Ron Paul is a long distance runner.

Last year I came under the delusion that I was going to run 50 miles straight. Who knows it may still happen. Thing is there is a whole lot that goes into running that kind of distance. It’s almost like running for president.

What I didn’t understand when I decided I was going to train for such a run was the need to manage resources. Run too fast off the start and by mile 10 one will be feeling the pain one should be feeling at mile 30. Drink too little water and one’s body starts to shut down, first without one knowing it, and then once one does notice it’s too late. Food is similar. Eat too much and one’s energy is taken breaking the food down. Eat too little and one runs out of energy altogether. This is why ultra-runners work on efficiency and pacing making sure to cover the most distance in the least time while maintaining maximum energy levels.

The Republican presidential campaign to date has been defined by one pretty seasoned front runner, Mitt Romney, and a series of surges from the pack behind him. The problem with surges from the pack that are too early, or can not be maintained do to the “conditioning” of the candidate, is that once the surge has been weathered by the front runner the challenger fades back to the pack with little energy for another attack. Indeed such surges often knock candidates out of the race totally.

In my lifetime I can not remember a presidential race where this has been more true. Even before the debates Donald Trump and Sarah Palin were given near front runner status at different times only to fall by the wayside. Then once the race started in earnest Michelle Bachman was blessed and then died, then Perry, then Cain, and now Newt Gingrich. Newt actually passed Romney solidly in Iowa this week. That was before the $1.6 million from Freddie Mac was disclosed. Now Newt’s endorsement of an “individual mandate” similar to the one in Obamacare is coming under scrutiny. Oh, and Gringrich also took over 30 million dollars from the health care industry over 8 years in his lobbying efforts. The Tea Party is going to love that.

In light of these developments Newt’s surge in the polls is also unlikely to continue.

Things look pretty good for Romney at this point. He needs only to keep his current pace and he will end the race the winner.

Maybe.

In the pack there is another runner. He has run this race before. He knows the turns in the course. He knows his strengths and his weaknesses. He has plenty of provisions to run this race to the end. One way or another he will see this contest to the finish line. Ron Paul continues on as others sprint to the front and then fall out.

Unlike the others in the race seeking to reel Romney in Paul knows that the race will be a long slog and that he is unlikely to blow by Romney over the course of a week. Indeed this would not be to his advantage. Far better to let Romney run the race in the front and then wait for the right opportunity as the race nears the end.

The race organizers are not keen on Ron Paul. They have thrown obstacles at him every turn- witness the 89 seconds Paul got to speak during the last 90 minute debate. They fear him, because they know he could win. If he wins their world gets a lot less comfortable. If Paul wins things change.

Ron Paul is actually an avid runner even now at 76 and was the 1952 220 yard dash Pennsylvania state champion. Paul knows how to win a race.

Nick Sorrentino 11-20-2011