Could Romney pick Rand Paul for VP?
Could Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) be part of the Republican Party’s ticket this year? There is some speculation of that after Mitt Romney, the GOP’s presumptive nominee, met with Paul last week.
Of course, the meeting could have always had to do with the elder Paul’s campaign. The delegate strategy being employed has certainly made some Republicans nervous, though Paul himself has said that he is more interested in pushing through changes to the party’s platform. Romney may have just been trying to convince Sen. Paul to get on board with his campaign before the convention in hopes to avoid turmoil.
But if the younger Paul’s name is indeed in the hat for vice president, should he accept the offer? Writing at Reason, Jesse Walker says that Sen. Paul should decline:
My problem here isn’t with Sen. Paul himself — I’ve certainly got my disagreements with the man, but I like him much better than anyone else whose name is being kicked around as a potential Romney running mate. The problem is the idea that it would be good to take the guy out of his Senate seat, where he’s well-positioned to battle actual bad legislation, and stick him in a job where he’ll be expected to suppress his disagreements with his boss and serve as a public face of the Romney administration.
We’re in our fourth year of a president who the left is reluctant to rebel against even when he abuses their alleged principles. Before that we had eight years of a president who the right was reluctant to rebel against even when he abused their alleged principles. With Romney we finally have the possibility of a president both the left and the right can hate: a man who may be inclined to continue the worst Bush/Obama policies, but who at least will be easier to organize against. I’d rather have Rand Paul leading the right flank of the anti-Romney revolt than being used to keep the remnants of the Tea Party movement in line.
So please don’t pick Paul, Gov. Romney. Pick a party hack, a Joe Biden of the right: a living reminder to the angry grassroots that they do not and should not trust you.
I can agree with that. I’ve touched on Sen. Paul’s prospects before, noting that he is still green and probably should wait until at least 2016 before he seriously considers offers such as this. But from a political perspective, Sen. Paul doesn’t really offer much to Romney. Yes, he is a voice for free markets and would appeal to Tea Party voters, but others, like Marco Rubio would do that as well. Moreover, Rubio’s views, including foreign policy, are more in line with traditional conservatism. Sen. Paul will always be suspect on that issue because of his father, whom I often agree with.
It’s hard to see this happening based on those couple of points. Sen. Paul will no doubt, as Walker says, keep Romney accountable in the Senate should he win the election this fall. That’s really what we need right now.