If you went only by the media, you'd think that Rand Paul was a legitimate contender to win the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Time magazine put him on its cover, calling him "The Most Interesting Man in Politics." Politico magazine said --literally--the same thing. Top Obama aides agree. In fact, huge swaths of the media concur that Sen. Paul is "interesting."
But it's not clear why, as an electoral proposition, there's anything interesting about him at all. Here are four reasons Paul is likely to underperform in 2016 and almost certainly won't win the GOP nomination.
(1) Rand Paul is a conventional political dynasty candidate. People seem bothered by having Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton as dynasty candidates, but for some reason Paul gets a pass on this-no one complains that he'd never be a senator running for president if his name was "Rand Johnson."
But unlike Bush and Clinton, who are trying to forge new political identities distinct from their names, Paul is not. Paul is trying to modify, but only slightly, his political identity from his father's-he wants to be thought of as "libertarian-ish." But this amounts to merely a tweak to his father's brand. The essentials of the Paul electoral proposition--withdrawal from foreign entanglements, state's rights, criminal justice reform--are virtually identical for both father and son.
For all intents and purposes, Rand Paul is running the third iteration of the Paul presidential campaign.
(2) Paul 1.0 was a niche product. At this point in the 2008 cycle, Ron Paul did not exist as a political commodity. Rudy Giuliani led in the polls with support in the high-20s to the low-30s. John McCain was a comfortable second, in the mid- to low-20s. Mike Huckabee, who would be the last man standing when McCain clinched the nomination, barely registered. When Paul made the polls, he was at 1 percent.
Paul didn't take off until October of 2007, when he began polling around 3 percent nationally. By the eve of the January Iowa caucuses, Paul was polling between 7 percent and 9 percent in Iowa. He finished the actual caucus just shy of 10 percent. It was good enough for fifth place and it would be his best showing in a contested race for the duration of the campaign.
Senator Rand Paul has entered the presidential sweepstakes as a Tea Party favorite and limited-government constitutionalist—i.e., one who believes Congress should not pass legislation unless it has the constitutional authority to do so.
A new poll of likely Iowa Republican presidential caucus goers finds a wide-open field with three candidates vying for the top spot and a plurality undecided. Scott Walker, the governor of neighboring Wisconsin, leads the latest poll from Loras College, earning 12.6 percent support. Florida senator Marco Rubio, who declared his candidacy earlier this month, is close behind with 10 percent, while former Florida governor Jeb Bush has 9.6 percent.
Both Walker and Rubio have doubled their support from the January Loras poll, according to a press release from the college.
Every true conservative, or at least every Republican conservative, knows that our freedoms are under continuing threat from the Obama administration, which has already seized control of the health care and energy sectors, and is circling the education sector with the threat of a core curriculum. Worry not. Our Republican guardians are on the alert. At least in Wisconsin.
It appears to be a three-way tie in the Mike Lee presidential primary. At a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor in Washington Friday morning, the Republican and first-term senator from Utah spoke glowingly about his “three best friends” in the Senate who are or are preparing to run for president: Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio. Lee wouldn't say which candidate he preferred, though he seemed particularly laudatory of Rubio.
Kentucky senator Rand Paul launched his presidential campaign Tuesday, promising to be a "different kind of Republican" who can extend the party's reach to minorities and young people. Paul's campaign website even offers a handy slate of social-media profile pictures for different members of these groups to show their support.
Supporters can show their friends they are an "Iowan for Rand," a "Democrat for Rand," and even a "Jew for Rand." There are no options to be a "Republican for Rand." Check out one image below:
As Kentucky senator Rand Paul gears up to launch a presidential campaign, the libertarian leaning Republican may have some problems getting social conservatives on board. Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, suggested in an interview that Paul’s brand of Republicanism doesn’t sit well with social conservatives.