Have 2012 observers been looking at the wrong Paul? According to the Charelston Post and Courier, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) may follow in his father Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) footsteps with a presidential bid of his own.
“The only decision I’ve made is I won’t run against my dad,” Paul said at an appearance in key primary state South Carolina on Monday.
Paul said that he would also visit Iowa and New Hampshire, because “I want the Tea Party to have an influence over who the nominee is in 2012.”
The Tea Party vote will be a hot commodity in the primaries and several candidates with major followings, including Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, could enter the race. Ron Paul’s epic fundraising numbers and intense grassroots following from his 2008 run were a major boost to his son’s Senate campaign in 2010 and likely would be a factor in a 2012 bid.
Of note: Rand and Ron Paul are from different states, making a Paul/Paul ‘12 ticket constitutionally sound should Rand change his mind.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.