Gilford, New Hampshire (CNN) - The big draw at the New Hampshire Sheriff's Golf Tournament luncheon were the prizes, including a car, a variety of athletic wear and golf equipment.
Diners representing all 10 of the state’s sheriffs' departments dressed in polo shirts and shorts hoarded piles of little red tickets for an upcoming raffle and jumped up to collect their spoils as an announcer called out winners in that morning's golf tournament.
Into the mix walked presidential candidate Ron Paul, the congressman from Texas, to deliver the keynote address.
While attendees filled their plates with barbecue and made announcements about the ice cream table, Paul shook hands with several enthusiastic supporters and posed for pictures with children.
After a brief introduction, Paul approached the podium.
"My personal beliefs are that of defending personal liberties," he told the audience. "It's your life. You ought to be able to live your life as you please. It's your money. You ought to be able to spend your money as you please."
He said he was encouraged that citizens were beginning to notice and worry about problems with the country's financial system, and briefly mentioned his opposition to government spending on some foreign wars and entitlement programs.
"We have a tremendous opportunity right now to change things to the point where we emphasize the importance of liberty rather than emphasizing, well, the government can take care of us," he said.
Then, less than 10 minutes later, Paul finished speaking and quickly walked from the podium. Several diners stood up to shake his hand.
The emcee took the stage again and thanked Paul: "Extra points for keeping it nice and short. Appreciate that, sir."
The congressman shrugged bashfully and smiled.
As he circulated around the room, two high school students approached Paul to declare their support. Kevin Koechel and Sam Broadwater, both seniors at Bedford High School, said they had been allowed to leave class to see Paul speak and were receiving service hours for attending.
"He stuck with his guns the whole time, he hasn't changed his views and he's got the experience to back it up," Koechel said of Paul.
Broadwater said he trusted the congressman's support for gun rights.
Paul signed their forms, chatted for a moment, then quietly left the country club to attend a private function in the evening.
Meanwhile the raffle continued on stage.
The last true American Patriot.
What a man. I really hope America wakes up and realizes that Ron Paul is the best hope for the future of our great nation.
The guys have money to burn while there poor worker only had had grits with fatback. Said enough.
Good piece. I would enjoy if CNN prepared more pieces of this nature in regards to Ron Paul.
Meeting him today was such a privilege! After meeting him and hearing him speak, I am more assured in my vote for Ron Paul!
a good man ... a humble man
Unlike so many of the other Republican Candidates, I actually trust Ron Paul to do what he says.
Which is why I 100% wouldn't vote for him.
Each time I see him I think (the gangs all here – back to the 50's).
I am going to say this slow. R O N P A U L W I L L N E V E R B E C O M E P R E S I D E N T. I know its hard for some to comprehend but its the truth. He could never function in the world we live in today mainly because he's too unrealistic, too impractical and too old. Times have changed and they are NOT changing back. He speaks of government and life as if referring to some kind of puzzle – where all the pieces "should" automatically fit. Not so. He's a phantom for people who want to believe (in something). The trouble is phantoms disappear and so will he. Maybe this time his supporters will get the message.
Ron Paul keeps trying but he is never going to win in this lifetime.
Ron Paul: simple answers like ""It's your life. You ought to be able to live your life as you please. It's your money. You ought to be able to spend your money as you please." to complex socio-economic problems are not signs of genius or humility but rather ignorance and folksy arrogance. He's not a candidate for Boy/Girl Scout Troop Master but rather President of the US. Another example, like Palin, Perry or Bachmann of the dumbing down of the American electorate.
CNN I appreciate this piece on Ron Paul.
For Paul to get elected, he`d have to prove he won`t be co-opted by the corporate interests or the right-wing, theocracists.
Unfortunately America doesn`t have that much trust in politicians – especially a Libertarian posing as a Republican.
Ron Paul is like the crazy uncle you keep locked up in the attic. Sometimes he makes perfect sense but you never know when he will go "off the reservation".
President Obama should find a place for Paul on his "Team of Rivals". That way as long as he contrivutes America can benefit but if he strays the Prez can fire him. If you gave Ron Paul a mandate to reduce regulations but kept him on a short leash, the country might benefit.
I look forward to seeing Ron Paul's campaign evolve. Much respect. An honest candidate for freedom and sound money. Peace.
A class act: deliver the goods promised and move on so they can enjoy their outing.
I enjoyed reading this. I would like it of cnn did more pieces like this on Ron Paul and i also love the fact that cnn is giving Ron Paul media coverage. Thank You.
CNN, the public deserves more stories on Ron Paul. Period.
Tea baggers, libertarians, republicans,and right wingnuts only prove that God has a sense of humor.
It's time for Ron Paul to stop talking about what's wrong, he's sounding like a broken record, it's time for him to put some real job creation on the table. JOBS, until then, STFU.
I wish I had a video of the event to see and hear the sounds of chairs being pulled in and out in the background and people of voting age actually talking to each other over their BBQ about their approach shot on # 17 even while RP shuffled his feet and timidly spoke into the microphone that whined with feedback as the two naive boyscout pre-voters in the back itched to get his autograph so they could justify skipping class and get home to read their comics. How will CNN spin it when he actually wins the NH straw poll? Can't wait to see that piece. Of... course that won't happen will it?