I’m not a huge fan of Ron Paul the legislator. Sure he favors smaller government, but he also opposes abortion rights, opposes immigration, opposes managed free-trade (which seems like the only way to advance free trade), and supports a return to the gold standard. If I could choose the next president though, I would choose Ron Paul in a heartbeat.
My support comes down to a few issues. Ron Paul is basically the only candidate I trust to protect federalism and civil liberties and not to further expand executive power. Ron Paul would have less say over the issues I disagree with him on as president than he does as a legislator. As a president, Ron Paul would have a lasting positive impact by nominating good judges and limiting the expansion of executive and federal power.