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Ron Paul Set to Announce GOP Presidential Candidacy Friday

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Ron Paul is apparently not afraid of Friday the Thirteenth. The Republican Congressman is set to announce Friday his intentions to run for president of the United States.

This is not Paul's first attempt at the presidency. He ran as a Libertarian party candidate in 1988 and as a Republican in 2008. With libertarian sentiment rising in the American populace, and particularly among Republican primary voters, 2012 might mark Paul's best chance at capturing the nomination.

Paul has already been informally involved in the 2012 presidential campaign, including participating in the candidate debate on May 5. He has also opened an office in Iowa, presumably to prepare for the first-in-the-nation caucuses that the corn state hosts. Paul will be in New Hampshire, which hosts the first primary this winter, tomorrow for his announcement.

Overall, Paul is a borderline first-tier candidate. He has a relatively large following, but struggles to expand his appeal beyond those core voters. Paul's politics focus on liberty and reducing government has no shortage of potential voters, but tends to make for an easy target for his opponents. American voters may not be fond of government, but they are fond of government programs that benefit themselves.

Paul also is an interesting choice to watch this primary season because of his long-standing opposition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was an unpopular man among Republican circles early in the decade, but as the wars dragged on and the body counts rose — without measurable success or and end in sight — his early warnings positioned him as a soothsayer of sorts.

Given the lack of serious candidates to enter the race, and the reluctance of major candidates to announce their intentions, Paul remains a possible long-shot to capture the nomination. Complicating his path to votes is the presence of Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor who also advocates libertarian policies. They may split the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, dooming the candidacy of both men. Herman Cain, the former Godfather Pizza CEO, is another candidate with libertarian leanings, but he is seen as unlikely to break through and gain the nomination.

Posted-In: Gary Johnson Herman Cain Ron PaulNews Movers & Shakers Politics General Best of Benzinga

 

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