Josh Green has a long profile of Ron Paul in the new Atlantic. He calls Paul the Tea Party's brain:
Paul says he hasn’t decided whether he’ll run for president again. But it’s hard to believe he won’t. He has emerged as a force at the kind of insider events that once ignored him. After winning the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, he came within a single vote of repeating the feat two months later at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. In June, he traveled to Iowa to raise money for local politicians, which is what you do when you’re thinking about running for president. He was greeted with PRESIDENT RON PAUL 2012 signs.
It does not seem at all far-fetched to think that Paul could have a much greater impact on the race than last time.
The Republican primaries are sure to be about economic and size-of-government issues. The subject that hurt him last time, foreign policy, will probably take a backseat. Paul will not lack for resources, thanks to his legion of online donors. Reagan, the Republican hero, once endorsed him. And the party’s energy right now is at the grass roots, which also bodes well for him. If his economic message connects in Iowa and New Hampshirewell, who can say?
I just don't buy the idea that the Tea Party isn't Christianism in faux-fiscal drag. Paul is the real thing - and he won't stop being the anti-Palin and anti-Romney on foreign policy. But I sure hope Josh is right. I know Paul is a bit of a crank, and some rather seedy associates in the past, but he has conviction and integrity, which must count for something, no?