Ron Paul Heads to Iowa, but Huckabee and Romney May Stay Home

A handful of Republican presidential hopefuls are heading to Iowa to address a conference of social conservatives next month, and Rep. Ron Paul has signed on to attend. This is the clearest sign yet that Paul may be planning to launch his third presidential bid:

Add Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) name to the list of Republicans making their way through Iowa for an appearance at a conservative group’s Presidential Lecture Series, but don’t pencil in former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) just yet. …

The Hotline reports that Huckabee was slated to speak at the conference, but the organizers now say he hasn’t yet confirmed his attendance. And Romney may also be sitting this one out, according to the organizers, who say they haven’t been able to get in touch with him.

If Paul decides to run, it’s sure to discourage (or at least further complicate) the possible 2012 aspirations of his son, Sen. Rand Paul. During an interview with ABC News last week, Rand wouldn’t rule out a run and said he would accept the challenge if nominated. While Rand’s lack of experience may make him a long shot for 2012, he has much more mainstream appeal than his father and would probably have a better chance at winning the nomination.

But then again, if the elder Paul runs, then maybe he and Giuliani will be able continue that conversation about blowback.