"A year, year and a half ago, I was a physician in a small town, and it would be a great honor to be considered as a vice president for the Republican Party," Paul told CNN. "I think that would be something that anybody who said otherwise would not be being truthful."Reaction in libertarian quarters has been cool to say the least. Anthony Wile, founder of The Daily Bell, reacted immediately with a somewhat critical editorial which said in part:
When you compromise your basic message, you sometimes get into trouble. Rand Paul is a good example. In one stroke, he's anticipated the destruction that accepting the VP spot from Mitt Romney would entail.I think Wile's analysis in the last sentence is correct. Rand Paul is a politician and that's not necessarily a dirty word. Moreover, if Romney actually does select Paul as his running mate, I would be ecstatic.
At least, had Romney offered the spot to Rand Paul, the possibility of being VP might to some extent have balanced the scales. But this way, Rand Paul has acquired a burdensome legacy without ascertaining the extent of the opportunity.
Now, it is true that there was a meeting held recently between Rand Paul and Mitt Romney. Perhaps this was the secret quid pro quo. Rand Paul endorses Romney and then speaks out favorably regarding the possibility of becoming VP.
At this point, perhaps, Romney begins to actuate the process that makes it so.
We ran an analysis yesterday of Rand Paul's endorsement of Mitt Romney – concluding the father was an educator and the son was a politician.
Whether Paul's selection would be politically advantageous to Romney is an open question that I choose not to explore. I'm more interested in the consequences of the selection should Romney actually be elected, which I continue to believe is unlikely.
Perhaps Romney's calculations are solely political. I don't know. On the other hand, maybe he believes that selecting Paul is one way to keep him and his Tea Party followers in line. If that's the calculation, Romney is in for a rude awakening. All one has to do for evidence is look to Joe Biden.
As Vice President, Rand Paul would sit in the catbird seat. Of course, Romney could exclude him from being privy to workings of his inner sanctum. However, Romney could hardly take away his microphone. John McCain tried to muzzle Sarah Palin and was largely successful, only because Palin was more a politician than a committed libertarian. No so Rand Paul.
Biden is generally credited with forcing Obama to let the "same sex marriage cat" out of the bag. Imagine the effect a free-speaking Rand Paul might have on the Romney campaign and, hopefully, the Romney administration.