Ron Paul: Spoiler?

In a close race, he could make a Nader-like difference.

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Why, one may ask, is Rep. Ron Paul staying in the presidential race?

The onetime Libertarian candidate for president in 1988 apparently isn't going anywhere soon. He barely scratches in the primaries and caucuses but hangs in nevertheless.

Paul's loyal followers have raised an impressive sum of money on the Internet. And when the media fail to mention his name in stories, those followers call to complain bitterly about it.

In the New Hampshire primary last month, Fox did exclude him from a debate and shouldn't have. Even as a fringe candidate, he met the criteria.

In more recent debates, he's been on the stage but largely ignored. His young campaign folks refuse to hear it, but he is not going to be the GOP nominee.

Paul's congressional district south of Houston is devoted to its politician doctor. He keeps getting re-elected with little or no opposition. In Congress, Paul is known as Dr. No. He votes no on just about every bill before the House.

In the 1988 presidential election, Paul even ran against fellow Texan George H. W. Bush. He got a whopping 0.47 percent of the national vote—a few hundred thousand ballots.

As a Libertarian, Paul wants the government to leave everyone alone He differs with the party on the war in Iraq, arguing that we should never have attacked in the first place.

Paul insists he will not run again this year as the Libertarian Party alternative. Democrats ought to hope he changes his mind. Dr. No will only take votes away from the GOP ticket whether it is John McCain or anyone else.

He could be like another spoiler: Ralph Nader in 2000, who gave us George W. Bush over Al Gore.