Most experts have written off Ron Paul's chances of getting the Republican nomination, but the steady libertarian candidate is "definitely having a moment," writes Gail Collins in the New York Times. Frank and up-front about his beliefs, Paul rarely dodges questions, even about hot-button subjects. "Paul is the only person running for president in either party who seems determined to be consistent, come hell or high water."
Collins respects Paul's willingness to tackle his own party's position and power brokers—he called Dick Cheney a "chicken-hawk" in one of his books. "Really, you can’t totally dislike the guy," she writes. But despite Paul's strength in the polls, Collins, too, concludes that he's too far from the GOP mainstream to get its nomination, as he opposes the Patriot Act, the war on terror, the war on drugs, the death penalty, the CIA, marriage licenses, and more. "Basically, Paul seems to want to revert to the 18th century, when every bank could set its own monetary policy and every community ran its own schools," she writes.