This article is from the archive of our partner .

Ron Paul's army of college kids went through boot camp outside Des Moines where they were drilled on how not not scare Iowans either IRL or on Twitter. The New York Times' Richard A. Oppel Jr. reports that just like in a real military, enlistees in the Paul army must shave, cover their tattoos, and abstain from drinking, drugs, and "fraternizing." No tweeting. Only an inoffensive biz-cas uniform will do. 

Presumably the ban covers even on-message tattoos like this:
(Photo via Reuters.)
There's also a code of silence. Oppel reports that the Paul army is skeptical of the press:
Much of their efforts have been cloaked in secrecy: They said that once they arrive at the camp they are under orders not to speak to journalists or make postings on social media sites about their activities in Iowa, a provocative limitation for a movement lubricated by the effective use of the Internet. A half-dozen Paul aides declined to comment or allow a visit to volunteers. “We’re keeping our cards close to our vests,” said Jesse Benton, the national campaign chairman.
The campaign is following Howard Dean's example in 2004 by deploying hundreds of youngsters to help get Paul's voters to the caucuses next week -- minus the part where they scared the old people with their weird young person haircuts. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to