Paul Jacob

With both major party presidential tickets now boasting "rock stars," how are minor party candidates supposed to get any attention?

Turn to yet another political rock star: Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Democrats have their superstar in Illinois Senator Barack Obama, a media sensation, a talented orator in the Martin Luther King tradition, and, if elected, a very notable slice of history as the first African American president.

Republicans now have their own potential history-maker, as Alaska Governor Sarah Palin could become the first female Vice President. Moreover, she's a tough-talking, moose-hunting, hockey mom with five kids, who befuddles the Democrats with gender judo and bedazzles Republican as both a real conservative and a "hottie."

And then there is Dr. Paul, the Texas congressman who found an extremely energetic following during the GOP primaries, especially among young people, and raised $35 million — far beyond what those garnering similar vote percentages were raising.

How a policy wonk like Paul, who eschews clever sound bites to offer longer lessons on the Federal Reserve and the gold standard, could attract so much attention is one of this year's great mysteries. Could it be that the public nurtures as much interest in the actual governmental policies that will affect their lives as they do in following the horse race? Could substantive issues actually outweigh the latest gotcha gossip or sweeping themes like "hope" and "change," which are regularly dished out by mainstream politicians only to be gobbled up and regurgitated by the media?

At least for a growing number of people, the answer is Yes.

At a September 10 news conference in Washington, Paul announced that he would not endorse fellow Republican John McCain. Instead, he urged voters to support one of the "major" minor party or independent candidates for president.

Those candidates are Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party, former Republican Congressman Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party, former Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party, and independent candidate Ralph Nader. All four joined Congressman Paul in signing on to a bold agenda around four critical issue areas: (1) foreign policy, (2) privacy, (3) the national debt, and (4) the Federal Reserve.

Liberals Nader and McKinney agreed with the more conservative and/or libertarian Barr, Baldwin, and Paul:

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.