Now Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty are parroting Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) in criticizing the Federal Reserve Board while Mitt Romney and a growing number of congressional Republicans are beginning to sound like traces of Ron Paul regarding Afghanistan.

There is bobbing and weaving among the Republicans about these matters, and there is hemming and hawing compared to Dr. Paul's clarity about these matters. However, make no mistake about the fact that Ron Paul is now exerting a huge degree of influence on the positions of Republican candidates for president and Republicans in Congress on both economic and foreign policy.

I suspect in the end this might not be good for Republicans in 2012, but my point is not to agree, or disagree, with the content of Paul's positions on issues. I am merely pointing out that his influence on the national debate is significant and growing, and in this sense, he is already a winner in the 2012 campaign.

It's ironic. I know many small donors to the Obama campaign in 2008 who wish they had gotten as much bang for their small donations in the policies from Obama, as small donors to Paul must realize they are receiving from their small donations to him.

Whether I agree with Dr. Paul or not, and whether his supporters agree with my columns or not, I do my best to call them as I see them. When the final books are written about the history of the 2012 campaign, I believe that the gentleman from Texas will be placed somewhere on the list of winners, for reasons stated here.