Rand Paul for vice president? [Opinion: The Arena]

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Sen. Rand Paul  (WDRB screenshot)

Unlike our local newspaper, the internet is virtually exploding with suggestions that Kentucky’s junior senator, Republican Rand Paul, would make an ideal vice-presidential candidate for Republican front-runner Gov. Mitt Romney in this year’s presidential race.  In fact, if you Google “Rand Paul Vice President,” you’ll get a reference to almost 24 million hits. 

Rand Paul Mandy Connell.jpgSenator Paul was interviewed on WHAS-84 yesterday morning by Mandy Connell, and appeared a bit coy when addressing the possibility of his running with Mitt Romney as a vice presidential candidate.  Admitting that he had seen rumors of his candidacy on the internet, he told Connell that he had not given the matter serious thought.  He did not, however, unequivocally rule out the idea.

Discussing the “internet chatter” about his becoming Romney's running mate, Sen Paul remarked, "I am interested in trying to shape direction and make our country more fiscally conservative. We'll have to see where it goes.  Right now, I'm still supporting that guy from Texas.  We'll see how well he does."

vice presidential seal angled.jpgWriting at the Capital Free Press, Patrick McEwen outlines a persuasive case for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to make Sen. Rand Paul his vice presidential candidate:

  • It might be his only chance to bring in Ron Paul voters and even Ron Paul himself
  • It’s his best chance to unite Tea Party voters behind him without alienating independents
  • Southern, principled, conservative doctor is the answer to flip-flopping, Massachusetts, moderate, investor
  • It’s his opportunity to move to the center on popular foreign policy and civil liberties issues

“The more I think about it,” writes McEwen, “the more I believe that Rand Paul as a running mate is something that makes complete sense for Romney. The major issue would be whether or not a Romney administration would pursue policies that would be acceptable enough to Rand that he would be comfortable running with Romney.”

WDRB reports:  Sen. Rand Paul won't rule out running for VP

Writing at the US Daily Review, editor Kevin Price gives a succinct analysis of the value Sen. Paul would add to the 2012 Republican presidential ticket:

Rand Paul Bloomberg_2.jpg“Rand Paul offers many things that his father does not to voters today. He is younger and understands the political realities in a way his father clearly does not. He knows that his speech has to be able to garner votes and not divide voters. He has a strong sense of the importance of liberty, like his father, but would prefer to tell an audience about the impact poor government policies have on jobs rather than lecture a crowd on the horrors of the Federal Reserve. Although highly suspicious of an interventionist foreign policy, he is not foolish enough to believe that you can replace the eagle as our national symbol, with an ostrich. He is quick to point out the failures of nation building and foreign aid, while not pretending the US can be entirely isolationist. In many respects he is a perfect balance between traditional conservatives and libertarians. His lack of experience is some what beneficial for someone running for the number 2 post on the ticket. He is a conservative darling and Tea Party favorite of whom no one questions his conservative convictions. Since he ran as recently as 2008, he is highly vetted and should not be the source of unwelcome surprises.

“If Rand Paul was on the ticket, libertarians of every stripe might be attracted to the GOP in a way not seen in years. Even big ‘L’ libertarians might even cast a vote for him. Meanwhile, the enormous and well fought Ron Paul machine would have something to campaign on. Depending on the top of the ticket, Rand could be an exceptional choice.”

rand-paul 23_0.jpgLouisville’s Courier-Journal, on the other hand, has assiduously avoided any direct mention of the possibility of Sen. Paul’s vice presidential candidacy.  In yesterday’s article by reporter Joseph Lord, covering the senator’s news conference at the St. Matthews Community Center, the lede described Sen. Paul’s announcement that he will return to the federal treasury $500,000 of his office budget that was not used (taking the opportunity to remind folks that trust-fund-baby Rep. John Yarmuth (D., Ky. 3rd) donates his entire salary to charity).

But readers had to continue all the way to the 17th paragraph of Lord’s article to find an oblique reference to Sen. Paul’s possible vice-presidential run:

“On national matters, Paul said he hasn’t thought about whether he would consider being the running mate to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, should Romney win the Republican presidential nomination.”

WHAS-84’s Mandy Connell asks Sen. Paul about the vice presidency:

Read more:  Kentucky Senator Rand Paul returns $500,000 from his Senate office fund

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Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).

 

About Thomas McAdam
At various times I have been a student, a soldier, a college Political Science teacher, a political campaign treasurer, and legal adviser to Louisville's Police Department and Board of Aldermen. I now practice law and share my political opinions with anyone who will listen.
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