Ron Paul will hold a free rally for thousands of his supporters at the University of South Florida Sun Dome, in Tampa, one the day before the August 27 Republican National Convention.
On August 26, a “noontime rally” will open its doors to Ron Paul supporters at 11 a.m. The event, held at The Sun Dome, which seats a little over 10,000 people, is free and the organizers are expecting a robust crowd of delegates and supporters from across the country.
According to organizers, the Sun Dome noontime rally will have “a good speaker line up” – including Ron Paul – as well as music and other events. They expect to rally both Ron Paul’s delegates and supporters in preparation to the convention.
The Sun Dome noontime rally would be followed by two additional events in which Ron Paul supporters will celebrate both his campaign and legacy. Paul Festival 2012 is still being planned for the Florida State Fairgrounds – east of Tampa. The second event, “Freedom Festival 2012,” is also being planned to take place in Polk County. Both festivals would take place between August 24 and 26.
Paul is also expected to attend the Republican National Convention, though the exact date and speaking slot haven’t been confirmed. Given that the order in which speakers are presented during the convention usually determines the figures’ clout within the party, there is likely to be some drama this year as both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich will try to steal some of the spotlight from Paul.
In the meantime, Paul’s aides are downplaying any expectations by indicating that the libertarian candidate’s appearance is just to "mingle with delegates and supporters.” They also said that, though a potential speaking slot for Paul is not the "be-all and end-all” he would welcome the opportunity, if offered.
The question is, will the establishment offer it; and will Paul be blasted by his supporters if they perceive the move as some sort of betrayal?