Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rand Paul's Plan to Win the General Election

WaPo reports:
Can Rand Paul win the general election? Paul easily won in a Republican primary in which voters were both very conservative and anti-establishment. Now he will enter a general election against an experienced opponent, state Attorney General Jack Conway, who won a close primary Tuesday and will be helped by national Democrats who view Paul as a potentially weak candidate.

And Paul will run in a state that is conservative and anti-Obama but has not traditionally been known as hot-bed of libertarian-style voters who want to cut drastically federal spending as Paul proposes.

Looking towards the general election, Paul is already taking steps to consolidate the Republican vote. While he distanced himself from the Republican establishment during the primary, Paul will attend a "unity" event on Saturday at the state GOP's headquarters where he will be joined the man he defeated, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, as well Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who endorsed Grayson. Polls have shown many Grayson backers are wary of Paul.

And on Wednesday, he linked himself to the GOP more closely than he did for much of the primary. "I've been talking with the Republican Party structure. And I think we will be unified going into the fall, "he said on CBS "The Early Show."

But Paul says he won't change his core approach. "People are already saying now you need to weave and dodge," Paul said in his victory speech on Tuesday. "Now you need to give up your conservative message. You need to become a moderate. You need to up give up the Tea Party, you need to distance yourself.

But he pledged to continue to tout "tea party" themes.

"The tea party message is not a radical message. It's not an extreme message," he said. "What is extreme is a $2 trillion deficit."...

He constantly notes Congress should work through bills slowly and make sure the public has time to read them, balance the budget each year, figure out if its actions are constitutional, and have term limits. He praises capitalism, the free market and "freedom."

"They tell me they want me to wait to buy a gun, I tell them they need to wait to pass legislation," he says in a line loved by his crowds. "I propose they wait one day for every 20 pages, that will keep them busy for a while."...

If the campaign does turn to specific issues, Paul will have to explain his opposition to the Department of Education, farm subsides, and other popular programs, as well as what exactly he will cut to balance the budget.

But Conway has backed the national health-care overhaul, which is highly unpopular in this state.

"If you look at all the polls, John McCain won Kentucky overwhelmingly in a not-so-good year for Republicans," Paul told CBS. "And President Obama is less popular in our state than he's ever been, and he never was very popular in Kentucky. So I think we have a very good chance in the fall."


  1. It appears Rand, unlike his father, knows in order to win the game you have to play the game.

  2. I like how they put freedom in scare quotes.

  3. On Maddow show R. Paul had difficulty explaning why he's against the Dept. of Education (the only business in the US completely based on socialism) or whether he would have voted for the 1960's "civil rights" bill more accurately titled the civil privileges bill. These should be no-brainers for him by this time. Whats up with that?!

  4. He was grilled on Maddow over the civil rights bill. Same thing they tried to do to Ron Paul - paint him as a "racist" because his libertarian ideals conflict with government intrusion in private businesses. Typical ambush.
    Rome is burning and Maddow wants to rant for 20 minutes about 50 year old legislation...