Monday, June 17, 2013

New Republic Headline:"President Rand Paul"

Wherein neocon Bill Kristol says nice things about Rand, and, of course, there is commentary on how Rand has moved beyond his father. From NR:
 [T]his year, Paul has emerged as a serious candidate. He has started actively campaigning for the nomination earlier than any of the other Republicans mulling a run. Already, he has racked up multiple meet-and-greets, dinners, and coffee gatherings in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. While his father may have been an also-ran, national polls show Rand Paul as one of the top contenders for the GOP nomination. In private, Paul has been meeting with key GOP power brokers, including the Koch brothers, and he has courted techies at Silicon Valley companies like Google, Facebook, and eBay. “We’re doing something that Ron never did; we’re reaching out to major donors,” says a Paul adviser. “Not everyone is giving us money, but there’s definitely some flirtation going on.” According to this adviser, in the last six months, RAND PAC, Paul’s national political operation, has raised more than a million dollars.2 “He’s very politically talented,” says a former senior official at the Republican National Committee. “He is absolutely a contender.”

Ah yes, a contender:

 In his efforts to court new audiences, or to bring what he calls “tough love” to friendly ones, Rand Paul is aiming for a bigger, broader base than Ron Paul—or, for that matter, Mitt Romney—ever captured. But though he has staked out more moderate or traditionally Republican positions than his father, at his core, Rand retains the same pre–New Deal vision of hyper-minimalist government and isolationist foreign policy. In other words, Paul has managed to take the essence of his father’s radical ideology—more radical than that of any modern presidential candidate—and turn it into a plausible campaign for the Republican nomination.[...]

 One person who did not underestimate Paul was McConnell, who had thrown his machine behind the upstart right after the primary. “McConnell was very clear that it was all in the past,” says Jesse Benton, Paul’s campaign manager at the time. “He worked the phones for us, raised money. There were old-school Republicans who had been skeptical of Rand Paul; McConnell called them and brought them over to our side.” He even had his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, offer a shoulder to Kelley Paul during the Aqua Buddha debacle.

And please be sitting down before you read the next paragraph:

 His advisers talk of McConnell as Paul’s “political father,” right up there with Ron. “He has taught Rand how power politics work,” one of these advisers said. “It’s what his father couldn’t be a mentor in.”

And now there is this from Kristol:

“I have to give him credit for political entrepreneurship,” says Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, describing Paul’s tactics as “demagogic.” “I think [the Republican establishment is] nervous about him; that’s the one thing about him I kind of like,” Kristol adds. “They think he’s got some real clout out there with the grassroots, which is why I’d say they’ve bent over backwards to be nice to him.”
But then, it's back to Rand's moving away from his father, which appeared to irritate Rand a bit:
This seemed to be a departure from his father, who refused to accept Medicare and Medicaid in his private practice because he deemed it “stolen money.” But when I asked Paul to delineate the differences between them, he bristled. “I don’t think it’s really that useful to go into that,” he shot back. “I’ve got two years of voting and three or four years of speaking now, so if you people want to noodle out differences, it’s fine, but I don’t think it’s particularly useful for me to.”  
That noodling, it turns out, produces a complicated picture. On one hand, Rand seems to hold more moderate positions than his father. At a meeting with evangelicals in Iowa, for instance, someone asked if he, like Ron, believes in legalizing drugs. Rand was quick to reassure the group. “I’m not advocating everyone go out and run around with no clothes on and smoke pot,” he said. Instead, he said, he supports abolishing mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines in nonviolent crimes, like possession of marijuana. (He also stressed, as he often does these days, that “I’m not a libertarian. I’m a libertarian Republican.”) Ron voted against congressional resolutions saying Israel has the right to self-defense. Rand, like his father, wants to end all foreign aid, but he has softened this position when it comes to Israel, whose assistance, he says, should be wound down gradually[...]Whereas his father lambasted Ronald Reagan for his big government and big deficits, Rand praises him, like a good Republican.


  1. Nice for people to get a living lesson in how the elite attempts to gain control of a movement that offers political challenges.

  2. “He [McConnell] has taught Rand how power politics work,” Like this: "his father lambasted Ronald Reagan for his big government and big deficits, Rand praises him, like a good Republican." Because huge deficits, raising the debt limit, and raising the payroll tax are all good if R's do it. Love this little tidbit too: "Ron [Paul] voted against congressional resolutions saying Israel has the right to self-defense." Apparently nobody anywhere in the world has the right to self-defense until congress says so. How about Syria?

  3. TNR praising Rand... the same people that tried to sabotage RP's campaign. This is bad news for Rand if you're a true libertarian. Or Rand is so good and is swindling the elites while secretly being a true libertarian. Probably not the latter.