Skip to comments.Sam Youngman: A critical look at Rand Paul and 'winnability'
Posted on 03/30/2015 6:55:46 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Rand Paul likes to say that the Republican Party should follow the advice of painter Robert Henri, who said people should "paint like a man coming over a hill singing."
But Paul, one week away from an announcement that he is running for president, often seems like a man running down a hill so fast that his feet can't keep up with his momentum.
As he prepares to take a formal step onto the biggest stage in politics, Kentucky's junior U.S. Senator has previewed his campaign message as one of "winnability."
"Ted Cruz is a conservative but it also goes to winnability," Paul recently said on The Kelly File on Fox television. "And people have to make a decision: which is the Republican that can not only excite the base, but can also bring new people into the party without giving up the principles?"
But Paul's winnability argument seems to ignore the reality of his extremely long list of misstatements and curious policy zigzags that could well make him the dream opponent of Hillary Clinton's possible opposition research team if his Republican opponents don't bash him over the head with it first.
A few weeks ago, Paul stood in a ballroom in Lexington's downtown Hyatt, just steps away from Rupp Arena, and replayed for the crowd how he was in medical school at Duke in 1992 when Christian Laettner hit the shot that broke the heart of the Bluegrass State.
Paul offered a grin and a "no comment" when asked if he cheered for Laettner.
This past weekend, as the Cats gutted out a win to return to the Final Four, the senator's Twitter feed looked like that of a true blue Wildcats fan, complete with #GoCats and #BBN hashtags.
While that might seem too trivial to be labeled a campaign-killing flip-flop, it's indicative of the countless changes in Paul as he gets closer to launching his presidential campaign from a podium in the Galt House in Louisville.
Last week, Paul spoke to a small group in Bowling Green, where he received a donation to his political action committee.
According to the Bowling Green Daily News, Paul riffed on government assistance for the unemployed, but cautioned that Republicans can seem "callous" when taking on such issues.
"You know, I've had family members on unemployment insurance before so, yeah, I know it's not always easy for people," he told the audience.
The next day, Paul's staff couldn't or wouldn't say who those relatives are.
Regardless, it was a pretty far cry from an event in Lexington last year when Paul suggested telling women who receive federal assistance that they shouldn't have any more children or risk losing their benefits.
"Maybe we have to say 'enough's enough, you shouldn't be having kids after a certain amount,'" Paul told a crowd at Commerce Lexington last January.
American Bridge, the Democratic super PAC that serves as a clearinghouse for researching and cataloging Republican candidates' past statements, was there to record Paul that day.
The group has been building a sizable file on Paul, including video and print statements, according to Ben Ray, the group's spokesman and a Kentucky native.
Last week, when asked about Paul's argument for "winnability," Ray seemed amused.
"Rand Paul wants to eliminate the departments of education, commerce, energy and HUD, turn Medicaid into a block grant and eliminate assistance for families that can't afford heating oil in the winter," Ray said. "He's right about his run meaning 'winnability' in purple states but don't anybody tell him it's for Democrats."
So far this year, Paul has decried nation-building, then proposed that the U.S. create a Middle Eastern country just for Kurds, which he called "Kurdistan." He followed that by offering a budget that dramatically increased military spending (offset by equally dramatic cuts on the domestic side).
Paul told Fox that gay marriage "offends" him, but he told <>The New York Times he's "not a crusader on social issues." Paul followed that by calling the debate over gay marriage a "moral crisis" in a nation in desperate need of a "revival."
Paul signed an open letter to Iranian officials, then said he only did so to "strengthen the president's hand" in diplomatic negotiations with Iran.
Heck, it wasn't even that long ago, before he was an omnipresence on Fox News Channel, that Paul was joining with Democrats in questioning the cable network's journalistic integrity.
After his father was prevented from participating in a candidate forum in 2007, Paul told the Bowling Green Daily News: "We're not alone in really questioning Fox's credibility. The Democrats won't even debate on Fox anymore since they don't consider Fox to be an objective news network."
Think that one might come back to hurt a little bit?
The U.S. Senate is a deliberative body, where ideas don't necessarily require execution. The same cannot be said of being commander-in-chief.
When running for president, shooting from the hip is a good way to blow off whichever foot you don't stick in your mouth.
Nuance, changes in policy position and a lack of authenticity are all cancers to presidential campaigns.
None of Paul's statements and maneuvers happened in a vacuum. They happened in the modern political arena where birth certificates are checked and The New York Times oped page will never let you forget that you put a dog on the roof of your car.
Not only will Paul's history of strange remarks and controversial statements be campaign fodder for a Democrat should he win the Republican nomination, but it's a safe bet his Republican rivals or their allied super PACs will be running ads featuring that history.
Paul might be a legitimate contender for the nomination, but his past does serious damage to his argument for "winnability."
And that's probably not something to come over a hill singing about.
Lil Rand can go hold hands with his buddy, Reverunt Al and sing “Kumbaya.”
Rand Paul may be the first to fold. It has been reported that several in his camp have defected to the TED CRUZ campaign.
Paul didn’t gain any traction the last time he ran for President. Can’t he take the hint? He is unelectable.
We need to pray that a God-fearing President will be elected in 2016.
Sometimes events bite you in the ass. With the Middle East in flames, Putin on the march, China a threat in the Pacific, the libertarian message is not going to get much of a listening, for good or bad. 2016 is just not the right time for Rand Paul. At this time, I do not think people are all that upset if a jihadi who happens to be born in the US gets blown to hell by a drone strike. I personally would applaud. Never understood the logic about his objections to the NSA and drones. Did the Pinkertons need a court warrant to spy on the Army of Northern Virginia, no. Did Lincoln need permission from the courts or Congress to kill Confederate soldiers, no. American citizens all. If an American citizen joins Al Qaeda or ISIS than he is an enemy combatant, all bets are off in my opinion.
I just can’t see a path for Rand to win nomination. The only group likely to give him numbers is those under 30, but that group is notorious for low turnout.
However, in the UNlikely event Rand Paul wins nomination, I will have to vote for him in general over Hildabeast who is a lock for the democRats.
I stand with Ted.
The Paulinistas can pound sand
[in the UNlikely event Rand Paul wins nomination]
Really, who would donate a dollar to him?
More like Whineability
He seems to be more like a character on The Gong Show
Not many on FR, but I have seen some support for Rand in Hot Air blogs. I am giving Rand Paul 5% chance.
Paul signed an open letter to Iranian officials, then said he only did so to "strengthen the president's hand" in diplomatic negotiations with Iran.Democrat in all but name
Rand Paul's immigration speech...The Republican Party must embrace more legal immigration.[Posted on 03/19/2013 7:04:07 AM PDT by Perdogg]
Unfortunately, like many of the major debates in Washington, immigration has become a stalemate-where both sides are imprisoned by their own rhetoric or attachment to sacred cows that prevent the possibility of a balanced solution.
Immigration Reform will not occur until Conservative Republicans, like myself, become part of the solution. I am here today to begin that conversation.
Let's start that conversation by acknowledging we aren't going to deport 12 million illegal immigrants.
If you wish to work, if you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you...
This is where prudence, compassion and thrift all point us toward the same goal: bringing these workers out of the shadows and into being taxpaying members of society.
Imagine 12 million people who are already here coming out of the shadows to become new taxpayers.12 million more people assimilating into society. 12 million more people being productive contributors.
Rand Paul calls on conservatives to embrace immigration reformLatinos, should be a natural constituency for the party, Paul argued, but "Republicans have pushed them away with harsh rhetoric over immigration." ...he would create a bipartisan panel to determine how many visas should be granted for workers already in the United States and those who might follow... [and the buried lead] "Imagine 12 million people who are already here coming out of the shadows to become new taxpayers...[Posted on 04/21/2013 1:52:42 PM PDT by SoConPubbie]
[but he's not in favor of amnesty, snicker, definition of is is]
Rand Paul On Shutdown: "Even Though It Appeared I Was Participating In It, It Was A Dumb Idea"I said throughout the whole battle that shutting down the government was a dumb idea. Even though it did appear as if I was participating in it, I said it was a dumb idea. And the reason I voted for it, though, is that it's a conundrum. Here's the conundrum. We have a $17 trillion debt and people at home tell me you can't give the president a blank check. We just can't keep raising the debt ceiling without conditions. So unconditionally raising the debt ceiling, nobody at home wants me to vote for that and I can't vote for that. But the conundrum is if I don't we do approach these deadlines. So there is an impasse. In 2011, though, we had this impasse and the president did negotiate. We got the sequester. If we were to extend the sequester from discretionary spending to all the entitlements we would actually fix our problem within a few years.[Posted on 11/19/2013 12:16:51 PM by Third Person]
Rand Slams Congress for Funding Egypt's Generals: 'How Does Your Conscience Feel Now?'Sen. Rand Paul is hammering his fellow senators for keeping billions in financial aid flowing to Egypt's military -- even as Cairo's security forces massacre anti-government activists. [by "anti-government activists" is meant church-burning Christian-murdering jihadists][Posted on 08/15/2013 5:44:10 PM PDT by Hoodat]
His basic problem is one shared with Hillary Rodman....he’s extremely unlikeable.
Rand is beating Hillary in Pennsylvania according to new QUINIPIAC poll
That is obviously good news. Which other candidates are beating Hilda in PA?
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