On Meet the Press today, David gregory started out by interviewing Ron Paul. Paul did an excellent job distinguishing himself from Gingrich and Romney. Paul made a case for consistent, principled efforts to rollback Progressive advancements, stating he's the only candidate prepared to fight for systemic changes necessary to make a difference. The political class is beginning to realize they've underestimated Paul and his influence on the primary and the party. Both Romney and Gingrich are moving closer to Paul's positions.
After Paul's interview, Gregory interviewed Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham. Both Durbin and Graham presented partisan commercials, but Graham's was more believeable. Ron Paul's influence was revealed again when, at the end of the interview, Graham pleaded with Paul to stick with the Republican Party. Paul is a power broker right now, but he's also a viable candidate who can win in Iowa and gain momentum in New Hampshire.
The round table consisted of Ted Koppel, Chuck Todd, Alex Castellanos and Lisa Myers, with the Iowa governor particpating by video. The topic, of course, was Gingrich and Romney and the debate last night. Myers and Koppel were dismissive of Gingrich's lead in the race, but Castellanos and Todd realize that the GOP base is serious about Gingrich. It's not just Gingrich, the base is looking for someone who can articulate a limited government, free market transition. The Iowa governor said that Iowans are responding to Ron Paul. The question batted around the panel was whether Gingrich has changed, and if Gingrich can maintain discipline. This led to questioning whether Romney has played it too safe. It appears the political class is beginning to understand that conventional wisdom regarding the GOP electorate is off track, and that something is going on that might confound the pundits and the polls.
An interesting exchange came at the end of the program when Koppel talked a little about an interview he had with the ambassador to Iraq. Although Obama is giving the impression that we're leaving Iraq at the end of the year, we'll still have CIA, FBI and other American personel left behind. Around 1300 of these Americans are in harms way. Koppel believes they will be attacked, and that this will pull our military back into Iraq. Ron Paul have called for total withdrawal to avoid ongoing entanglements. Once again, Paul is right.