Posted by Rojas @ 3:14 pm on May 20th 2010

Paul/Johnson/Paul?

Informed speculation at RCP regarding the next two Presidential cycles:

As for Ron Paul’s candidacy, my source pointed out that according to every public and private indication, he doesn’t want to run another presidential race. The congressman told Reason magazine that he remains “firmly undecided” about another go-round, with good reason. He is not a young man. He is seen by too many people as a dangerous radical. A sub-par performance in 2012 could damage the Paul brand and make it harder for his son to make a run at it.

The possibility that Ron Paul seems to be playing with, my source argued, goes like this: Put up a candidate for the next Republican primary who credibly carry the banner, and then hand off his new political machine to his son for a run in 2016. Former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson has been making the rounds at many Campaign for Liberty events, and could make a credible candidate, provided he doesn’t begin every speech by talking about pot.

A politician more dedicated to viability of the message than to his own ambition? It’s hard to imagine such a thing in American politics.

Speculation regarding the 2016 cycle is massively overblown, particularly given that the candidate in question has every chance to lose his Senate campaign. But I’m immensely encouraged by this scenario for 2012. Johnson is a wonderful evolutionary step for the movement; it ceases to be seen as a cult of personality, and it makes permanent the presence of libertarianism at the highest levels of Republican politics. It also etches in stone Ron Paul’s legacy and ensures that the memory of his campaign will not be tarnished the way, for instance, Perot’s has been. Let it be done!

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