From the beginning of the GOP Presidential Primary race, Mitt Romney has been the presumed winner. There has been a boom and bust cycle of candidates vying to unseat him. We have seen Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich, and Santorum all rise to challenge him at various times, but none, so far, have been able to permanently unseat him. That said, he has proven unable to gain a decisive victory over his final competitor, Rick Santorum, which has brought serious questions as to whether he will be able to garner 50% of the GOP delegates and clinch the nomination.
Meanwhile, Ron Paul has been very strategic about the way he has garnered delegates. While not technically winning any states (shenanigans in Maine aside), Ron Paul has actually accrued a substantial number of delegates by leaving supporters behind after caucuses, who then fight to become delegates, loyal to Paul.
Just to be clear, everything after this point is pure speculation!
If Romney fails to clinch the nomination in his own right, Paul (who is a personal friend to the Romneys and who is not personally or politically fond of Gingrich or Santorum) will be in a very powerful position. If he were to decide to play ball with Romney, he could be given significant influence on the party’s platform and he could guarantee some of his close advisors and allies positions in the Treasury or Office of Management and Budget.
Now, anyone who has followed Dr. Paul’s career knows that he is not particularly willing to compromise, but here is why I think he might do so now. He’s old; his time in the spotlight is ending quickly. There is no clear, popular successor to Ron Paul (Rand is a deficit hawk, yes, but seems less libertarian on social issues). If Dr. Paul wants to maintain his movement and his legacy, he may have to finally compromise with the Mitt Romneys of the GOP