According to a message on his blog, it seems that Ron Paul has decided to bow out of the race and rules out a third party candidacy. Here is the message:
Whoa! What a year this has been. And what achievements we have had. If I may quote Trotsky of all people, this Revolution is permanent. It will not end at the Republican convention. It will not end in November. It will not end until we have won the great battle on which we have embarked. Not because of me, but because of you. Millions of Americans — and friends in many other countries — have dedicated themselves to the principles of liberty: to free enterprise, limited government, sound money, no income tax, and peace. We will not falter so long as there is one restriction on our persons, our property, our civil liberties. How much I owe you. I can never possibly repay your generous donations, hard work, whole-hearted dedication and love of freedom. How blessed I am to be associated with you. Carol, of course, sends her love as well.
Let me tell you my thoughts. With Romney gone, the chances of a brokered convention are nearly zero. But that does not affect my determination to fight on, in every caucus and primary remaining, and at the convention for our ideas, with just as many delegates as I can get. But with so many primaries and caucuses now over, we do not now need so big a national campaign staff, and so I am making it leaner and tighter. Of course, I am committed to fighting for our ideas within the Republican party, so there will be no third party run. I do not denigrate third parties — just the opposite, and I have long worked to remove the ballot-access restrictions on them. But I am a Republican, and I will remain a Republican.
I also have another priority. I have constituents in my home district that I must serve. I cannot and will not let them down. And I have another battle I must face here as well. If I were to lose the primary for my congressional seat, all our opponents would react with glee, and pretend it was a rejection of our ideas. I cannot and will not let that happen.
In the presidential race and the congressional race, I need your support, as always. And I have plans to continue fighting for our ideas in politics and education that I will share with you when I can, for I will need you at my side. In the meantime, onward and upward! The neocons, the warmongers, the socialists, the advocates of inflation will be hearing much from you and me.
The main reason he gives for bowing out is that he doesn’t want to lose his congressional seat for a primary that he has already lost. Its a smart move on his part. He needs to stay in the political sphere to be able to continue his message.
Just look at Mike Gravel, the democratic version of Ron Paul. He was out of the political sphere for over 25 years and spouting the liberal version of Ron Paul’s shtick yet Gravel didn’t catch on like Paul did. Now, is this all due to the fact that Gravel wasn’t in the legislature? Probably not, but it could partly show that he wasn’t in touch with his constituency like Paul was. By Paul cutting his losses and opting to stay in the legislature, Paul will be able to continue his message, keep himself relevant (if “relevant” is what you want to consider him), and keep him connected to his constituency.
I’m actually somewhat sad about his departure, he has definitely been a source of entertainment for me in the debates and his supporters have also attributed to a lot of good laughs. Well, best of luck to you in your congressional race Ron Paul, and I’ll be looking forward to the next time we hear from you.
UPDATE (10:43pm ET):
Read what “The Other McCain” has to say about why Ron Paul has all of a sudden switched to campaigning for his congressional district. Its pretty funny.
UPDATE (February 12):
Well, after waiting around for three days for Paul to make his drop out official, I guess I’m going to have to say this was a false alarm. I do stand by my and several other people’s assessment that this letter could have been interpreted as Ron unofficially dropping out to focus on his Congressional race. However, for all intensive purposes, Paul seems to be officially still in the race. Sorry for any confusion my initial assessment may have caused anyone.