Jackie Kennedy believed LBJ killed JFK. Rick Santorum does not have to fear assassination by Ron Paul but the ticket above proves people don’t have to like each other to work together. Let’s examine the strengths and weaknesses of Ron Paul as a running mate for Rick Santorum.
Rick Santorum did not qualify for the ballots in every state, while Ron Paul has. Voters in states like Indiana and Virginia, where Santorum is not on the ballot, might be persuade to vote for Paul if they understand it will be a vote for Santorum. One often-repeated argument against Santorum is that he does not have a national organization. Ron Paul does, and if they combined forces it would convince people both that Santorum has a national organization and that he is willing to make reasonable sacrifices necessary to win the race.
If Santorum is the nominee he would likely follow tradition and announce his running mate during the convention. He would want to pick someone best able to help him win the general election. He would also like to pick someone he believes to be the best possible candidate to run the country if he were to die in office. In the case of George Bush Sr. under Ronald Reagan, Bush was groomed as a successor. At age 76 now, Paul would be 84 after two terms with Santorum. It is therefore extremely unlikely that he would ever become president himself. Considering their policy disagreements, Rick Santorum might look at this as a plus.
Running as Vice President under Rick Santorum, Paul has a better chance to see some of his policies put into place. With one exception on the domestic side, Santorum and Paul have very similar policies. Ron Paul’s auditing of the Fed is a good idea for Santorum to adopt. Paul wants to eliminate more federal agencies and cut the budget more even than does Santorum. This is also a good thing.
Ron Paul is in the race on principle. He has principles that he wants put into place because he loves America. He thinks that these policies are the best thing for America. He also understands that if he runs on his own, very few of these policies will be put into place, since his real chances of winning are small. If Mitt Romney wins the nomination, or even Gingrich, few or none of Paul’s policies will become reality.
It is very doubtful that Santorum would even consider legalizing drugs like Paul, and this is the greatest point of contention between the two. Rick Santorum’s military and general foreign policy and position on Israel are well know through his substantial voting record in the U.S. Senate. These are likely to be the most difficult areas for Ron Paul and his supporters to accept.
Any politician knows there are three types of voters. First are the voters who support him. Second are those against him or for his opposition. Third are various degrees of undecided. At the beginning of an election cycle undecided is the largest block. Most politicians look for ways to sway those undecideds to themselves.
Many Ron Paul voters have said they will vote for Obama if Ron Paul is not on the ticket. To the average person this does not appear to be entirely rational thinking. But having Paul on the ticket, even if not all his policies get put in place, means Obama loses. If some of Ron Paul’s crazier policies do not become reality, this may not be a bad thing, even for those who think they want them.
Apart from any policy considerations, a very realistic assessment is that it will take both Ron Paul’s and Rick Santorum’s supporters to defeat Obama.