Ron Paul will win ’12 GOP nom­i­na­tion *

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

No, not Ron Paul, the 75-year-old con­gress­man from Texas and grand­fa­ther of the tea party . . . Ron Paul’s ideas.

Don­ald Trump hit it right on the head at this year’s Con­ser­va­tive Po­lit­i­cal Ac­tion Con­fer­ence: “Ron Paul can­not get elected, I’m sorry to tell you. Sorry,” The Don­ald said to boos from Pau­li­acs.

“And you know what else? I like Ron Paul. I think he’s a good guy. But hon­estly he has just zero chance of get­ting elected. You have to win an elec­tion.”

Ex­actly right. You know who else can’t get elected? Mis­sis­sippi Gov. Ha­ley Bar­bour (not run­ning); for­mer Arkansas Gov. Mike Huck­abee (not run­ning), and for­mer House Speaker Newt Gingrich (run­ning, but not for long). Oh, and Don­ald: you, too.

All five, though, share one trait: They’re each bril­liant. Yet un­like the oth­ers, only Mr. Paul’s ideas will drive the 2012 cam­paign.

It has hap­pened be­fore, re­peat­edly, in fact, and will again this time around.

It goes back to 1992, when Pat Buchanan chal­lenged Ge­orge W. Bush in the GOP pri­mary. Buchanan lost, but two years later his ideas drove the 1994 Repub­li­can Revo­lu­tion that was em­bod­ied in the Con­tract with Amer­ica and helped the GOP win the House and Se­nate.

Skip­ping ahead to 2004, Ohio Rep. Den­nis Kucinich ran in the Demo­cratic pri­mary on uni­ver­sal health care, anti-war, anti-tor­ture and a more lib­eral plat­form than the rest of the field.

Mr. Kucinich lost, but two years later, run­ning on many of his same stances, Democrats took con­trol of Congress and in 2008 Barack Obama, Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton and John Ed­wards all ran on his slate of is­sues, par­tic­u­larly uni­ver­sal health care. In short, there’s no ques­tion that Mr. Obama’s 2008 cam­paign po­si­tions looked a lot more like Mr. Kucinich’s 2004 stances than can­di­date John F. Kerry’s 2004 stances.

Fast-for­ward again, this time to 2012. Mr. Paul, the clear out­lier in the 2008 GOP field, again is push­ing for lim­ited gov­ern­ment, es­tab­lish­ing a gold stan­dard, au­dit­ing the Fed­eral Re­serve, end­ing U.S. in­ter­ven­tion­ism and en­act­ing mas­sive bud­get cuts across the fed­eral gov­ern­ment. All of his speeches point to the Con­stitu- tion as Amer­ica’s guide.

But this time, vot­ers have caught up with him. In 2010, most of those ideas, with the ex­cep­tion of for­eign pol­icy, drove the tea party revo­lu­tion. And now, there is no doubt that the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee in 2012 will look a lot more like Ron Paul 2008 than Sen. John McCain 2008.

With the pos­si­ble ex­cep­tion of In­di­ana Gov. Mitch Daniels, no one wowed the con­ser­va­tives at CPAC this year as much as Mr. Paul did. He did so with pas­sages such as these:

“We don’t need to just change the po­lit­i­cal par­ties, we need to change our phi­los­o­phy about what this coun­try is all about.”

“For­eign aid is tak­ing money from the poor peo­ple of a rich coun­try and giv­ing it to the rich peo­ple of a poor coun­try.”

“Congress has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect the value of the cur­rency and that means that we have the moral and the legal au­thor­ity to put checks on the Fed­eral Re­serve sys­tem.”

“The best way to get peo­ple to act more like us if we’re do­ing a good job, is for us to have a sound econ­omy, a sound dol­lar, treat peo­ple de­cently, have a for­eign pol­icy that makes com­mon sense, treat peo­ple like we want to be treated.”

And this sim­ple ques­tion: “Would you con­sider opt­ing out of the whole sys­tem un­der one con­di­tion? You pay 10 per­cent of your in­come, but you take care of your­self, don’t ask the gov­ern­ment for any­thing.”

Sim­ple, pure, Amer­i­can. Un­for­tu­nately, as Mr. Trump said, Mr. Paul is un­electable. Not just be­cause he’s 75 and doesn’t look any­thing like the pres­i­dents of the past 60 years, but be­cause for all his bril­liant ideas, he’s still a man with­out a party.

So a note to all those Repub­li­can can­di­dates out there: To win this year, co-opt Mr. Paul’s ideas and run on them. And that points most to one ticket: Palin-Ru­bio. For­mer Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is a hard core tea par­tyer and has solid sup­port from the con­ser­va­tive base. Mr. Ru­bio crushed the Repub­li­can-In-Name-Only Florida Gov. Char­lie Crist and, as a state law­maker, pushed an over­haul of the tax sys­tem.

Nei­ther Mrs. Palin nor Mr. Ru­bio would be mov­ing far from their philoso­phies to in­cor­po­rate Mr. Paul’s fun­da­men­tals. They’d lock down the GOP base, the tea party (and it wouldn’t hurt to have a His­panic, pop­u­lar in Florida, on the ticket).

So keep a sharp eye out for the Paul Can­di­date. Sure, Mr. Paul him­self will be back, pitch­ing his own ideas, but the electable can­di­date who taps into those ideas, res­onat­ing across the coun­try, will be the one who wins the nom­i­na­tion.

Joseph Curl cov­ered the White House and pol­i­tics for a decade for The Wash­ing­ton Times. He can be reached at jcurl@wash­ing­ton­times.com.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Set­ting the GOP tone for 2012: Rep. Ron Paul

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