Ron Paul is declaring the formation of his exploratory committee tomorrow, which is the typical preparatory step to announcing that he is running for President, he stated on the Hannity program on Fox News tonight. He thus becomes the sixth Republican to enter the race, joining Romney, Pawlenty, Cain and Roehmer, who have also formed exploratory committees, and Gary Johnson, who has officially announced his campaign.

478px Ron Paul  official Congressional photo portrait  2007

Paul will attract the same sort of libertarian voters as Johnson, which will probably cause them both a problem in the nomination campaign. For two candidates to come from a point of view that is likely to be a minority position within the party will require one of them to make a decision soon on whether to remain in the race or not.

I am apprehensive that part of the reason Paul is entering this cycle is to retain control over this branch of the party so that his son Rand will be able to take over in 2016. This is similar to what Jesse Jackson did in 2008 when he remained largely silent in the Democratic campaign since he didn’t want to cede titular control of his wing to Obama, in hopes that his son would eventually take his place. Here is an ad for Paul’s campaign that ran in the 2008 race.