Paul For VP? But Which One?

Now that Mitt Romney has virtually tied up the nomination, attention is turning to his possible running mate. 

The important thing to keep in mind is no one knows — probably not even Romney himself — at this point.

Florida freshman Sen. Marco Rubio seems #1 on many lists for this year's #2 spot on the GOP ticket followed by a slew of present and former governors and members of Congress.

One long shot name some folks are trying to inject is: "Paul."  It could be father or son.

Followers of Libertarian Texas Congressman Ron Paul point out he has a loyal following who Republicans don't want staying home in November, even if he doesn't stand a chance to get the nomination in August. Some of his loyalists have spoken of Paul possibly running as an independent.

Paul has gone after Gingrich and Santorum but has taken it easy on Romney. This has led to speculation about a place on the GOP ticket — not for the 76-year-old congressman but for his son, freshman Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), 49, a Tea Party favorite.

Ron Paul is a non-starter if Romney has any hope of getting Jewish votes or contributions, including from Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, Gingrich's sugar daddy who is reportedly ready to back the former and future Massachusetts moderate.

The Republican Jewish Coalition pointedly excluded Ron Paul from its invitation to a presidential candidates' forum earlier this year, explaining he was too anti-Israel.

In his first 14 months in the Senate, Rand Paul has had little opportunity to cast many Israel-related votes.  What we do know, however, is that he shares his father's opposition to foreign aid.

He has said, "I have a lot of sympathy and respect for Israel as a democratic nation, as, you know, a fountain of peace and a fountain of democracy within the Middle East."  Then comes the "But" clause:

"But at the same time, I don't think (the United States should be) funding both sides of the arm race."

He did not identify the other side getting U.S. aid or offer any evidence to back up his claim.

Sen. Paul's objection seems based less on fact than his desire for an excuse to rationalize his opposition to aid to Israel and everyone else.

RJC is unimpressed.  It has called Sen. Paul "misguided" and charitably suggested he "may not grasp the fundamentals of our alliance with Israel."

It's tough to find much difference between father and son on the broad range of issues.  Ron Paul has a small but loyal following which could be a base for his son's future political ambitions.  Rand Paul said he'd be "honored" to be considered for Veep, but 2012 doesn't look like his year for a national breakout.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.