CEDAR RAPIDS – If U.S. Rep. Ron Paul was a financial investment, Drew Ivers’ challenge would be to convince investors past performance is no indication of future success.
Paul finished fifth in the 2008 Iowa precinct caucuses, but Ivers thinks the Texan is the Republican Party’s best bet for defeating President Barack Obama in 2012.
“So we have to get people to think long-term – past the straw poll,” Ivers said during a Paul campaign stop in Cedar Rapids July 25. “Three months from now, his message will be stronger. In six months, it will be even stronger and I think in October 2012 it will resonate strongly.”
Among the reasons for that optimism is the Paul campaign’s gloomy – realistic, he argues — outlook on economic recovery and the growing disenchantment with America’s military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere.
Four years ago, Paul concedes, his ideas may have struck caucus-goers as strange. This year, they are in the mainstream, he told reporters after a rally that drew about 150 people to the Cedar Rapids Marriott Hotel.
“They’re tired of the war. They know about the (Federal Reserve). Debt has hit. The housing market, which we warned about, has burst,” Paul said. “There’s credibility now that didn’t exist before.”
Paul, who calls for a return to the gold standard and significantly reducing borrowing and spending, especially overseas, warns that inflation is only doing to get worse, especially if Congress and the president lift the debt ceiling and print more money to meet the nation’s obligations.
“We know that inflation is coming,” he said. “How big and how bad it will be next year, I don’t know that, but it’s going to be a big deal.”
If Paul makes a good showing in Ames, “time will work to his favor,” Ivers said, because “by October 2012, the economy could be kind of ugly.”
Paul isn’t trying to scare caucus-goers into his camp.
“I’ve been talking this way since the ’70s,” he said. “I try to tell the truth. It has nothing to do with scaring people. I think the fear tactics are on the people that said the whole economy and the country’s going to end on Aug. 2. That’s scare tactics.”
Paul wouldn’t go so far as to say he has to win the straw poll, but said there is a lot riding on his performance.
“The Ames voting is going be crucial to what we do (because) it is a national recognized straw vote,” he said.
However, even a good showing may not be enough to convince his detractors, Paul said.
“Well, I heard something that if I come in first it proves the Ames straw poll has no value and if I come in fifth it proves Ron Paul can’t do it,” he said.