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16 Jan, 2008 06:51

U.S. no longer values freedom?

Mitt Romney has won the Michigan Republican primary, beating rival John McCain. It’s a pivotal win in his home state. Meanwhile, another scandal around Republican candidate Ron Paul is gaining momentum.

In his victory speech, Romney said the win marked the beginning of a comeback.

Romney desperately needed a victory in the economically ailing Midwest to keep his White House hopes alive. 

He had finished second in the first two contests of the Republican race. Supporters hope this home win will re-invigorate his campaign.

The competition for the Republican nomination remains wide open; three different candidates have won the first three significant contests as the race moves on to Nevada.   

But there's a candidate who feels cheated. Ron Paul received zero votes in one New Hampshire county, but people came forward claiming they cast their vote for him. Human error was admitted in the count. But still the politician sees himself left out of campaigning.

The lack of media coverage has turned Ron Paul into the ghost candidate in this race for the White House. And one can't help but wonder why the Texas Congressman doesn't get much air-time, despite all the hype?

Ron Paul has been a lot more successful at raising money than anyone could have expected.

On December 16, Paul's campaign raised more than $US 6 MLN in a single day. In the Iowa caucus he defeated Republican heavyweight and former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Many say the problem might be in his message.

“He is, for one thing, a libertarian. He doesn't believe in much government. So it's very hard to be the president of the U.S. and be against the government taking any action,” says Stephen Hess of Brookings Institution.

But his supporters say it's not that Paul is not presidential material but that the American system no longer values freedom as much as it used to.

“By and large our culture is looking for solutions from Washington, and they should be looking for solutions at themselves, their communities and states,” notes Kent Snyder, Ron Paul 2008 Presidential Campaign Committee chairman.

This presidential race has been all about change whether that means the Obama version of it -changing the status quo – or Hillary's version – hammering in not the promise for change but its delivery.

But when it comes to change in its most radical form, the mainstream media may be making too rash of a judgment by claiming that's not what people want.