One of Paul's former colleagues in the House refused to comment about him because, he said, he could think of nothing positive. Rep. Michael A. Andrews, a Texas Democrat whom Paul defeated for the House seat in 1980, was more complimentary, if in a somewhat oblique manner.
"He is uncompromising and unrelenting in his views," Andrews said. "He is also very sincere in those views."
Paul's Republican political career ended in 1984, when he abandoned his by-then safe House seat to run for the U.S. Senate--only to lose in the Republican primary.
Although he was once an ardent supporter of President Reagan, Paul now speaks of him as a traitor leading the country into debt and conflicts around the world.
'Disgust With Politicians'
"The American people have never reached this point of disgust with politicians before," he said on an airplane headed for his next campaign stop. "I want to totally disassociate myself from the Reagan Administration."
When Paul flew into the Seattle airport, there were three supporters and one reporter to meet him. From there, it was on to a talk show and then the University of Washington, where a handful of students came to hear him. Paul seemed not to notice the crowd's sparseness but began talking as if he were addressing a packed house. He would keep it up, he said, until the November election, hoping that people would begin to listen.
"We have to prove that we merit the publicity," he said.