Look, I don’t think Paul has a serious chance to win the nomination, but to my surprise he has run a quite serious campaign. Watching his speech last night confirmed this. Paul knows he is a million-to-one shot to win, but he also knows that if it comes down to just him and Romney, with the vote floor he’s established early, that he could run as high or higher in a lot of states, and come to the convention with a non-trivial number of delegates and an agenda. His holding fire on, and even defending, Romney from Perry/Gingrich attacks confirms the strategic sophistication of his campaign. Paul’s defense of free enterprise is certainly a principled one. But it also supports his interest in seeing the field winnowed down. It might also reflect a desire not to do damage to the presumptive party nominee — whom Paul has suggested he prefers to Obama — if he can build a strong position without doing so. Either way, Paul has shown a level of rationality and maturity that contradicts the caricatures.