Monday, 25 April 2011

Robert Paul Probably Not Running for Senate

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Lovers of liberty hoping that another Dr. Paul would go to Washington next January are probably going to have to wait for another election year. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Dr. Robert Paul, the youngest son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and the brother of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), “told students at the University of North Texas that he has all but ruled out a bid for political office.” But, the paper adds, that is only “for now.”

Robert Paul, a Fort Worth resident and family-practice physician, had given some strong indications that he intended to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas). On April 14 he told the Star-Telegram, “I have thought about running. I am very happy as a physician, but (I) have a lot of concern about the debt.” In addition, he had set up a Facebook page called "Robert Paul for U.S. Senate 2012."

Speaking on April 21 to the university’s chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, which describes itself as “the continuation of Students for Ron Paul,” Robert Paul said, “I’m honored that people think I’m ready to run, but I think they want me to run because I’m related to Ron Paul.” Understandably, Robert Paul wants to run and win on his own merits, one of which he said is “the biggest thing I have that’s similar to my dad”: honesty.

Given that, plus some other factors, Paul explained, “I’m never going to say I won’t ever run for office, but I think running for Senate probably is not going to happen this time.”

One of those other factors is his family. Asked by a student how Texans could encourage him to run for office, Paul replied, “You'd have to get my wife on board with it, my kids on board with it, and me on board with it.” He said that for the time being, “he wants to concentrate on practicing medicine and being closely involved in his children's lives, including the sports they play,” writes the Star-Telegram.

Still, with the examples of his father and brother, Paul does seem to have something of an urge to throw his hat in the ring at some point. “I think about [running for office] all the time,” he told the students. “That doesn’t mean I have plans to do it.” At the same time, he seems not to be as driven as they, saying, “I really don’t want to go to Washington. But as my kids get older, there might be a chance.”

In fact, if there’s one reason he is likely to run at some point, it’s this: “My dad told us something like, ‘If you understand liberty, and understand what the problems are, and you do nothing, then you are part of the problem.’ I’m never going to say never.”

One thing Paul did not mention but which may very well have played into his decision not to run is that his father is a hair’s breadth away from running for President again this year. Ron Paul is already scheduled to participate in the first debate among Republican presidential contenders on May 5; and his spokesman, Jesse Benton, said he “would base a decision to run this time in part on the response he receives at the … debate,” according to the Spartanburg [S.C.] Herald-Journal. If Ron Paul does indeed run for President, having Robert Paul also running for the Senate could split supporters’ funds, time, and energy, to the detriment of both campaigns.

For those wondering why Ron Paul, at age 75 and with two unsuccessful presidential runs under his belt, may very well try once more to reach the White House, Robert Paul has the answer. His father, he said, “never pushed us to do anything, but he was there to support us. We all got into medicine [because] … we want to help people. That’s what he’s still trying to do — help people.”

Photo of Ron Paul: AP Images

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