Ron Paul has been forgotten. Just a few days after his strong second-place finish in the Iowa straw poll, he’s again been excluded as eager commentators agree Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann comprise the top tier of 2012 Republican presidential candidates. No matter: Paul is used to running as an unlikely choice for the Republican presidential nomination. Still, he wants the media and the electorate to remember that this could actually be his time (after all, he’s never finished second in the straw poll before!).
His campaign today released a movie-style trailer entitled “The One,” which claims Paul is the candidate to compete against and defeat BHO and to unite the GOP (you know, around his highly unifying foreign policy views).
The ad casts Paul as the consistent conservative in a setting of “smooth-talking politicians” like President Barack Obama (the teleprompter president — anything but smooth, but still), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi … and Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann.
Certainly, Paul has been consistent. As the ad makes clear, he does have undeniable credibility on the budget issues that have come to dominate this cycle. In his time in Congress, he has voted against every tax increase and every unbalanced budget. But his trademark crankiness and reckless isolationist foreign policy views — though potentially appealing on some idealistic level — will, truly as a matter of course, doom his candidacy. It was vintage Paul in the debate last Wednesday and no amount of skillful videography can gloss over his shocking statements to the effect that Iran doesn’t even seek nuclear power, let alone pose a threat should the country obtain it. (I honestly can’t get over that!) Still, I’m glad he’s in the race for the same reason I was in 2008: Plenty of my peers wouldn’t tune into the debates and the race otherwise. If a crazy uncle brings his kids into contact with the rich, successful uncle, the wise grandfather, the impassioned aunt, etc., etc., etc., — well then, good for the crazy uncle.
Update: Krauthammer says it bluntly, “Ron Paul is not going to be president of the United States.”