The race to become the next Republican presidential candidate in the United States has so far not lacked for colour. From Rick Perry's gaffes to Michelle Bachman's questionable statements to, well, Herman Cain's gaffes, the G.O.P.'s selection process has been filled with drama, scandal and completely bizarre moments.
All of which makes it tough for an average Republican anti-government activist like Ron Paul to stand out in the crowd. The Texas congressman made headlines in September when he was caught up in controversy over whether Americans without health insurance might be left to die, but that was small potatoes compared to the increasingly outlandish quotes made by Perry, Bachmann, Cain et al.
What's a libertarian to do? In the view of some Paul supporters, it's time to add a bit of sexiness to the septuagenarian's campaign. That's part of the idea behind Pin-Ups For Ron Paul 2012, a calendar featuring scantily clad women posing amid inspiring quotes from the candidate and symbols of the libertarian, anti-government philosophy.
Juliet Annerino, a personal trainer and musician from Los Angeles - and the calendar's Miss July - told the U.S. website Politico she wanted to find a way to draw more attention to the Paul campaign, and hit upon the seemingly obvious idea of combining the candidate's political platform with pictures of beautiful women. "It's a chance to see a pretty girl while also reading an educational and inspirational quote from Ron Paul," she said.
The calendar, however, is not officially affiliated with the campaign. It can be purchased from the Pinups 4 Ron Paul website, but the site makes no mention of raising funds for the Ron Paul campaign itself. Coincidentally or not, there are some indications that Paul is on the rise, with polls showing he has a chance to win in states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.
Are American Republicans starting to take a second look at the Texas congressman's policies - or just at some of his more scantily clad supporters?