The Washington Independent deems Ron Paul the #1 conservative in 2009. Citing his unpopular beliefs and persistance, the Independent notes:
At the close of 2009, Paul seems less like an outsider and more like a pioneer. For the first time in his congressional career, he got every Republican colleague on board with a piece of legislation: HR 1207, an attempt to “audit” the Federal Reserve’s activity. His rhetoric and some of his imagery (like Revolutionary War re-enactment) have been copied wholesale by the Tea Party movement. The beliefs held by Paul that were once considered out of the mainstream — a collapsing dollar, obsession with the Fed, an encroaching North American Union, gold as the only safe investment — are now de regueur for Republican candidates. What presidential loser has had more of an impact on the party that rejected him?