Video of the week: Who is Ron Paul, and why is he the most viewed presidential candidate on YouTube?

June 22, 2007

Rep. Ron Paul from Texas is a libertarian and a Republican presidential candidate. He voted against the authorization for the Iraq war. Surprisingly, Ron Paul appears to be the most viewed candidate on YouTube, with his videos often generating several hundred thousand views.

I haven’t done the math, but, after a quick eyeballing of stats, I think Ron Paul’s average viewership per video makes him the No.1 Most Viewed candidate. Better than Rudy Giuliani, better than John McCain, better than Hillary Clinton, better than Barack Obama, better than John Edwards. (Sure, it’s possible a handful of people could inflate the number of views on YouTube, but I have no reason to believe that’s what’s happening here. He has the most subscribers, 17,564.)

OK, popular videos on the Internet don’t necessarily mean votes (think of Ned Lamont or Snakes on a Plane), but if this guy had the political machinery and money behind him, who knows what kind of noise he would make on the Republican side. Ron Paul got a lot of national attention after he went toe-to-toe with Rudy Giuliani, who took umbrage at Paul’s suggestion that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East had played a part in making the terrorists hate America before 9/11. Giuliani characterized Paul’s comment as saying that American policy invited the terrorist attack on 9/11. Paul did not back down to Giuliani’s interruption, though, and reiterated his point about interventionist foreign policy abroad creating blowback against America. After the debate, Paul even gave Giuliani a reading assignment to read the 9/11 Commission Report, Blowback, Imperial Hubris, and other foreign policy books. The exchange is on the video above.

[Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of any kind.]