The evidence is in: Ron Paul has almost no chance of becoming the Republican Presidential nominee. But the way in which the candidate has shaped the primary season is much more of a story than his campaign’s failure to win Republican beauty contest popular votes throughout the Nation. A vote for Paul, even this late in the game, is not a throwaway.
Observing media-declared front-runner Mitt Romney’s relentless and ever-changing attempts to relate to voters in different areas of the country offers a clear case for Paul support. To his own detriment, Romney has tried on several occasions to seem like a normal American. However, he has succeeded only in telling the Nation that he:
- Hangs around with people who own NASCAR teams,
- Doesn’t think $347,000 is very much money,
- Can afford a casual $10,000 bet,
- Thinks corporations are people,
- And has an odd relationship with grits and the word “ya’ll.”
Romney is not America’s Average Joe. He is, in fact, debatably guilty of the very same aloofness toward what goes on outside of the political and financial centers in the country for which conservatives often criticize President Barack Obama.
The campaigns of both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have picked up on the disconnect between Romney and the average American, and they both changed their tactics to use it to their benefit. Gingrich used Tuesday night’s Romney disappointments in Alabama and Mississippi to call into question Romney’s status as the inevitable GOP nominee.
“One of the things tonight proves is that the elite media’s efforts to convince the Nation that Mitt Romney is inevitable just collapsed,” Gingrich told supporters in Birmingham, Ala.
Rick Santorum won both of the States in what many people see as a game changer in the primary.
As the contest drags on, the campaign strategies of all candidates are beginning to sound like the one the Paul campaign announced it would publically pursue from the beginning: Amass delegates with less focus on popular votes. The drawn-out primary season, however, is making it more likely after each contest that none of the candidates will have the necessary 1,144 delegates that it takes to get the nomination.
A Gingrich campaign insider has now floated the idea that a Gingrich-Santorum alliance may be in the works for the Presidency and the Vice Presidency, and rumors are resurfacing that the Romney and Paul camps are in talks, though the details are unclear.
There is speculation that Paul would agree to work with the Romney campaign — advising his tireless supporters to do so as well — if there is a chance to work his son, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), into the picture. This is good for conservatives, because the younger Paul is expected to launch his own bid for the Presidency in 2016. So, for now, a vote for Ron Paul may be a vote for reigning in Romney’s big-government tendencies — anathema to many conservative voters — with the help of the libertarian-leaning Representative from Texas. With the support of hardline conservatives and Paul’s younger, more libertarian-minded base, Romney might actually have a shot against Obama in the general election. Rand Paul may be the icing on the cake for conservative voters (he has wooed the Tea Party) and Ron Paul (if he can impress his father’s ardent supporters) as a strong candidate for 2016 for whom GOP voters can collectively stomach casting a ballot.