By Jayden Grupe
April 27th 2011
COMMENTARY | Congressman Ron Paul, a long-time favorite of the Tea Party movement, announced Tuesday from Des Moines that he is forming an exploratory committee for the 2012 presidential election. He throws his hat into the ring with several other Republicans, including Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Donald Trump (who keeps making big news).
While Paul is likely to get support from the insurgent Tea Party members, much of the rest of the public remains skeptical of his brand of politics. Even though there are skeptics, pundits are saying that this year may be the right one for Dr. Paul. Below are just a few reasons why Paul may wake up as "Mr. President" in 2013.
1) Paul was against the Iraq war before it even started, and has remained opposed throughout.
While many may not believe this to be critical in 2012, the rage over the Iraq war was one of the main factors in toppling the Republicans in 2008. Sure, the economy was poor and Republicans didn't have a necessarily strong candidate, but the Iraq war set the stage for "change" in Washington.
Paul was an avid opponent of the war from the beginning. While other Republican candidates can claim to have opposed the war, Paul is on the record.
2) Ron Paul made the Tea Party cool before the Tea Party was actually "cool."
In the early 1970s, a young congressman from Texas railed against the Federal Reserve Bank and federal spending in general. Today, that message hasn't changed, but Paul has more followers than ever before. The Tea Party's influence cannot be underrated, especially with the recent victories of Marco Rubio in Florida and many others throughout the United States in 2010. The Tea Party will be back in 2012 with a vengeance, and it is likely that they will throw their weight behind Paul in the Republican primaries and the general elections.
3) The timing couldn't be much better.
Americans are generally tired of federal spending, and Paul is the only current candidate on record to have argued against federal spending since the early 1970s. The federal government has failed miserably to reduce record budget deficits, and Paul's solution to shrinking the government's liabilities may finally be coming into the mainstream. Americans are feeling pain in their own pocketbooks, and they want to see Uncle Sam cut back a little too.
While Paul may be in a good spot to run for the presidency in 2012, there are still many obstacles to come, including a relatively interesting primary season which is likely to pit Trump, Pawlenty, and Paul against one another. Paul has shown he isn't scared of anything or anybody in his previous elections; will this year be his?