Ron Paul Gets Bigger Soapbox for Shadow Convention

By Julia Hoppock

Jul 22, 2008 9:14am

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports: Ron Paul is not holding his breath for a speaking slot at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul in September and he has long planned a day-long shadow convention to give him an arena to expound his limited government mantra.

But, worried about the size of his arena, his new political action group–The Campaign for Liberty–has booked a bigger one.

They’ll announce today they’ve changed from the Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota to the much larger Target Center, seating capacity: 18,000.

Paul’s supporters have been undefinable and unknown throughout the election cycle. There are the loud and sometimes rowdy, usually young sign-waving blimp renters, omnipresent in the early primary states during the Republican race. And there is the legion of online supporters, contributing millions online and creating what Paul hopes will be a lasting grassroots framework.

But there were not (on balance) many voters for Paul, who while he stayed in the race against Sen. McCain longer than any of his GOP rivals, has very few Republican delegates.

So Paul’s shadow convention (speakers include anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, shaggy haired cable personality Tucker Carlson, and Barry Goldwater Jr.,)  will be a test of his new group’s staying power and organizational mettle. Supporters have been encouraged to exploit state delegate rules to get appointed to, infiltrate and make themselves known at the national convention before decamping for the Target Center.

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