out phase two is the formation of an advocacy group called the Campaign for Liberty, which will attempt to use the activism and grassroots fundraising power of the RP revolution to push a slate of libertarian-minded Republican candidates into public office. The organization will start with nearly $5 million in leftover campaign cash, which is just a drop in the money-bomb bucket that RP supporters filled with $33 million over the course of nine months.
It's actually the second time Paul, 72, has said he's dropping out of the race. Back in March, the 10-term Texas congressman said he was "winding down" his campaign and planning this new phase, but the decision to officially pull the plug now was a "legal" one, Benton said. Alas, we'll miss the calls to can the Federal Reserve, abandon the United Nations, NATO and the federal income tax, and give the gold standard another shot. Especially because now we're in for a long, hot summer of terrorist fist jabs and baby-mama drama.