Rand’s “Paul” Problem
“I have a message from the Tea Party. A message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We have come to take our government back.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
These words were echoed by newly elected Randal Howard Paul, better known as Rand, to a group of his supporters at a victory party on the back porch of a Bowling Green country club. This victory made a statement that “We the People” were serious about the direction that our Country was headed. In the 2010 election, the Tea Party emerged and endorsed what they believed to be many Conservative and Constitutional candidates. Many of those that were backed were little, or virtually unknown to the public eye.
Although they did not win them all, it continues to be believed that the Tea Party is a force to be reckoned with. Republicans seized control of the House of Representatives and America was graced with the likes of a few new faces, as in the case of Marco Rubio from Florida and Rand Paul from Kentucky. Both are believed to be major contenders for the GOP in the 2016 election.
For the most part, Rand has come out swinging. He has emerged as a voice representing those that are calling out for fiscal responsibility and representing our basic Constitutional freedoms. In fact, if you haven’t seen the video of Rand Paul’s speech during an Energy Committee Hearing, regarding the ban on the 100-watt incandescent light bulb, it is and it is definitely worth a look:
So why, then, would I suggest that Rand has a “Paul” problem? Rand has been mostly consistent with the likes of Conservatives within the Party. Granted he voted for the Kerry and more recently the Hagel confirmation, but he has been a powerhouse when it comes to fiscal responsibility, spending cuts and staying true to the Constitution. Is that enough to gain him the support from the base and make him a viable candidate if he chooses to run in the 2016 election? Is it hard to distinguish him from what many claim to be his controversial father? Will he be able to win the hearts of his father’s supporters?
Many anti-Ron Paul people are making the claim that perhaps “the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree” while the Ron Paul supporters are saying, “This apple is not of the same tree.”
There are many distinct differences between the two Pauls. Let’s not forget that Rand separated himself from his father when it came to placing sanctions on Iran. Rand was also in support of the war in Afghanistan and opposed a hasty withdrawal from Iraq. He was boldly outspoken in his strong pro-Israel stance, claiming, “Any attack on Israel will be treated as an attack on the United States”. These policies appear to be very different from those of his father.
But the biggest blow to the Ron Paul supporters came during a very heated primary in which Rand Paul came out and openly endorsed the presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney. Granted, at the time it was believed that Ron Paul would withdraw from the race; however many Ron Paul supporters were still not quite ready to throw in the towel.
So for now, Rand has his work cut out for him. He has to convince those who are skeptical when it comes to his father’s policies that he is not the same as his father. Yet, he has to somehow convince the Ron Paul supporters that there is “just enough” Ron in him to earn their support if he decides to take a run at the Presidency in 2016. My guess is that “Papa Paul” may help out a bit when and if that time comes.