Ron Paul Still Has A Card To Play

From The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake:

As we have written before, Paul has a group of supporters whose ardor for his message is far greater than any other candidate can boast. Not only that, but Paul’s backers are loyal first and foremost to Paul — not to the Republican party. And that’s what makes Paul potentially influential as the race moves forward.

A Paul third-party candidacy would, barring some sort of unforeseen dynamic, likely hand President Obama a second term. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and his campaign team understand the power that Paul could wield and have gone out of their way to befriend him — and avoid alienating his supporters.

At some point between now an August, Paul and his people will want something — a speaking slot at the national convention? Consideration of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul as a running mate? — from Romney World.

They may not get it. But Paul is in a much stronger bargaining position than Gingrich to extract promises from Romney because he can do far more damage if he isn’t placated. That’s why — though both men have zero chance of being their party’s standard-bearer — Paul matters more than Gingrich.

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published this page in In The News 2012-04-10 10:46:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy