The Deal Between Romney and Paul?
It is becoming increasingly obvious that an alliance has formed between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. This alliance probably has been in effect for several months, but only now has it become blatantly obvious. Paul has viciously bombarded virtually the entire Republican field via attack ads with one exception: Mitt Romney. Instead, Paul focuses like a laser on any conservative alternative who moves up the ladder.
At first, I believed this was merely a strategy to politically assassinate the Romney alternative so that Paul himself could fill the void; however, I am thinking there is much more going on behind the scenes than initially meets the eye. Here's my theory (and it's just that -- a theory): Mitt Romney has informed Ron Paul that he will be selecting his son, Rand Paul, as his VP should he become the nominee.
But wait, you say -- Romney is a politician's politician: he will say and do just about anything to get elected. He's flip-flopped on every major issue, accused his opponents of such outlandish things as supporting China's one-child policy, and managed to tick-off and isolate virtually all of his former competitors via his well-coordinated political Death Star smear machine (see Giuliani, Thompson). How, therefore, could Ron Paul trust Romney on this speculative promise?
Easy: Ron Paul has taken out an insurance policy. Mitt Romney has guaranteed Paul Senior that Paul Junior will be his nominee because he knows that if he stabs the Pauls in the back, Ron will simply run third party and torpedo any chance Mitt may have at the White House. This way, Ron is guaranteed that Mitt won't back down from his promise, and Mitt is guaranteed Ron won't spin-off and run as an independent. It also gives Ron the only thing he ever really wanted: influence in the party.
Several people--including the Santorum campaign--have suggested that Mitt may have made a deal to make Ron his running mate. There's about a snowball's chance in hell that this will happen. Let's face it: these two men are polar opposites when it comes to policy and their overall worldview. Should Ron Paul sign on with the establishment's favorite candidate, he will have eliminated his currently impenetrable perception of authenticity among his base of supporters.
Plus, let's be honest, Ron Paul hasn't been vetted by the mainstream media. If he were on the ticket, the media would have a field day digging up all his past writings and associations. Hell, the guy warned of a "coming race war" and suggested that the Oklahoma City bombing was an "inside job." Not to mention the support he's garnered from individuals such as white separatist David Duke, a man Ron praised back in 1990.
The Paulites can complain all they want about how his old newsletters are just a conspiracy (like everything) against their candidate, but let's face it: if stories like these were plastered on every news network in America throughout the entire month of October, the campaign would be toast. And they both know it. Ron knows that he doesn't have a legitimate shot at the White House, and Mitt's intelligent enough to understand that placing Ron on the bottom of the ticket would be political suicide.
Enter Rand. The admission by Rand that "it would be an honor to be considered" as Romney's veep is a bizarre thing to say considering he's currently campaigning for his father, who is supposedly running against the man.
The junior Paul already is a rising star among Tea Party activists and shares most of the same libertarian-leaning principles of his father. Rand doesn't have his father's baggage and is a young and articulate spokesman for limited government. He walks the line between conservatism and libertarianism -- often bridging the two philosophies -- and is viewed as the more pragmatic and levelheaded of the Pauls by people like, well, me.
This alliance would essentially kill three birds with one stone and guarantee Republican content in November. First, it would give the "establishment" beltway types their guy, pleasing the old bulls in the party and the Karl Roves and Ann Coulters of the world. Second, those conservatives reluctant to support a wishy-washy mush candidate like Mitt, who has thus far successfully managed to divide the party with his bombardment of character assassination attacks on "fellow" limited-government office seekers, will hold their noses and vote for the guy if a "true conservative" like Rand were also on the ticket. Conservatives will believe (wishfully) that Rand will hold Mitt's feet to the fire when it comes to policy implementation. They will also see this as an opportunity to have a Tea Party member in a position of significant power and influence, a potential launching pad for Rand's young political career should he pursue the office himself one day.
Lastly, with Rand on the ticket, Ron now has cover to support Mitt -- a candidate almost diametrically opposite him -- due to his son (a much more moderate libertarian conservative). This brings over not just the Ron Paulites (who, caught up in a cult-like swirl, would never support anybody but Paul or his son no matter who was running) but also independent-minded libertarian voters. I could foresee libertarian publications endorsing the ticket, claiming that their philosophy is on the rise, and with the younger Paul only one step below the presidency.
With moderate Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians united behind a Romney-Paul ticket, the party should have no trouble launching a legitimate shot at the White House come November.