Rand Paul to His Father's Devotees: Let's Face It, We Lost

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 29 2012 10:36 AM

Rand Paul to His Father's Devotees: Let's Face It, We Lost

Read the rest of Slate’s coverage from the GOP convention.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla.—Tonight, at long last, marks the end of Ron Paul, Presidential Candidate. The congressman from Texas will be paid tribute from the main stage of the RNC, with a video introduced by his senator son. Following the video, Rand Paul himself will get a prime-time speech. This is the fruit of the long, obvious, and clever decision by Team Paul to accept that Mitt Romney was the frontrunner to win the GOP nomination, and to carve out some space to his right without lambasting him.

Advertisement

During this convention week, Ron's been able to walk away from the niceties. He told the New York Times that he would not fully endorse Romney -- a step further into the fold than 2008, when he endorsed third party candidates for president, but still a sort of swipe at the loyalty-focused GOP. It's been up to Rand to convince delegates and activists that they should stay inside the GOP and settle for a slow takeover. I watched him do this on the convention floor yesterday (piece upcoming) and watched it again today, as Rand addressed the Iowa delegates' breakfast. (The Iowa delegation is heavily Paul'd up.)

"Politics is messy," said Paul. The facts were the facts: "Ron Paul got a small percentage of the primary vote and a larger percentage of the delegates. You could argue they had a disproportionate influence." Not that he was knocking their effort, but "we can't take our toys and go home. I think the best way to influence the party is to stay in the party, to make the party bigger and stronger."

The fireworks have been fun. But not even the Pauls think they benefitted from them. Funny enough, it was the second breakfast speaker, Ted Cruz, who sounded the only discordant note about Romney.

"Republicans get in trouble when we worry about whose turn it is," he said. "That doesn't have a history of going well for us."

It was a comment about his own campaign, but the resonance was hard to miss.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.