The GOP Convention Doesn't Need A Ron Paul Sideshow

[G]iving [Ron] Paul a speaking spot during the convention is not the answer. Conventions are the last opportunity for parties to present uncontested views of their candidates. They are neither a circus requiring a Ron Paul sideshow nor Free Speech Alley at the local college. They are four-day infomercials designed to promote the candidacy of—in this case—Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and the ideas on which they are running.

One can respect the passion of Paul's supporters, admire their focus on liberty and limited government and even acknowledge the support he has amassed over the years without wanting to see him muddle the message in Tampa.

He will get his moment in the sun. The delegate roll call will demonstrate the popularity of his ideas. His son's speech will reflect most of his views and signal a passing of the torch for his followers since Ron Paul is retiring from Congress after this year. The party will acknowledge his efforts in the primaries.

But more than 76 million people saw John McCain and Sarah Palin speak at the 2008 convention. And more than that may watch Romney and Ryan. This is their show.

This is their opportunity to make the case for themselves and against President Barack Obama. It is a fleeting moment in a long campaign, and there are no do-overs. Republicans must get it right the first time. And that means there is no way they can spend a day explaining away whatever Paul might say. There is simply too much on the line.

Read more from Ford O'Connell at U.S. News & World Report

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published this page in In The News 2012-08-21 22:00:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy