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Ron Paul's Tea Party Pulls in the Green

Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas) supporters have set another fundraising record sparked by impressive online donations. This time they beat out John Kerry's one-day take of $5.7 million in 2004 with a record $6.026 million on Sunday.

This is the second special fundraiser spurred by Paul's grass-roots supporters without the help of the campaign. The first took place Nov. 5 (Guy Fawkes Day). Sunday's event honored the Boston Tea Party, which happened Dec. 16, 1773. Paul supporters in Boston staged a re-enactment of the event.

According to the Ron Paul 2008 Web site , the campaign has already crushed its fourth-quarter goal of $12 million by raising a whopping $18.2 million. Paul may be able to out-raise all of the other candidates in both parties this quarter. The leader last quarter was Sen. Hillary Clinton (D., N.Y.) with $21 million.

This fundraising -- or, as the Paul supporters like to call it, the Paul money bomb -- will keep the Texan in the race. I predicted six months ago that Paul would leave a large impression on this race.

The harshest criticism of Ron Paul has at times come from the other Republican candidates, who assail him for not supporting the war in Iraq and for his foreign policy, which they call isolationist.

Paul has accomplished a couple of positives for the Republicans, however. He has returned the focus to small government, which has been a problem for the GOP. President Bush has been termed a "big government conservative" by some detractors. Moreover, Paul has attracted the support of some Democrats and many independents. His Web site even lists the cutoff dates to switch parties in order to vote for Paul in closed primaries.

Whether you love or hate Ron Paul, he will be in the race through the end of the primary season. It bears noting that he has ruled out an independent run for the presidency.

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