The Spoiler

Andrew's right: As the Libertarian Party's nominee for President, Ron Paul would be as formidable as any fringe-ish third party candidate could hope to be; depending on the general election matchup, he might be able to match Ralph Nader's 2000 influence, or even slightly exceed it. If Giuliani's the GOP nominee, Paul can woo the hard-core civil libertarians, the hard-core anti-immigration types, and the hard-core pro-lifers; if Hillary's the Democratic nominee, he can pick up some Nader voters who think she's insufficiently anti-war. As Chris Caldwell's profile makes clear, the Paul candidacy attracts more than its share of kooks and nutters, but that's no bar to him getting lots of media attention and enough votes to shake things up a bit.

Yes, he's said he won't leave the GOP, but he ran for president on the Libertarian ticket once before, so his party loyalty can't be all that strong. And as long as the internet fundraising keeps rolling in, you know an awful lot of people will be telling him to do it.