Over the weekend, some friends asked my opinion possibilities of an alliance between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, so I thought I’d take the time to detail my thoughts on that idea.
First, it’s not Paul’s goal to help Mitt Romney. His plan is to win the nomination at a brokered convention in Tampa by having the most delegates on the floor of the convention. Any rumored alliance of Paul to Romney assumes Paul doesn’t win the nomination at convention or that Romney wins the nomination outright before convention. Maybe this won’t matter in the end, but it’s worth mentioning that Paul’s goal is not to be Romney’s sidekick.
The next thought I have about this possible alliance is that Paul would have to concede too much, and he’s not much for compromises. Paul’s message, save his stance on foreign policy, resonates well with most Republican voters. Lower taxes, reduce spending, balance the budget…these are all items that will be on Romney’s checklist anyway, so Romney shouldn’t have to concede too much on those points. He would have to get very specific about his plan; vague promises won’t sit well with Dr. Paul.
My bet is that Paul would have to give in on foreign policy – or, at the very least, agree to keep quiet about it. Maybe he can do that as long as the movement to war comes from the legislature instead of the executive branch (like it’s supposed to). That might be enough for Romney, but, like I said, Paul isn’t known for his willingness to compromise.
(The interesting piece to that thought is that if we have a sound fiscal policy, continuing our current foreign policy would be all but impossible. How many people do you know that would support a huge tax hike to fund ongoing war efforts?)
Why would Paul, who is nothing if he’s not consistent, agree to some sort of alliance with Romney if Romney wins the nomination? Here are a few possibilities: