Kevin Glass
Before the GOP 2012 Convention was gaveled into session on Tuesday, Rep. Ron Paul made a surprise appearance on the floor. His fervent supporters exploded, raining applause upon the former presidential candidate. Cheers of "Ron Paul!" and "President Paul!" followed him - as did a fairly large contingent of the media.

Paul, clad in a lei, greeted his supporters and dealt with media as he made his way across the floor. Even after the initial outburst, there were small chants of support during his appearance.

Here's Paul, possibly befuddled by the lei around his neck.

It's clear that Paul's presence looms large in the minds of many RNC attendees, and the intensity of his support has created controversy. Team Romney has mounted a campaign to change some of the RNC rules that critics allege would make it more difficult for insurgent candidates like Paul to make waves.

Rep. Ron Paul's delegates are trying to mount a floor fight over new GOP rules designed to limit the ability of insurgent presidential candidates to amass delegates to future Republican conventions.

They are getting help from other delegates, though it is unclear whether they can rally enough support to challenge the rules on the floor of the convention Tuesday.

Mitt Romney, the party's presumptive nominee, has plenty of delegates to win any floor fight. Nevertheless, party officials agreed to ease the new rules on Monday in an effort to appease some disgruntled delegates. Still, the dispute could provide an unwanted distraction for party leaders who would rather focus on promoting Romney and defeating President Barack Obama.

"It's so heavily scripted. This is not the forum in which they want to air the proverbial dirty laundry," said Juliette Jordal, a Paul delegate from Minnesota.

Paul's quick tour of the convention floor was evidence that his supporters aren't exactly the type to give up easily.


Kevin Glass

Kevin Glass is the Managing Editor of Townhall.com. Follow him on Twitter at @kevinwglass.