Ron Paul, “The One”?

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On the heels of his second-place finish in the Ames straw poll, Ron Paul is up in Iowa and New Hampshire with a new ad that casts the Texas Representative as a lone crusader in a “lost city.” According to Politico’s James Hohmann, who first reported it, the 65-second spot is a six-figure buy. It comes as Paul’s solid finish in Ames, where the campaign invested heavily, has been largely drowned out by the hullabaloo over fellow Texan Rick Perry’s entrance in the GOP presidential race.

For a candidate whose appeal stems partly from his unvarnished packaging, the ad is pretty slick, a faux movie trailer that intersperses shots of gathering clouds and a desolate storefront with images of “smooth-talking politicians” from both parties — not just Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, but Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. Paul, by contrast, is presented as a small-government messiah, “the one who will stop the spending, save the dollar, create jobs, bring peace — the one who will restore liberty.”

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