The most intriguing storyline from the GOP primary battle has become the unlikely alliance between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. The alliance had never been more clear than it was during last Tuesday's debate when Paul and Romney followed the same line of attack on Santorum. While there is no hard evidence of the details of the agreement between the two, it is not a stretch that given Ron Paul's history of no compromise and disinterest in political alliances that the offering from the Romney camp is substantial. Comments from Ron Paul's campaign manager Jesse Benton recently stating the case for Rand Paul as a vice presidential nominee shed some light on what could be the long term strategy of the Liberty movement currently manifest in the Ron Paul campaign. Ron Paul could be collecting delegates and aligning with Romney with the hope of levering both to get Rand on the presidential ticket. Mitt Romney would do himself a huge favor to fold the organization and rock solid support of the Ron Paul camp on his ticket in November.
However I don't see a lesser compromise being effective for either side. For instance giving Rand Paul a speaking role at the convention accomplishes little in the short term for Romney in the November election.
While a Romney/Rand Paul ticket is not ideal for either man, it would accomplish many goals for both sides. The mainline Republicans have been looking for a way to fold the Liberty movement into the party and count on their votes in national and statewide elections, having Rand Paul on the party's presidential ticket would be the ultimate olive branch to the Liberty movement.
The stated goal of many Republicans is to simply beat Obama. Having Rand Paul on the ticket could raise Mitt Romney's ceiling in the polls as high as 60% in a general election with President Obama. Rand Paul is also much more palatable to the establishment Republican's than his father. Rand Paul has stated that he would not take military action against Iran off the table...etc. Nobody doubts Rand Paul's fiscal conservative credentials and that is where he could pick up some of the slack where Romney cast some doubt.
And on a purely ascetic note Rand Paul has a nice subtle laid back Southern drawl, which would act as a counter balance to Romney's boardroom, at times semi-frantic demeanor.
The GOP establishment has to embrace the Ron Paul movement and work out their differences. The other options are losing their viability as a party should the Ron Paul faction break off, or in the long term they may be consumed by the Liberty movement.
Nobody will likely be more upset by this ticket than the fervent social conservatives who are currently clamoring for Rick Santorum. But they will still vote with their noses plugged and that is the calculated gamble that the party needs to take in this election looking down the barrel of four more years of Obama.
About the Author: Shaun Booth is editor of MilwaukeeStory.com.