I have come to the opinion that the GOP cannot support Paul’s foreign policy positions sufficiently to win Paul supporters. However, the GOP can win Paul supporters without doing so. The solution is to nominate as VP Rand Paul. Senator Paul is significantly more mainstream than Ron. He does not hold the same foreign policy views. However, Sen. Paul is a strong tea-party conservative and nominating him would be an olive branch to must-win Paul supporters.
Although some Paul supporters will vote for Obama (25% or so), and some are a lock for the GOP anyway (probably 1/3), the rest of up for graps. The easiest way to win those voters — and show a commitment to cutting the budget — is to nominate Rand Paul as VP.
At this point, that may be the best way for the GOP to remain a big-tent and unified in 2012, without adopting Paul’s positions.