In the sea of confusion backstage at today's taping of "The View," Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul's dressing room was an eddy of calm.
While producers and production assistants for the morning gabfest scurried to and fro managing the bustle of activity in rooms designated for today's co-host, "Private Practice" star Kate Walsh, and "Little Miss Sunshine's" Abigail Breslin, Paul was quiet and speculative.
The Texas representative arrived for the show straight from New Hampshire, where he's been campaigning in recent days, mounting his spirited, insurgent, libertarian quest to fundamentally change Washington in the month leading up to the Granite State's first-in-the-nation primary.
But at "The View" studio in Manhattan, Paul was quietly considering his answers. Three staffers waited in the room; Paul's communications director could be heard outside on his cell phone.
Untouched went Paul's gift bag. While this reporter did not get the chance to peruse all the contents, on the top were several bottles of iced cappuccino, which Paul gave to a staffer.
"The problem with this stuff," he said before the show, ruminating on life as a presidential contender, "is you can't really put it anywhere. When you're traveling around, you don't have space for a lot of stuff. And that," he said, pointing at the iced cappuccino concoction, "you can't take on an airplane."
Told that a "View" co-host would ask him about China, Paul said, "China? Did something happen overnight in China? I would have guessed they would ask about Iran and the intelligence report," he said.
Paul has long been a critic of the Bush administration's foreign policy. At that moment the president was giving a news conference at which, despite evidence that Iran has abandoned its nuclear weapons program, he would not rule out a military strike against the Islamic country.
Paul considered China and what "The View" women could be preparing to ask him. Something about the dollar and how its weakening? His support for trade relationships? His aversion to economic sanctions? Lead in toys?
Soon after, Paul was ushered into the show's green room where he waited his turn to take to the couch under the studio lights.
Paul's appearance on set didn't come until the end of the show, after the in-depth discussion about Jennifer Love Hewitt's cellulite and body image, the power going out at co-host Joy Behar's last dinner party and Breslin's aversion to math as taught by her tutors.
But Paul was there. The first Republican presidential hopeful to appear on the show, Paul was dubbed by Behar, an avowed supporter of Democrats, as her favorite Republican in the race because he opposes the Iraq War.
When Behar teased Paul's appearance before going to commercial, she pointed out that he is, in addition to his 10 terms in Congress, an OB-GYN. "Two treats in one," she told the audience, before poking a little fun at Paul.
As a large head shot of him smiling in front of an American flag flashed on screen, Behar asked, "Can you imagine that face staring at you from behind the stirrups."
Co-host Sherri Shepherd said she thought Paul looked nice and she wouldn't mind him delivering her baby.
Not your typical Ron Paul introduction.