When the completely hilarious rumor first popped up in January that Ron Paul was refraining from attacking Mitt Romney so that he would choose his son to be his vice president, we actually had too much respect for the intelligence of the Pauls to believe it.
But the most recent story by TIME shows that giant egos do have a tendency to get in the way of rational decision making:
The Texas Representative might also be enticed, says campaign chairman Jesse Benton, by the prospect of serving as a presidential adviser, a Cabinet position for someone in his orbit or “perhaps a vice presidency.”
Not for himself, but rather his son. Rand Paul, the junior senator from Kentucky and a Tea Party icon, is expected to launch his own White House bid in 2016. Being on the ticket now – or even being mentioned for it – would be a helpful step. Says one Paul adviser: “If you’re talking about putting Rand on the ticket, of course that would be worth delivering our people to Romney.”
Romney is unlikely to go for that. At the same time, Paul’s backers recognize that selling supporters on an alliance with Romney carries special risks, since Paul’s bond with his backers is predicted on his record of principled stands. A pact would have to be done “very cautiously,” says Benton. “We wouldn’t ask our people to do that if we worried they were just being coopted or that we were in some way selling out.”
But it may soon be time for Paul’s army to decide if it wants to win or lose in the fall. “There’s clearly something going on between the two of them, and that’s a very good thing,” says David Adams, a Kentucky Tea Party strategist who helmed Rand Paul’s Senate primary campaign. “The main goal is stopping this lurch to the left. Mitt Romney and Ron Paul can go a long way toward healing what ails our nation.”
Yes, Mitt Romney’s people have been able to convince the Pauls that there is even the slimmest chance that they will forgo a VP choice that will help them win and instead choose Rand Paul. They truly, on-the-record, believe that.
And in the meantime, Ron Paul has dutifully refrained from attacking Romney, and has spent a good deal of time and money attacking Gingrich and Santorum, whichever one seems to be more dangerous to Romney at the time.
As for the Liberty father-son duo, if I were you I wouldn’t put everything into that kick.