Second-tier presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) pulled off a first-rate fundraising coup, netting $4.3 million in online contributions from 38,000 donors in a single day, bringing his total haul to $7.3 million in 4Q 2007. No other Republican comes close to Paul’s 24-hour feat, but Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has him beat at $6.2 million. 

Paul supporters flashed their cash in honor of Guy Fawkes Day, which commemorates the would-be assassin of England’s King James I on Nov. 5, 1605. Guy Fawkes was also the inspiration the novel-turned-movie “V for Vendetta,” in which the lead character takes on a fascist government in England. In several GOP presidential debates, the libertarian Paul has all-but called George W. Bush a fascist – taking issue with the Administration’s policies on domestic spying, for instance.

So does this mean Paul has a shot at the nomination? In a word: Nah. The Stiletto agrees with WaPo political blogger Chris Cillizza’s: take: 

Paul was widely seen as a political gadlfy when he entered the race, but through skill, luck or a little of both he has built himself into an Internet phenomenon. …

It’s not yet clear that Paul’s online national community can deliver actual votes for him. … While Paul is at the center of a national movement, it won’t help him in Iowa or New Hampshire if thousands of people from California or Illinois are backing him. …

There has always been a pot of money that exists for unconventional candidates who believe the system is fundamentally broken and are only tangentially affiliated with a party. …

[H]is money and his message make him a actor in New Hampshire … he remains a decided longshot … the excitement and attention he is drawing would seem to be a perfect lead up to a third party candidacy if and when he loses the Republican nomination. 

The Houston Chronicle reports that Jonathan Bydlak, the Paul campaign’s fundraising director posted a message on the candidate’s Web site that the ka-ching means just one thing: “Ron Paul is for real.” Maybe. But it appears his supporters are real (second item).

Note: The Stiletto writes about politics and other stuff at The Stiletto Blog.

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