Ron Paul's Possible Big Plan: Rand in 2016 Which means dad might not launch a third-party run this year: Steve Kornacki By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jan 6, 2012 12:59 PM CST 114 comments Comments Ron Paul, left, and his son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., at a campaign even in Des Moines over the summer. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (Newser) – The GOP establishment has a nightmare vision about Ron Paul this year, writes Steve Kornacki at Salon. It goes like this: Paul doesn't get the party nomination and exacts his revenge by launching a third-party run on the Libertarian ticket that siphons votes from the Republican nominee and gives President Obama another four years. Maybe, but Kornacki suggests one very important reason Paul might not go that route: His senator son, Rand. "If the Paul name were to turn into the Republican equivalent of Nader, the fallout could threaten the inroads that Rand has made and his otherwise bright future in the party," writes Kornacki. The Pauls' libertarian views are no longer so far out of the mainstream, and it's "not inconceivable" that Rand could launch a successful run of his own in 2016 or 2020. "This offers Ron Paul a different, more meaningful way of enjoying the last laugh in his war with the party establishment: Stepping aside gracefully at the end of the GOP primary campaign and handing off the family political franchise to his son." Full column here.