As Ron Paul and Mitt Romney march towards the Republican National Convention, in Tampa, Fla., not only on different platforms but with different delegate strategies, the 2012 Republican primary is starting to look a lot like the 2008 Democratic contest that pitted then Senator Barack Obama to then Senator Hillary Clinton.
Back then, Democratic Party’s loyalists and insiders touted the idea of reuniting on the same ticket both of the primary’s leading candidates in order to enhance the party’s chances of defeating Republicans and heal the divisions of a long and passionate primary season.
In the case of Republicans in 2012, Mitt Romney, who at least theoretically has a commanding lead among GOP delegates, would be thinking about naming its potential running mate early this summer. Romney is reportedly working with a list of confidants which includes long-time adviser Beth Myers and wife Ann Romney.
And Romney’s options would include the typical names of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. However, some wild cards could include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and even last opponent standing Ron Paul (or his son Rand, the Kentucky senator).
Though far from a match made in heaven, a Romney/Paul ticket would serve to unite a divided Republican Party which is struggling between the younger and libertarian wing which supports Paul and the more traditional wing which supports Romney (and which Paul supporters would refer to as the party’s establishment).
The ticket, which most Paul supporters undoubtedly would prefer to have the libertarian leader to be on top of, would also guarantee that Romney – who is perceived as someone who changes positions on the issues – would adhere to a more conservative platform in order to achieve the goal of lowering the debt, among other libertarian staples.
For Paul, being Mitt Romney’s running mate (or proposing that his son, Rand, would do so) could be a way of carrying on his libertarian legacy, that undoubtedly resonated especially among younger conservatives, beyond 2012 and 2016 when someone else could receive the libertarian torch.