(1). A former campaign handler of Ron Paul who has recently deserted, having seen the handwriting on the wall, told the Washington Post that Ron Paul knows he is not going to win the nomination but he just wants to come in a strong 2nd or 3rd in the final nomination. This because, he believes that a strong runner up status will make the Republicans allow him to speak at the nominating convention, in addition to accepting some of his ideologies into the Republican platform. From Paul's perspective I can definitely see his thought process.
If the Republicans humor Ron Paul and allow him to speak at the convention, his speech better be limited to the Federal Reserve and/or downsizing of various departments. They would not be wise to let this loose canon have a microphone for more than five minutes.
(2). The past debate on Monday night from South Carolina hopefully showed Mitt Romney that if he does get the nomination he had better take the velvet gloves off and be in full attack mode ala, Newt Gingrich, who brought the house down at the debates a couple of times with his very blunt plain talking replies. In the final debate with Obama the Republican candidate better be in full agressive mode. Gingrich has shown he will bloody up Obama, and Mitt Romney would need to leave his country club demeanor behind and do likewise if he is the one.
In sum, we have much to be hopeful for in the 2012 election. With gas prices going up again, sanction problems with Iran in additon to their nuclear ambitions, plus unemployment still stagnant, Obama can run on only demonizing whoever the Republican candidate is. He can't blame congress as he had the majority for the first two years of his illegitimate presidency.