Why is it that the obscure and hyperventilated Ron Paul can raise $4 million in a day, but the most likely guys to win the nomination - Mitt and Rudy - can't? Plus, Mitt's spending a beejesus to get funds raised; Ron Paul spends nothing. I'm sure that the businessman in Mitt has respect for the efficiency of Ron's money machine.
I looked over Ron's ideas and plans, believing that therein lie the core of his attraction to folks.
That's part of it.
How did Ron outraise Mitt and Rudy in a day and spend nothing to do it? Why did it work?
In other words, what are they doing wrong?
Mitt's web site is easy to find; it's his name - mittromney.com. That shows some vision.
Rudy's? Not so much. It's the unintuitive joinrudy2008.com. The simpler rudy08.com is taken by someone hoping to make a buck off it, and Rudy's too cheap to buy it.
Once you get to either site, you can browse their issues and plans like I did .
Mitt's issues are here.
At a glance, what do you learn about the governor? Not much. Now, you can click into each issue and learn more, but holy smokes is it hard to find the bullet points version.
Rudy's issues are here.
I really don't like videos that automatically start playing when I visit a site. Rudy's issues page does that. It's annoying.
And while he has more text on his issues and plans than Mitt, it's all basically a recap of his time as mayor of New York City. He's gotten criticism for doing that in debates, and he's backed off that tactic. His web site, unfortunately, carries it on. But maybe that doesn't matter because maybe nobody's visiting his web site...
Ron Paul's web site does a good job of listing out his issues and plans.
And if I click on the link to learn more, I get a concise explanation of his position and his plan. In a brief 30 minutes, I know the guy.
With Mitt, I need a few hours or days, and frankly, nothing is really clear. His links to learn more about each issue are nothing more than a coupe of blurbs and a video per issue. Looks pretty, but it's hollow and flat. There are links that provide more substance, but they're not intuitive and they're a thick read when you do get to them.
With Rudy, his links to learn more are mostly videos... and it's just him talking. Big deal.
As a blogger, I devoted a lot of space to Ron Paul because I could - he made it easy for me to do that. The post I did on Ron's positions - I can't do that for Rudy or Mitt. They don't make it easy for me at all.
Which makes them personality candidates, and that's a problem.
The second thing is that Ron Paul has outsourced the marketing for his campaign to a very passionate group: his supporters.
One guy created a sign that read "GOOGLE RON PAUL" and erected it to be read by a lot of New York City.
Another supporter takes off her clothes on YouTube to promote Ron Paul.
His people are as much the campaign as Dr. Paul.
"The organization of the campaign popped up spontaneously on the Internet with these meet-up groups," Paul said in a recent interview with ABC News. "It's natural that they would donate the money. So in many ways the campaign has found me as much as I have found them. It's not a top-down organization. Its sort of bottom up. All we have done at the campaign is provide the message and the message turns out to be popular."Said another way: it's not what Ron can do for them, but what they're doing through Ron. That's not true for Mitt or Rudy. Rudy's just being his prosecutorially verbal self and Mitt comes off like a 62-page corporate report fresh from Kinko's.
For the "What will you do and how will you do it?" crowd, Ron gives them an easily-digested answer.
Unless Mitt and Rudy figure out how to do some of the same, Ron might surprise them. Ron's campaign feels like his message: "We the People," a statement that is definitely true of him and his supporters.