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POLITICO Primary: Your 3rd-party pick


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Ron Paul is technically in the running for the Republican Party, but we all know how that's gonna wind up. I pick him.

I came to the conclusion a couple months ago that Ron Paul is likely to run as an independent/third party candidate, no matter how much he denies it. The reason I think it's likely is the fact that he said he's not going to run for Congress again. In 2008, he had something to lose if he made an I/TP bid. Now he doesn't, but running as a Republican before running as an outsider makes all the sense in the world. It guarantees him time on news networks and in debates, time he can use to get his name and his message to as many people as possible, which in turn would feed into his poll numbers as an I/TP candidate and boost the likelihood of him being invited to the general election debates. Even if he only polls around 8% for the general, I would guess that that would be enough for a debate spot.

None of this has anything to do with him winning, by the way. While I like the guy, I don't think winning is possible. But he doesn't have to think it's possible, either. If he wants to get the maximum number of Americans to at least consider some parts of his message, the best way to do that is to be a "legitimate" candidate in the general election. ("Legitimate" in this case meaning a candidate invited to the debates, running nationwide ads, and polling above 5%.) If he thinks that the GOP nominee would be the lesser of two evils (I'm honestly not sure if he would think that), he could run with the intention of dropping out a month before the election. There are actually only a few things that I think will stop Ron Paul from running as an I/TP. One would be if he does think the GOP candidate is the lesser of two evils, and he's convinced that his candidacy would somehow permanently damage the GOP candidate's chances of winning even if RP drops out. Another would be if he's convinced that he couldn't possibly poll high enough to be invited to the debates. Perhaps the most likely possibility would be that he comes to the conclusion that he just can't take a general election campaign. He's in his 70's, after all, and a campaign is grueling. Notably, if his goal is simply to spread his ideas, the fact that some states have barriers against someone running in the Dem/Rep primaries and then running as an I/TP doesn't matter at all, because he wouldn't be concerned about winning.

In other words, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Ron Paul is the next Ross Perot. Hell, they're both RP. What more proof do you need?

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Do you know anything about where Patreus stands on any issue other than counter insurgency warfare?

Of the people off the top of my head, I'd say Bloomberg.

That's why I'd have Petraeus as the VP (put 'em in the wrong order). He's a strong leader, but his political beliefs are a little too vague for me to put him in the Oval Office. He would be a strong, bipartisan presence in the Senate, though. Bowles, though, would make a great President, I think.

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