Thursday, December 29, 2011

Marching Orders for Paul’s Iowa Volunteers

Four years after young people flocked to the state to help propel the campaign of Barack Obama, this radically different movement is embracing a 76-year-old veteran Texas congressman who is drawing supporters for his libertarian and antiwar views.

And they say they are under strict orders: To look, dress, shave, sound and behave in a way that will not jeopardize Mr. Paul’s chances. Even before flying here on their own nickel, some students said they had been instructed to cover up tattoos and told that their faces should be fresh-shaved or beards neatly trimmed, wearing only nice clothes that one described as “business casual.”

“No tats,” another volunteer, Rocco Lucente, said as he ticked off the rules after arriving at the airport Tuesday night. No liquor, no drugs and, he said, no “fraternizing in the dorms, nothing like that.”

He said the standard expected of volunteers was: “What would Ron Paul do?”


Much of their efforts have been cloaked in secrecy: They said that once they arrive at the camp they are under orders not to speak to journalists or make postings on social media sites about their activities in Iowa, a provocative limitation for a movement lubricated by the effective use of the Internet. A half-dozen Paul aides declined to comment or allow a visit to volunteers. “We’re keeping our cards close to our vests,” said Jesse Benton, the national campaign chairman.

(c/o The New York Times Online)

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