Why Ron Paul won't go rogue on the Republican Party

Ron Paul hasn't flatly said he won't make an independent run for president. But Ron Paul's best reason for staying with the GOP is Rand Paul.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Sen. Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky is the son of Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Shown here in Concord, N.H., earlier this month.

President Obama has got two bulletproof insurance policies against Mitt Romney a future GOP challenger. One is a a steep drop in the unemployment rate. The other is Ron Paul running an independent campaign for president.

But the second one just isn’t going to happen, as BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray explains.

After this presidential run, [Ron Paul’s] campaign has said he’ll retire. And when he does, a generation of loyalists will need a leader.

“I think [Ron’s son and Kentucky Senator] Rand could be a wonderful president,” said Jesse Benton, the Paul campaign chairman and husband of Rand Paul’s niece.

In the meantime, the family’s dreams for Rand have created something else: A hostage. Terrified Republican leaders worry that Ron Paul will take his rowdy mix of Republicans and independents and run a spoiler third party campaign he hasn’t quite ruled out. Ron Paul, they are making clear, has nothing to lose – but his son’s career.

“The question of Rand’s future hangs over the 2012 race in a real way,” said John McCain’s 2008 campaign manager, Steve Schmidt.“If [Ron Paul] were to leave the GOP it would have a crushing effect on his son’s political career in the Republican Party and would be ruinous to any chance of a serious national campaign under the Republican banner.”

And while Ron Paul hasn’t ruled out a third party bid, his aides insist it won’t happen. Inside the Paul clan, Rand’s generation is rising, and the dream is a new kind of Paul campaign: One that’s dead serious, a tick or two closer to the mainstream, and one that wins.

Read on at BuzzFeed for the whole story.

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