Ron Paul, le roi du Web



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Décidément, le républicain Ron Paul, le marginal, le microscopique candidat libertarien à la désignation républicaine pour les présidentielles, celui qui donne pourtant des leçons de “lecture pour l’été” à Giuliani, ne cesse d’affirmer un succès extraordinaire sur le Web. Il a, ce 16 juin, les honneurs du Washington Post. Le grand quotidien MSM de la capitale consacre un article à ce succès étonnant, qui se poursuit avec insistance sur le Web. “Curieusement”, notent les “stratèges républicains”, ce succès ne se répercutent pas dans les sondages du parti, — au contraire, par exemple, du succès d’Obama chez les démocrates. (A noter qu’Obama est un candidat très “dans la ligne du parti” pour ce qui concerne la sécurité nationale, ce qui n’est évidemment pas le cas de Ron Paul.)

Quoi qu’il en soit, ce succès persistant de Ron Paul oblige les grands médias “dans la ligne du parti” à s’en faire l’écho.

«On Technorati, which offers a real-time glimpse of the blogosphere, the most frequently searched term this week was “YouTube.”

»Then comes “Ron Paul.”

»The presence of the obscure Republican congressman from Texas on a list that includes terms such as “Sopranos,” “Paris Hilton” and “iPhone” is a sign of the online buzz building around the long-shot Republican presidential hopeful — even as mainstream political pundits have written him off.

»Rep. Ron Paul is more popular on Facebook than Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). He's got more friends on MySpace than former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. His MeetUp groups, with 11,924 members in 279 cities, are the biggest in the Republican field. And his official YouTube videos, including clips of his three debate appearances, have been viewed nearly 1.1 million times — more than those of any other candidate, Republican or Democrat, except Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

»No one's more surprised at this robust Web presence than Paul himself, a self-described “old-school,” “pen-and-paper guy” who's serving his 10th congressional term and was the Libertarian Party's nominee for president in 1988.

»“To tell you the truth, I hadn't heard about this YouTube and all the other Internet sites until supporters started gathering in them,” confessed Paul, 71, who said that he's raised about $100,000 after each of the three debates. Not bad considering that his campaign had less than $10,000 when his exploratory committee was formed in mid-February. “I tell you I've never raised money as efficiently as that, in all my years in Congress, and all I'm doing is speaking my mind.”

»That means saying again and again that the Republican Party, especially when it comes to government spending and foreign policy, is in “shambles.”

»But while many Democrats have welcomed the young and fresh-faced Obama, who's trailing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in most public opinion polls, Paul is barely making a dent in the Republican polls.

»Republican strategists point out that libertarians, who make up a small but vocal portion of the Republican base, intrinsically gravitate toward the Web's anything-goes, leave-me-alone nature. They also say that his Web presence proves that the Internet can be a great equalizer in the race, giving a much-needed boost to a fringe candidate with little money and only a shadow of the campaign staffs marshaled by Romney, McCain and former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.»

Mis en ligne le 17 juin 2007 à 19H41