Who’ll be the right Paul for President in 2012?
(Page 2 of 2)
This month, Paul made headlines by objecting — on constitutional grounds — to President Obama’s use of force in Libya without first getting approval from Congress. In a smart political move, Paul used Obama’s own words — from December 2007 — for a sense of the Senate motion.
As a presidential candidate, Obama told the Boston Globe, “The president does not have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tabled the motion with those words to spare Democrats the embarrassment of taking a stand on whether Obama acted in accordance with the Constitution.
The Republican Party doesn’t speak with one voice on intervention in Libya, but Paul could be a candidate representing the views of the more non-interventionist wing of the party.
His candidacy would be a long shot, but less of one than his father’s. Rand Paul can deliver the same message but in a more inclusive way. He would have nearly all of Ron Paul’s devoted following, but would broaden that base. In the conservative movement, some of the talk radio hosts that blast Ron Paul have nothing but praise for Rand Paul.
He has talked less about decriminalizing drugs, ending the Federal Reserve and withdrawing from the United Nations, and more about term limits, a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and legislation to require members of Congress to read a bill before voting on it — all popular and sensible measures to most Americans, though perhaps no more likely to pass than the less popular initiatives promoted by his father.
And, how many times have you heard that Republicans need a new face for 2012?
No, he would not be the strongest general election candidate to challenge Obama. Beyond the conservative and tea party movement, he would have trouble with swing voters in the general election. But, if you haven’t noticed, Obama has also built some ill will among independent swing voters.
Another drawback: The president had four years in the Senate when he was elected. Rand would have just two by the end of 2012. Experience would be and should be an issue in a presidential election. But unlike the incumbent president, Rand, an ophthalmologist, actually had a real job, and ran a small business. So he would have a better idea about how the economy works than most of the Obama administration.
A losing bid for the GOP nomination would not hurt Sen. Paul. It would raise his national profile from a leading tea party figure to the leading tea party figure. While Kentucky Democrats would likely use the 2012 campaign against him in the 2016 Senate re-election campaign, that’s not the kind of issue that galvanizes an average voter to oust an incumbent senator.
Ultimately, the younger Paul has a strong future in the Republican Party and the conservative movement. Perhaps the best argument against his running is that a conservative wouldn’t want to lose him in the Senate, where he can spend a lot more time championing freedom and targeting big government waste.
More than likely it will be Ron Paul who will make one more bid for the White House, one that will draw plenty of enthusiasm, contribute significantly to the public debate and — unlike the Trump candidacy — will be based on ideas and a legitimate grass roots movement not celebrity.
But the chatter the father-son duo is creating in the presidential race is proving them to be perhaps the newest and most intriguing political dynasty.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?