For some of the GOP contenders, Ron Paul remains the candidate to beat. In Iowa, polls show Ron Paul only 2 - 3 percentage points behind Mitt Romney with Rick Santorum besting Newt Gingrich for third.
And while the GOP party overall feels a Ron Paul GOP nomination is impossible, Ron Paul's supporters and his base are steady, organized, driven and backed by celebrities who are idolized for their ideas on American freedom and independence. Many celebrity supporters of Ron Paul, from "Fear Factor" host Joe Rogan to pop stars Kelly Clarkson and Michelle Branch are taking the heat because they support or endorse Ron Paul as a presidential contender for the GOP nomination.
Last night, after Kelly Clarkson tweeted she supports Ron Paul over all of the other GOP contenders, Clarkson described a flurry of hateful responses to her tweet. In the end, Clarkson said her eyes have been awakened to the hate in people. But she also told the haters that she doesn't think hostile, angry and hateful ad hominem responses are not an ideal way to forge constructive conversation or get the other side to sway or alter their opinions.
Clarkson said: "Man my eyes have been opened to so much hate tonight. If y'all ever disagree with something I say please don't feel the need to attack me. I will listen to what you say and any articles or viewpoints you have when you say it with respect. Being hateful is not a healthy way to get people to see or hear you. I was raised to respect people and their decisions and beliefs and I hope you will grant me the same decency. If you don't agree with me simply unfollow me. It's really that easy. I hope you don't because I would love the chance to hear what you have to say but if you're so blinded by hate you can't seek peace and progress then that is your unfortunate prerogative."
Clarkson received almost two hundred comments in support of her plea for the haters to calm down. Both she and Michelle Branch apologized for offending people who do not like Paul as a candidate. The anger and fury hailed down on Branch when she agreed with Clarkson's tweet in support of Ron Paul.
Michelle Branch tweeted in the middle of the melee: "Hmm. Didn't mean to offend. I am not racist and am absolutely not a homophobe. Just trying to weed through the non-impressive choices!"
Over a week ago, the newsletter scandal from the 1990s was predicted to shake Ron Paul's campaign. But so far, almost two weeks into the scandal, the opposite has been true. Paul's lead in the caucuses has steadily risen.
Ron Paul's celebrity endorsements include Sarah Palin, Joe Rogan, Vince Vaughn, Michelle Bachmann, Juan Williams, Jim Rogers, Glenn Beck, Willie Nelson, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Penn Gillette, Wrestler "Kane" (Glen Jacobs), Fox News contributer Judge Andrew Napolitano, ABC's John Stossel, John Mayer, CNN's Jack Cafferty, Jesse Ventura, Howard Stern, Dennis Kucinch, David Letterman, Chuck Norris, Bill Maher, Barry Manilow and Barry Goldwater Jr.
With five days left until the Iowa Caucuses in a GOP race that has, thus far been unpredictable in its candidates' leads and slides, the eye is on Ron Paul. The National Journal today called Paul the "Charlie Brown" of the GOP noting that the other GOP contenders are suddenly "picking on" Ron Paul.
Unlike other candidates in office and unlike other politicians in Congress, Ron Paul has a reputation as being an aloof politician. Many have criticized him for the few bills he's actually garnered enough support to pass. Analysts have suggested Paul's inability or refusal to forge strategic alliances in Congress may be responsible for the few bills Paul's successfully pushed through Congress.
However, Ron Paul's independence signifies independent thinking for many of his supporters. Moreover, Paul represents for many in the GOP, the starkest contrast to President Obama, thus the most viable candidate in the general election.
Although people many are disappointed with the current pool of GOP presidential contenders, the GOP race is at least lukewarm with the buzz created by and around Ron Paul and his supporters.