Early Wednesday evening (before prime-time convention broadcasts), US Rep. Paul received a video tribute to his career. And in a speech a few minutes later, his son US Sen. Rand Paul let Republicans know that his father's brand of libertarianism remains a force within the party.

In comments from a range of politicians – at least one of whom confessed that at first he thought Ron Paul was "crazy – the 12-term Texas congressman was lauded as one who "never wavered, never backed down."

"I used to tell new members that they could make a difference or they could make a point," said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. "Ron Paul is the only one who's made a difference by making a point."

Read more: 'Main Attraction -- Republicans pay tribute to Ron Paul'