The Romney-Paul Alliance

The Washington Post is running a front page article today, “For Romney and Paul, a strategic alliance between establishment and outsider.” It seems like something that Millennial Star readers may wish to comment on, so I’m putting it here rather than the sidebar.

Despite deep differences on a range of issues, Romney and Paul became friends in 2008, the last time both ran for president. So did their wives, Ann Romney and Carol Paul. The former Massachusetts governor compliments the Texas congressman during debates, praising Paul’s religious faith during the last one, in Jacksonville, Fla. Immediately afterward, as is often the case, the Pauls and the Romneys gravitated toward one another to say hello.

The Romney-Paul alliance is more than a curious connection. It is a strategic partnership: for Paul, an opportunity to gain a seat at the table if his long-shot bid for the presidency fails; for Romney, a chance to gain support from one of the most vibrant subgroups within the Republican Party.

A Romney presidency offers the possibility of Paul playing a role in shaping policy and not just opinion. To borrow and modify the Jimmy Carter slogan, don’t send them a message, send them a Treasury Secretary.

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About John Mansfield

Mansfield in the desertA third-generation southern Nevadan, I have lived in exile most of my life in such places as Los Alamos, Baltimore, Los Angeles, the western suburbs of Detroit, and currently the northern suburbs of Washington, D.C. I work as a fluid dynamics engineer. I was baptized at age twelve in the font of the Las Vegas Nevada Central Stake Center, and on my nineteenth birthday I received the endowment in the St. George Temple. I served as a missionary mostly in the Patagonia of Argentina from 1985 to 1987. My true calling in the Church seems to be working with Cub Scouts, whom I have served in different capacities in four states most years since 1992. (My oldest boy turned eight in 2004.) I also currently teach Sunday School to the thirteen-year-olds. I hold degrees from two universities named for men who died in the 1870s, the Brigham Young University and the Johns Hopkins University. My wife is Elizabeth Pack Mansfield, who comes from New Mexico's north central mountains and studied molecular biology at the same two schools I attended. We have four sons, whose care and admonition, along with care of my aged father, require much of Elizabeth's time. She currently serves the Church as Mia-Maid advisor, ward music chairman, and choir director, and plays violin whenever she can. One day, I would like to make shoes.

15 thoughts on “The Romney-Paul Alliance

  1. I had noticed this going on in the debates — they never criticize each other and tend to be complimentary towards each other. This is the first time I have seen it formally recognized. That was a very good story, btw — well-researched and reported.

    Most Ron Paul supporters I know do not think a Romney presidency will bring them anything they want. Personally, I think you have to have a seat at the table to influence things, and Paul’s strategy is causing what I consider to be positive change to the party. It also is smart on Romney’s part — he does not want to lose libertarians, who are a growing group within the Republican party.

  2. “He does not want to lose libertarians” may be an accurate statement but he has also done NOTHING to court their vote. How can anyone claim to love the Constitution and not know what it says? (His words) How can anyone claim to be peaceful but want to seek out those that destroy us? (His words again) How can you love this country and be supported by the CFR? Once he breaks these ties with such destructive organizations and pure evil philosophies, THEN he should work on the libertarians.

  3. Geoff, this part of the article mesheed with your comment:

    In Reno, regional coordinator Wayne Terhune used a slide show on a recent weeknight to teach volunteers how to participate in a Republican precinct meeting to help Paul win delegates in the state’s caucuses on Saturday.

    [. . .]

    A common refrain is to “cover your tattoos and cut your hair,” said Paul’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, who often tells coordinators to “dress for business, because we mean business.”

    Getting into a position to pound a fist on the table instead of wave a sign in the air.

  4. don’t send them a message, send them a Treasury Secretary.

    Make that an Attorney General and you’ll have my attention.

  5. I think Romney and Paul work well together. I think they disagree on foreign issues, and that would be a sticking point.
    That said, it is interesting that Romney has not actively courted the Tea Party vote, but works with Paul and the Libertarians instead. I think it is a great move, as the Tea Party is falling apart as it falls all over itself trying to justify why Newt Gingrich should be their leader.

    I would hope that the Romney/Paul connection will give Paul some voice in a Romney presidency.

    As it is, Romney can speak like a conservative/moderate right now in the Primary, let Paul take the Libertarian vote for now, and then in the national election, have Paul encourage Libertarians to vote for Romney, knowing he will have a voice in the White House (while Newt will have zilch).

  6. From my handle you can tell that I am not in Rep. Paul’s demographic. I have always assumed that he appealed to a certain, fringe-y (my perception) element of society, the GOP and the Church. Even knowing what I know about Mormon culture, I would be surprised if his appeal extends beyond that, but I am interested to see what commenters here say. FWIW, SFGAte says that Paul is actively seeking to cut into Romney’s LDS base in NV, so I am not sure how far this alliance goes.

  7. Interestingly Romney really hasn’t focused on content much in the primaries. I think this was an intentional strategy. The closest we’ve seen is his refusal to back off from his medical reforms in Mass. but raise the federalism issue with respect to the mandate. His focus clearly is on the economy and I suspect on many points (like the silly gold standard canard) he’ll have big problems with the Paul styled libertarians. That said I bet if as he pivots for the general election he makes civil liberties a big issue (no knock raids, the horrible TSA-airline issues, etc.) that a lot of libertarians would be overjoyed. Not to mention regular people. Heck, if he just made repealing of that silly decongestant law purportedly to stop meth use most Americans would be overjoyed. Even non-libertarians think we’ve gone overboard on a lot of silly restrictions.

  8. To any libertarian friends reading this, I think we have to accept the following points:

    1)Mitt Romney is extremely likely to take the nomination.
    2)From a small government, anti-war, civil liberties perspective he is not as scary as Gingrich and Santorum.
    3)We have low expectations of a Romney presidency, probably on the level of Bush, which means he would score an F-plus if we are lucky.
    4)Obama scores an F-minus, so an F-plus is better than what we currently have (but not much better and still failing). The only improvements we would get with Romney are a true chance to repeal Obamacare, better judges and a nominally better economy.
    5)A prominent Ron Paul role in a Romney presidency may push Romney into the range of a D or even a C, depending on what happens. Could Ron Paul be the force that convinces Romney to make real budget cuts and/or convinces him to audit the Fed, to repeal the Patriot Act or get rid of the TSA? This is a chance for some real level of hope and change.
    6)We will get any real hope and change with a Romney president? Probably not, but at least there is a small, small chance.

  9. Geoff,
    The one reason why I have hope that Romney could do a good job is he is the only “politician” that doesn’t really care about being in power, getting and staying elected etc. I have to laugh when people say he says anything and is without a core. If they are picking up on anything, to me it seems like he’s pretending to be a politician and sometimes not doing so well — but let’s not kid ourselves. These same politician genius pundits put George Bush on the ticket. It’s not like he was a great politician, or a great debater, etc.

    But Romney is a guy who when he gets into office, I suspect (hope) he’ll be more interested in getting things right rather than making sure he remains in power. I only hope all the political hangers-on that follow him won’t influence him to bad decisions because they are more concerned about staying in power. So he might very well want to make some serious changes to the regulatory nature of the government-economic relationship.

    Let’s just hope he doesn’t want to become a more effective administrator. That may have helped America 40-50 years ago, but we are on such an unsustainable path, that we need real change not just someone to do a better drop administering the decline.

  10. I think the worry of some is not that Paul pushes for smaller government and more civil liberties. Rather that he pushes for dangerous or silly policies like going to the gold platform etc. I doubt Romney would go for that. However clearly Paul wants to get enough delegates to be able to force some issues in the convention. The question becomes what he’d force and how that would affect the general election (which in some ways Paul doesn’t care about)

  11. An unlikely alliance on the face of it, but the more one thinks it through, it’s doubtful if Romney can beat Obama without a popular running mate.
    So if this were to actually happen, what role would Ron Paul really play ?
    What role would he be willing to play. ?
    I think he would be an excellent President and far better than Romney.
    Time will tell, lot’s of States to go and lots of delegates still undecided.?
    Paul would also make an excellent Secretary of State.
    Am I dreaming ?

  12. If it requires congressional authority to do anything about it, being in favor of a questionable policy with minority support is almost insignificant. The things you have to worry about are what a candidate could and would do as president without congressional action.

    The chances of Paul getting a straight up gold standard through Congress, except after a Weimar class monetary collapse, is almost nil. However, it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad idea, as long as it came with a prohibition of fractional reserves on deposits.

    The gold standard didn’t lead to the Depression, it is hard money in combination with a fractional reserve enabled credit bubble and a suicidal trade policy that did. Eliminate the fraud, and a gold standard would be fine.

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