He gives the exclusive to John Tompkins.
“I felt it was better that I concentrate on one election,” Paul said. “It’s about that time when I should change tactics.”
His announcement will give enough time for anyone with aspirations for his seat to think about running, he said. Paul didn’t want to wait for filing in the 2012 primary to let people know he wasn’t seeking reelection.
“I didn’t want to hold off until in December,” he said. “I thought it shouldn’t be any later than now.”
The primary to replace Paul happens in March 2012, and after a semi-scare in 2008 Republicans stopped taking him on, so this is awfully nice of him. I'll have more about this later, but this much is obvious -- Paul is retiring after making sure he's got successors in Congress. One of them is Rand Paul, his son, who has become as obstinate in the Senate as Paul ever was in the House. One is Justin Amash, a freshman from a safe seat in Michigan, who was supported at a key point by Paul. Both of them can be counted on to do what Paul did -- ask where the hell the Constitutional authority is for this or that piece of legislation, and vote against it if it isn't there. Both are as good, or better, as Paul ever was at winning the debate on those bills in public.
UPDATE: Rand Paul comments:
History will record the legislative record of Ron Paul as an extraordinary one – perhaps unparalleled. There probably has never been a more consistent believer in limited government in Congress. America deserves a statesman like Ron Paul as her president, a man I am proud to call my father.