Sunday, December 11, 2011

Does a Brokered GOP Convention mean a Romney/Paul 2012 Ticket?

As so many supporters of Ron Paul, I am constantly looking for new articles, new thoughts and new insights on Dr. Paul and his candidacy. This morning I ran across an article that got me thinking: Ron Paul says Romney more “diplomatic” than Gingrich. What if Ron Paul doesn't win the nomination and decides against a third party run? Does he endorse anyone?  If Gary Johnson got the Libertarian nomination, I could see Dr. Paul backing him, but I think Ron Paul is going to keep himself very involved in the race, and I think his involvement will be above and beyond simply endorsing a third party candidate.

Before I get too far into it, let me make two things very clear:
1) I believe more strongly every day that Ron Paul does have a very real (though still unlikely) path to the Republican Nomination.  It starts with winning Iowa and following it up with a strong 2nd in New Hampshire. So please don't take what I'm going to discuss as anything more than speculation on what might happen if Dr. Paul doesn't win. I'm certainly not assuming he won't win.
2) I think that there is a very strong possibility that Ron Paul will launch a third party campaign if he does not get the GOP nomination.  And I think it is likely that he might end up being the American's Elect candidate (very interesting site/movement/organization--check it out if you're not familiar).  So what I'm about to discuss it the third most likely option for Dr. Paul.

Now that that's out of the way, I do think it is possible that Ron Paul could end up as Mitt Romney's VP.  Dr. Paul will never work with Newt Gingrich, as they have a pretty significant history with one another, and not one that bodes well for Newt if he hoped to have Ron Paul's endorsement at any point:

So, what about Mitt Romney.  Well, the article I linked above seems to indicate that Dr. Paul is far more open to Mitt Romney.  And here's the thing about Mitt: He is an inconsistent flip-flopper, but he'll flip to whichever position helps him achieve his goals.  Is he reliable? Yes and no.  You can rely on him to accept influence or advice if that influence or advice will lead to him achieving his goal.  The closer we get to the Iowa caucus, the more this GOP race looks like a three-man battle: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich.  Ron Paul may not put up the consistently high numbers in the primaries like Mitt and Newt, and won't appeal as much to the run-of-the-mill Republican, but he will perform very well in the caucuses, and he has the money and organization to stay in the race for the long haul.  I am confident that Ron Paul, even if he doesn't win the nomination or have the most delegates, will have a solid chunk of the delegates. Solid enough to prevent either Romney or Gingrich from having the necessary numbers to earn the nomination outright.

What happens then? A brokered Republican convention.  Now, my dream scenario is that Ron Paul ends up winning if we get to that point, but likely the two establishment politicians would battle it out. And the article I linked above regarding Mitt Romney, combined with Ron Paul's obvious distrust of and dislike for Newt Gingrich, makes it far more likely that Ron Paul's delegates, in a negotiated deal, go to Mitt Romney. Beyond the bad blood between Gingrich and Paul, why would Paul go with Romney? As I said, Romney is more easily swayed to change his positions.  And any brokered deal between Romney and Paul would have to include Paul having a huge say in the Republican platform decided at the convention.  I also think this kind of deal would result in Ron Paul as the Vice Presidential nominee.

And Ron Paul as Mitt Romney's VP probably benefits Romney a lot more than his supporters, or any of the establishment people in the GOP, would want to admit.  I may dedicate a future post to this topic, but neither Romney or Gingrich will be able to pull enough independents and disenfranchised/ticked off Democrats to beat Barack Obama.  Gingrich is the least capable because he is so inflammatory.  Newt, Ron and Mitt would all get the same GOP votes that McCain got in 2008, but they need the independents and Democrats. Only Ron Paul can bring them in.  By making Ron Paul the VP nominee, Mitt Romney expands his base of potential voters by as much as 10-20% (remember Ron Paul, in recent polls, including this one discussing in this article by pollster John Zogby, Ron Paul has garned in the high teens in a theoretical 3-way race between he, Romney and Obama).  Without Paul, Romney may be able to go moderate enough in the general election race to win, but with Paul, Romney gains the army of loyal Paul supporters who  Romney expressed being so impress with in last night's debate.

I don't think there are any other Republicans that would impact the general election so much if chosen as VP.  A few might solidify the already-solid Republican support. So what?  None of them would bring Paul's dedicated support. Most of Paul's supporters would write Ron Paul in or stay home if his name isn't anywhere on the ballot.

This is not to say that Ron Paul would compromise on his strict constructionist views.  The beauty of this is that Romney is so pliable, Ron Paul could force him to change a great deal.  Ron Paul might not get everything he wants (such as a complete ending of all foreign aid), but domestically, I could foresee Romney giving Paul almost-free-reign, and I do think that Dr. Paul would have a significant impact on foreign affairs, even if we don't bring everyone home.

The other option regarding Ron Paul working a deal with Mitt Romney would be Paul gaining a cabinet position (possibly Secretary of the Treasury--Ben Bernanke's nightmare).  That might be great for Dr. Paul, but it wouldn't help Romney win the election.  That's why I think Ron Paul as VP is a very possible scenario.

Will any of this happen? There's really no way to know, but I think the above represents a very plausible scenario. One this is certain: Ron Paul's impact on today's Grand Old Party is undeniable.  As some of the other candidates proved in last night's debate, Dr. Paul philosophical impact on party policy is quite prevalent.  Even Sarah Palin has acknowledged the real impact that Ron Paul will have on the nominee if it isn't him. And I am confident that the fantastic organization and impressive fundraising prowess of Dr. Paul's 2012 campaign will guarantee that, even if he does not end up with the most delegates, Paul will have a substantial impact on who the nominee is.  If Ron Paul doesn't end up as King, he'll be the King Maker, and I think that is very bad news for Newt Gingrich.

So those are my thoughts. I'd appreciate any questions or suggestions as to how else things could shake out if anyone has any other ideas.  This should be a very interesting presidential election cycle, that's for sure. Feel free to comment, or email me at .

No comments:

Post a Comment