Ron Paul's campaign for President has, according to most observers, lost any trace of hope that it could somehow be a relevant force in this year's election. That is, assuming the elder Paul doesn't run on a third party ticket, which he has said he won't.
But what if Ron Paul's 2012 run isn't the point? What if Ron Paul 2012 is, in fact, a well-coordinated dress rehearsal for a far more serious campaign on behalf of Paul's son, Senator Rand Paul, come 2016? Business Insider thinks that's the story that might be developing:
The younger Paul's prospective campaign is still four, or eight, years away, but the junior Senator appears to be taking all the right steps to position himself for when the time comes. Later this month Rand will return to Iowa — without his father — to deliver the keynote speech at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalitions spring rally — the most obvious indication yet that Sen. Paul has his own presidential ambitions.
"He loves Iowa," Sen. Paul's communications director Moira Bagley told Business Insider. "He's been out there so much, with his dad's campaign, so he's really comfortable and really happy with the people out in Iowa, and especially the evangelical groups."[...]
Business Insider has learned that Sen. Paul has even been approached about a possible trip to Israel with Christian activist David Lane, a conservative kingmaker whose "Pastor Policy Briefings" helped launch Mike Huckabee's political star in 2008.[...]
Lane's interest in Rand's Israel positions also underscores the opportunity that the younger Paul has to rewrite parts of the narrative about the Ron Paul movement, specifically regarding national security and foreign policy issues. Although the two Pauls positions are mostly similar, Rand Paul appears to have the political instincts and finesse that his father so endearingly lacks.
This last point could mark an encouraging turn for the many people who have long wanted to harness the Paul campaign's youthful energy without necessarily accepting the candidate's more anti-American sentiments regarding foreign policy. More to the point, Rand Paul's successful insurgency in 2010 shows that he is capable of coming up against the GOP establishment at a national level, while also working with them once the primary was over to defeat a Democrat.
Is Rand Paul the Presidential candidate of the future GOP? Weigh in below.