Practical, and yet still bad timing. Still on the calendar are primaries in Arkansas (May 22), the last of the deep South states that have proven inhospitable to the grandaddy of health care mandates; Kentucky (May 22), where Paul's son is a U.S. Senator; Texas (May 29), where Paul lives; Montana (June 5), where Paul won votes as a third party candidate* in 2008; and California (June 5), where Paul can pick up hundreds of thousands of protests votes. The Kentucky factoid's probably the relevant one here. Eight days out, Paul wants us to know that his crushing defeat in the state will have no impact whatsoever on Rand Paul's rising star.
Protecting his son's interests as an emerging leader within the party is one of the reasons many observers have insisted all along that Ron Paul would not run as a third party candidate. If he went that route and helped ensure a second term for Obama, the party would never forgive him. He might not care about what the GOP thinks of him, but Rand reportedly has designs on a big future, and father dearest doesn't want to poison the well. I'll leave you with two items. First, Paul's most memorable attack ad from the primary saga, which helped bloody up Newt Gingrich in Iowa:
And second, a question: The conventional -- and intuitive -- wisdom presumes that an independent run by Paul would deny Romney the White House, but is that necessarily accurate?
If Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul were to run as an independent or third-party candidate in the general election, he would take more votes away from President Barack Obama, a Democrat, than Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, a Rasmussen Reports poll suggests. With Paul in the race, Romney would win with 44 percent of the vote, followed by Obama with 39 percent and Paul with 13 percent, if the election were this week, according to the May 6-7 poll of 1,000 likely voters. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.