Q&A: Ron Paul

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In his 12 terms in Congress, Ron Paul has waged many lonely crusades. Before he was a Tea Party standard bearer and a master of the online money bomb, the man known as “Dr. No” was a libertarian icon who regularly bucked his party’s budgets and preached isolationism* against military intervention when his peers were girding for war. But while he’s nurtured a devoted band of supporters, the Texas Republican has been a non-factor in his two prior bids for the White House. Paul is hoping his third bid for the presidency will be different. With the rise of the Tea Party, the center of gravity of the Republican base has shifted toward Paul, particularly on foreign policy. And while the political punditry has again written him off, his supporters believe Paul has the fund-raising might and grassroots army to make a credible challenge for the nomination in 2012.