If Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush both seek the GOP presidential nomination — and cancel each other out with fundraisers and party supporters because they represent the same lane — the person likely to benefit would be Rand Paul, The New York Times says
of a possible primary scenario.
Paul has not yet formally indicated that he will make his own presidential bid, but he has visited states like Iowa and New Hampshire amid buzz that the libertarian-leaning Kentucky senator is a likely and more youthful presence, who could bridge party divides and offer a credible challenge to a powerful Democrat.
"The odds that Mr. Paul spoils the fortunes of a more traditional candidate increase as more such credible candidates, like Mr. Romney, enter the field. Mr. Romney remains a long shot to win the nomination; it is unclear whether he will even run again.
"But if he does, and attracts any substantial support among party leaders this year, the odds of a more unusual outcome might increase," the Times noted in its The Upshot column published on Monday.
The Times presented a possible scenario for Romney, which it did not discount as the nominee, if he chooses to run: "He would position himself to the right of Jeb Bush but still have enough support from the establishment and business-friendly conservatives to prevail in a national contest."
Paul has been out gauging interest in his own possible 2016 candidacy and will speak at a public meeting in Reno, Nevada, on Sunday, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported
Paul also has been tussling with Kentucky Democrats who have attempted to keep him from running for re-election to his Senate seat and run for president at the same time, The Daily Beast reported
"The law is clear. You can't be on the ballot twice for two offices," said Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's secretary of state who lost her own Senate race against Mitch McConnell in November — and who may well be eyeing a possible seat vacated by Paul.
"We’ll look to the court for any guidance that is needed," the Democrat told WHAS-TV, according to the Beast. "And at the end of the day, we’re not going to be bullied."
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