Ron and Rand Paul Campaign Together In Iowa

Ron Paul needs to do well in both tonight’s Fox News debate in Iowa and the Ames Straw Poll. Can son Rand help launch him to the head of the Republican pack?

Ron and Rand Paul Campaign Together In Iowa

It’s clear Ron Paul plans on using son Rand as part of his presidential campaign. Already Rand, a popular U.S. Senator, has used his influence to blast his dad’s political opponent, Mitt Romney.

And now ABC News reports that the younger Paul joined his father on the trail in Iowa yesterday, the first time the men have stumped as a team.

In addition to appearing at his dad’s various visits, Senator Paul reportedly offered his voice as well, telling an audience at one point, “Democrats have to admit that entitlements and welfare need to be reformed. Social spending needs to go down and Republicans need to admit that military spending needs to go down. They say the Tea Party won’t compromise — we will compromise.”

Senator Paul’s presence is vitally symbolic for Representative Ron Paul. As the presidential candidate moves forward, he has to prove that he’s not the fringe, kooky candidate he was in 2008, and Senator Paul acts as something of a vindication for Rep. Paul: the Tea Party Republican’s platform in many ways mirrors Ron Paul’s overall political philosophy, and Senator Paul shows that such politics can win elections, as Rand Paul did in Kentucky last year — by about ten-points.

Plus, Representative Paul has to do well in both tonight’s Fox News debate and this weekend’s Ames Straw Poll. Anything less than third place would speak volumes about how far his campaign still has to come, and will raise eyebrows about whether or not he can run a competitive race from coast-to-coast.

As the pro-Paul site the Daily Paul writes, the Ames Straw Poll is “the most important event for Ron Paul:”

Every candidate that has gone on to win the Iowa Caucus has finished in the top two of the Ames Straw Poll. The win in Ames will energize supporters in Iowa and across the country. There will be a snowball effect that should propel Ron Paul to win the Iowa Caucus and soon after the Live Free or Die state of New Hampshire.

And Ron Paul himself has admitted that he needs to rank as one of the top three candidates, telling a crowd last week, “Fourth or fifth place or worse wouldn’t be anything to brag about either. It would be a real negative, so we’re bound and determined to do better than that and we’re feeling pretty good about it, but if we’re in fourth or fifth or lower down, I’m not going to be all that excited. I’m going to be rather saddened.”

At least he’ll have his son’s shoulder to cry on.