By Kathleen Ann | Yahoo! Contributor Network
Political rumors abound about Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick -- especially with public backing this week of Condoleezza Rice from high-profile conservative voices. Whom Romney will choose between now and the Tampa convention is anyone's guess. But who is No. 1 on some GOP voters' wish lists? Here's one Republican's perspective:
COMMENTARY | My first choice for Mitt Romney's GOP running mate is, hands down, Ron Paul. The Texas representative is the only candidate who can target a growing demographic of voters like me who do not fit into the status quo GOP box.
He is, for me and many others, a beacon of hope for small government with less involvement and control over our day-to-day lives. His sound fiscal policies, such as auditing the Federal Reserve and desire for less claustrophobic regulations, are also extremely appealing.
As a "liberty-oriented" Republican, I often balk at the way Republican Party leadership attempts to impose morality upon others. Paul's libertarian ideals would allow me to breathe freely, knowing that someone holding a high political office is concerned about protecting my civil liberties.
Many Republicans balk at Paul's high-minded ideals in terms of foreign policy and restructuring and shrinking the federal government. Running as the GOP's vice presidential nominee would put him in a position where his platforms would not seem as "all or nothing" as they might on a presidential platform. Also, by giving Paul the nomination for vice president, it would prevent a potentially damage party split -- were Paul to run as an independent candidate, hurting Romney in the process.
Are Paul's ideas are "scary"? They are certainly outside the box. But free trade and nonintervention can lead to peace and prosperity within our nation. Running on a vice presidential ticket, Paul would be able to gather supporters from all ends of the spectrum: Republicans, independents, and even Democrats. I personally know many voters who are of a "Paul or No One" mindset this election season.