Rand Paul Is Running for President (IMO) and He Isn't His Father

I just got off a reporter/phone call deal with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), to discuss his foreign policy speech at Heritage earlier today. Some bullet-pointed comments he made:

* "The elected officials here haven't caught up with where the public is." Paul estimated that 70-80% of the public is broadly sympathetic to his more limited and humble conception of U.S. foreign policy, while "the reverse" is true both in the U.S. Senate and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he now sits.

* "If any part of these ideas become part of a national campaign...." Asked about his foreign policy's appeal to Democrats, Paul singled out for praise Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), stressed that "libertarian Republican ideas" may well have some sway among Democrats, independents, and voters on the coasts, and volunteered the notion of a "national campaign."

* "I do want to be part of the national debate and the international debate." Asked about his presidential ambitions, Paul did not say "I'm totally running," but...he's totally running.

* "I think the interesting thing about Kennan and containment is that it's not a passive policy." Part of Paul's obvious third-way triangulation here (between "neoconservatism" and "isolationism," as he put it in the speech) is to marry the complicated and non-conservative foreign policy thinking of George Kennan with the Cold War record of Ronald Reagan. Consistent with that is the notion that Kennan's anti-Soviet "containment," which Paul wants to apply to "radical Islam," can mean both active engagement and deep skepticism about boots-on-the-ground military action.

* "Part of what this speech is intended to do is to spell out where I am, and it isn't exactly the same [place], there are differences." Asked directly about how his foreign policy views differ from his dad's, Paul said that such a "separation" was one of the main ideas of his speech. He will not, he said, be spending the next several years saying which part of Ron Paul's foreign policy ideas he agrees or disagrees with, in part because "it doesn't exactly make for great Thanksgiving conversation."

* "Brennan we're very concerned about." Asked whether he would oppose the nomination of Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, or support a filibuster to oppose it, Paul said he has not decided, and that "a lot of the debate for me is how much prerogative you give to a president to decide his cabinet." For example, he voted to approve John Kerry for secretary of state, even though he agrees with about "one percent" of Kerry's positions, either internationally or domestically. Asked what he thought about confirming John Brennan as CIA director, Paul became much more animated, railing against (and my notes here might not be verbatim) "one person sitting around with some flash cards and deciding who they're going to kill in the world."

* "We need to observe a process...." Asked whether there is any military action over the last 30-40 years besides the initial hit against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan that he would have supported, Paul dodged the question, and spoke instead about future engagements, and constitutional process.

* "We need to be more hesitant in getting involved...but that doesn't mean we shouldn't support freedom fighters [and] free market capitalists." I asked him about how a Rand Paul foreign policy would approach rhetorical support for those fighting oppressors around the world, given the suspicion that many anti-neocons have for such talk being the precursor to military engagement. He stressed that "so many of these situations are murky," named several such examples, but then also said that there are times for piping up. "I've stood in solidary in democracy workers both here and in Egypt," he said.

Here's a Reason.tv piece about Rand Paul from the 2012 Republican National Convention:

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  • Agammamon||

    Wait, is that a picture of Paul getting ready for a TV interview with no pants?

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    Sweet.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    I've wondered if talking heads on TV do this. I mean, if no-one sees below the waste, why not be as comfortable as possible? There's also the possibility that Paul lags behind fashion three years, or Googled a GQ style guide to see whether the shorts/blazer combo was still acceptable, but forget to check the date of the article.

  • Agammamon||

    I can just see it now - on-camera serious talking heads and during commercial breaks, Ron Burgundying it up.

    "I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly..."

  • wareagle||

    having been one, the answer is yes, particularly on weekends. If your beat is sports. Weekdays, it's usually jeans or something similar.

  • jessie||

    The pic is from 2010 when he was still campaigning for his seat in the senate. He had just come from his kids ball game or something.

  • Lyle||

    Jindal/Paul... or Paul/Jindal

    Start the prayers now.

  • Grenator Bole||

    I wish Jindal had been as good a governor as he was hyped. He's my governor and he sucks. He's not done one damn thing to shrink government or taxes. Can't really think of anything he has done.

  • John||

    Does he have the power to do anything about that? In most states the size of the government is determined by the legislature.

    The standard for being a good governor in Louisiana is not being functionally retarded and not being under federal indictment. But how much can even a good governor do?

  • Lyle||

    I live in Texas, but I'm from Louisiana.

    If you don't think Jindal has tried to do something about the abomination which is state government you're ignorant.

    He got is voucher program passed just last year, he's passed good ethics legislation, and Louisiana's economic is looking better with the two largest capital investments in all of North America happening in Louisiana just last year.

    Louisianians, too many who work for the state, don't know how good they have it with Jindal.

  • Brett L||

    Abandoning state income tax? Granted, not done yet, but...

  • ||

    Paul (Rand)/Paul (Ron)

    Is that too much to ask for?

  • Lyle||

    You shouldn't even be asking for it cause it's stupid and not possible.

    Ron Paul is an idiot unlike his son.

  • Tonio||

    Bravo, Lyle, Bravo! [Claps Lyle on shoulder and leaves behind "Kick Me" sign]

  • cavalier973||

    [Kicks Lyle]

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Yup.

    Would be nice to get a non-retarded governor on the ticket for once, to be honest. I think Jindal fits the bill.

  • Juice||

    Hopefully he'll cut that wasteful spending for some BS called volcano monitoring.

  • grey||

    The American People want free stuff. Would a Rand Paul ticket support new free stuff for voters? If not, then let's all please prepare ourselves for President Hillary Clinton. She will promise free stuff and the printing presses are still working.

  • An0nB0t||

    The chances of the economy poking along for another for years without a full-fledged Schiff Collapse look pretty slim. As was the case after WW2, the United States, its citizens, and even the Democrats will transition away from failed Keynesianism because they have to. They'll pout, point fingers, and write their fallacious economic histories, but unsustainable monetary policy doesn't become sustainable by hoping.

    That and Hillary is unelectable at the national level.

  • ChrisO||

    In the case of an economic collapse, the American people will demand MORE Free Stuff, not less.

  • ||

    I will be really fascinated to see if he can actually make headway or if he gets totally shut down/no support. If it's the latter, this country is megafucked. If it's the former, that's slightly promising.

  • ||

    The obedient left hates the fuck out of him, presumably over the Civil Rights Act, and the angry right likes him because they think he's a foreigner-hating version of his dad. I hope he does run and provide us all with some good derangemertainment from both camps.

  • T o n y||

    I don't hate him. I think he's just shockingly stupid.

  • Specail Sauce||

    Great assessment coming form a total moron.

  • Tim||

    Are you being ironic or are you "specail"?

  • Specail Sauce||

    It was an attempt at irony... a bad attempt.

  • ||

    Irony? Do you mean sarcasm?

    Might have helped to emphasize "great", like "Great assessment, coming from a total moron." Maybe emphasize moron too? I don't know, your meaning just didn't strike me until the 3rd time I read it.

  • Libertarius||

    That's why he's a successful human being and you are an unemployable "liberal" bum--because you're so much smarter than him lolzozlolz

  • T o n y||

    Since when did libertarians consider becoming a politician a laudable career endeavor?

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 2.6.13 @ 4:02PM |#
    "Since when did libertarians consider becoming a politician a laudable career endeavor?"

    WIH did that have to do with anything, shithead?

  • Rick Santorum||

    Rand Paul is an ophthalmologist, u mad bro?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    An English major criticizing the intelligence of someone who made it through med school -- interesting, that.

  • Tonio||

    Through med school and on to board-certified specialist.

  • John||

    I don't think the angry right hates him. The GOP establishment hates him. But everyone hates them.

  • ||

    I said likes. GODDAMMIT JOHN YOU'RE OUT OF YOUR ELEMENT

  • John||

    You are right. Sorry.

  • Drake||

    Yes - It's the Rino's who run the party who will try to destroy him.

    That will be interesting. I'm guessing Rand will be more popular than his father - if they act against him, the GOP will come apart like shatter glass.

  • Zeb||

    If they run the party, how can they be RINOs? Don't they get to define what the party is if they run it?

  • Drake||

    You are correct sir. I suppose Rand Paul is the Rino since he is way too fiscally conservative and believes in the Constitution.

  • wareagle||

    the left hates him because he's not one of them. No deeper reason is needed.

  • Zeb||

    I've actually been kind of surprised, in my personal interactions, how reasonable a lot of people are about him. But my sample is quite limited, so you are probably right in general.

  • Eric||

    The progressives and big government left hate him yes. But there is a large swath of ground on the moderate left, and those who occupy this space kind of like what he has to say about civil liberties, foreign policy, and fiscal responsibility.

    But I'm not holding my breath. He's already saying stupid shit to appease the right. So by the time the general comes, he'll be a full fledged Know-Nothing, and the center left will recoil from the other stupid shit he'll have to say during the primaries.

  • Tonio||

    "derangemertainment", FTW. Sounds better as derangertainment, though.

  • ||

    I'm glad someone in this dump appreciates me.

  • Sudden||

    We all appreciate you. We fear you too, but we appreciate you.

  • Tman||

    I am doing my best not to get my hopes up about Rand because politicians usually fail to live up to your expectations, but I can't remember the last time I had this much in common politically with an actual real life Congresscritter.

    2016 is also a long ways away.

  • entropy||

    Ditto.

  • An0nB0t||

    Let's assume that Rand isn't a crypto-libertarian.

    Which US Senators, living or dead, have been better or shown more consistent libertarian-esque values?

  • Libertarius||

    He really is the best (and only) thing we've got going in the US Senate. Sometimes you just have to roll with it man!

  • Drake||

    Ted Cruse appears to be fairly promising.

  • Couves||

    Regarding Ted Cruz: Watch his questioning of Chuck Hagel and his comments during the gun control hearing (he manages to throw the fourth amendment under the bus in the first few minutes).

    I though he was cool for opposing the NDAA, but there's not much beyond that.

  • Juice||

    Russ Feingold had his problems, but he was very good on civil liberties and war.

  • ||

    Ditto Ron Wyden.

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    "Russ Feingold had his problems"

    You mean problems like wanting to confiscate people's wealth? Problems like wanting to use the coercive apparatus of the state to tell people what they can do with their own property?

    Yeah, those are sort of problems.

  • Sevo||

    Barry Goldwater?

  • John||

    http://www.jammiewf.com/2013/l.....-shooting/

    Leftwing terrorist pleads guilty. US Attorney says the case is about gun control.

  • R C Dean||

    One narrative to rule them all . . . .

  • SugarFree||

    Paul estimated that 70-80% of the public is broadly sympathetic to his more limited and humble conception of U.S. foreign policy

    He was a filthy Cosmotarian all along!

    ROMNEY 2016! We must contain the warisn'tsuperawesome threat!

  • ||

    Wait, I think I understand now: Romney lost because libertarians didn't vote for him. If they run him again, this time Tulpa will have succeeded in convincing libertarians to vote for him, and he'll win!

    My head hurts now.

  • John||

    The guy who scars me in 2016 is Fats Christie. Every low information soft Obama voter I know loves the guy. I would love to write him off. But I am afraid I can't.

  • ||

    He's like Brooks and Friedman's ideal Republican.

  • T o n y||

    What do you have against Christie, out of curiosity?

    No I am not one of those people you describe--Christie is far too right wing for me to ever consider supporting.

  • wareagle||

    Christie is no more right wing than Romney. It's all a facade. He won early points by taking on the teachers' union, which is an easy target, and most people didn't notice that he left cops, firemen, and other public union people out of the discussion.

    He's always blustering about something and it's a tired act. He keeps going to it because it's all he has.

  • Specail Sauce||

    "Christie is far too right wing for me to ever consider supporting."

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

    When statists don't satisfy the Statists we have a major problem.

  • T o n y||

    I try to learn about him but I just can't stop staring at the shape of his body.

  • wareagle||

    folks have that same issue with jackie, I mean Michelle, and are called racists for it. He's fat. It's not a secret.

  • T o n y||

    The difference is people bothering to comment on Michelle Obama's body shape are almost universally racist idiots, and I would surmise most of them are larger than she is.

    I am a fatist but I'm working on it.

  • Christina||

    But are you a fat fatist?

    http://youtu.be/J1rhZgotsrM

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    In other words, Tony could call Clarence Thomas a fat nigger, but it would be okay, 'cause he's a liberal. But to imply that Obama's trade policy with Belgium is not as nuanced as it could be will earn you the label of 'Klansman' from the tolerant left.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 2.6.13 @ 4:03PM |#
    "I try to learn about him but I just can't stop staring at the shape of his body."

    Yes, here's how shithead decides on policy.

  • entropy||

    Lust is a powerful emotion.

  • deified||

    Christie is going to get tossed out on his fat rectum this November. You have my word on it.

  • Pi||

    Although Wyden has his share of imperfections (guns, eventually caving to the second round of bailouts), a cross-party ticket between him and Rand (or even a race between the two) would be infinitely more interesting than Hillary/Biden/Jindal/other designated Establishment hacks.

    The question would be whether such an alliance would be able to garner enough votes to overcome the Free Shit Brigade.

  • John||

    Wyden would never get the D nomination. He has embarrassed big daddy way too much for that.

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Alexandra Paul, Mrs. Paul's fishsticks--- all great!

    Ron Paul--- a narcissistic clown who bilked dipshit libertarians out of millions on a series of (purposefully) failed prez runs.

    But perhaps I've spoken too soon. Perhaps the good doctor will have more than enough delegates to overtake Romney in the-- wait, what?

  • SugarFree||

    DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • Blueman||

    Darn it, I tried to figure out what "DONDEROOOOO!" refers to but I just can't. What is the reference?

  • sam the man||

    Eric Dondero, former Ron Paul staffer and complete psychopath. Here's his blog: http://www.libertarianrepublican.net/

    Doesn't look too bad at first, but here's an example of his craziness:
    "What in the bloody hell is wrong with the people of Nevada. Nevada is supposed to be a rugged individualist state, libertarian.

    Here we have the most libertarian Republican presidential ticket in our lifetimes, Romney a fiscal conservative/social moderate, Ryan a downright Ayn Rand individualist, and the people of Nevada are balking?

    I say if Romney/Ryan loses Nevada, we cease and desist in ever calling Nevada liberty-loving ever again. The state will have become a welfare statist, moocher-loving socialist hellhole.

    Big ‘F’ you Nevada if you go with the Marxist Muslim America-hater.

    LIBERTARIANS FOR ROMNEY!!"

  • Cyto||

    I dunno... depending on how old you are the "most libertarian ... ticket in our lifetimes" is not a very high hurdle.

    Prolly didn't need the "muslim america-hater" part, but when you are in full rant mode you tend to say stupid stuff.

    There's lots of better loony out there. What ever happened to that old HnR user handle guide for newbies? That's where you should point him. Nice concise descriptions of all the major loonies on HnR's pages.

  • Libertarius||

    You guys have to understand that there will come a day that the American people will be forced to pay for the giant, bloated, corrupt government we have allowed to grow over the past 100 years. It is the magic printing press of Bernanke that makes it ALL possible--and the end of the US dollar as global reserve currency is coming--it is unavoidable--and that day will be the beginning of the new beginning.

    I do not predict the Mad Max nightmare that so many others fantasize about. It's the dollar and big government that is going to end--not the factors of production.

  • ChrisO||

    The example of Argentina says otherwise. When the collapse comes, big tyrannical government will become even more popular.

  • Sevo||

    ChrisO| 2.6.13 @ 4:40PM |#
    "The example of Argentina says otherwise."

    You know who else rose to power surfing inflation.

  • sam the man||

    a balloon?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It is the magic printing press of Bernanke that makes it ALL possible--and the end of the US dollar as global reserve currency is coming-

    Unfortunately, the day of reckoning is a lllooooooooooooooong way off.

    I prefer to keep as much of my, my kids and grandkids freedom in the meantime.

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    As far as Reason's concerned:

    You live by the Paul, you die by the Paul.

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    Aww, did dipshit SugarFree get bilked? Yeah, you probably did. Don't worry. They're still counting delegates. It ain't over, dude.

    And how do I get the Ron Paul Newsletter on my iPad?

  • SugarFree||

    No, no... the sockpuppet handbook clearly states you are supposed to play dumb. "Wha? Who's Dondero? I've never heard of him."

    What you've done is just confirm what we already knew. I think you need to go back to cunt school and learn how to be a better cunt, you cunt.

  • ||

    That dropped eye of yours looks like the hood on a cunt to me, SugarFree. When you talk, your mouth looks like a cunt moving.

  • ||

    But Eric's got your number, NutraSweet! You're totally despondent about a political candidate! Admit it! Isn't your house covered in Ron Paul bumper stickers?

  • SugarFree||

    Fuck you! Erik Dondero is a true libertarian patriot! He walked 12 miles in the snow to canvass for One True Shining Libertarian Hero Rudy Giuliani! Uphill, even! Both ways!

    And Rick Perry? Do you have even one-billionth the commitment to freedom that Rick Perry has in his left little finger!

  • Sudden||

    There is so much liberty in that left finger that it infects his whole, wonderful, manly GOP body. That is why he was unable to name a third cabinet dept to be eliminated. Too. Much. Liberty.

    Fuck YEAH!`

  • Paul.||

    And how do I get the Ron Paul Newsletter on my iPad?

    It's not compatible with the Obama theme and apps already installed.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Kennan wasn't a neo-conservative, as far as I know. At any rate, when he wrote his famous article the movement hadn't even been born yet.

    Kennan Cold War-era policy was really quite simple: protect the industrialized nations from communism's advance by co-opting them as allies, and differentiating between communism and other groups on the left. That's pretty much it.

  • Sevo||

    Any reading of WWII policy shows FDR and Churchill both bamboozled by Stalin; they both thought he was 'reasonable' and each one was convinced his personal relationship with Stalin was sufficient to keep him honest. Yes, they both believed that.

    Kennan was the first to point out that communism was not a civilized government organization, and that Stalin was a paranoid maniac.
    Not sure I ever read the article, but the long telegram began the policy of containment.
    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/c.....kennan.htm

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I read both the long telegram and Article X. Article X is a condensed version of the long telegram, essentially.

    And yes, the behavior of the two "leaders" of WWII is horrible -- even without the benefit that hindsight brings, they were quite naive about the whole situation. While I am no fan of Truman, he was better than FDR in that respect -- it's quite terrifying that Henry Wallace or anyone like him came so close to the Presidency.

  • Sevo||

    The Immaculate Trouser| 2.6.13 @ 4:31PM |#
    ..."it's quite terrifying that Henry Wallace or anyone like him came so close to the Presidency."

    Yeah, FDR was more than willing to accept Wallace as VP until someone forced his hand, knowing FDR was a dead (not lame) duck.
    And FDR was also criminally guilty of failing to prepare HT for what FDR *knew* was going to happen.
    It was no secret he was sick, and yes, it's tough to deal with that.
    And yes, asshole, you are the leader of the greatest power the world has yet seen, and you are so venal you *won't* prepare your replacement?!.
    If he hadn't died, he should have been impeached.

  • kinnath||

    Rand will never survive the Iowa Caucuses.

    We need to build a libertarian block in the Senate before, Rand starts running for POTUS.

  • Drake||

    The Liberty Caucus is a start. It is all Republican Reps right now, but I see no reason why Paul and Cruse can't join.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_Caucus

  • deified||

    Queen of the Cunts Jennifer Rubin gives the speech a thumbs-down so that's a start.

  • Drake||

    The have a Queen? Was there an election? I know a couple of good candidates.

  • Eric||

    It doesn't matter what he does. To get through the Republican primaries he'll have to:

    A. Tack so far right to get the batshit vote that he'll be completely unelectable in the general.

    B. Attempt to stay principled, and be ignored/drown out (like his father) by those going for the batshit vote.

    The republican party is screwed at the national level until they purge/marginalize the So-Cons.

  • sam the man||

    To be fair, Rand is pretty much a SoCon too. I don't see what's wrong with being a SoCon as long as it's not a priority.

  • Hyperion||

    Rand Paul could easily be the next POTUS, if a majority of Americans cared about liberty. Too bad, they don't.

    What most Americans care about the most, and what will decide the next POTUS race, is the same thing that decided the last one, who will promise the most free shit.

    The best thing that Rand can do is stay in the Senate and endorse other libertarian leaning candidates running for both houses, or get elected governor somewhere.

    There is nothing more that can be done as far as the POTUS election is concerned, it's just free shit all the way down.

  • Brian from Texas||

    Is Rand Paul a carbon-copy of his father? No. Do I agree with Rand Paul 100% of the time? No, nor do I agree with Ron Paul 100% of the time. But I still think overall Rand Paul would make such a far better President than anyone in either party with their eye on 2016 that there would be no comparison.

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    Ditto what Brian from Texas said. Rand Paul could...Run and win (doubtful, but I'm allowed fantasies), run and push the party toward liberty (unlikely, but worth pondering); run and make certain the whores of the party have to at least discuss issues of import occasionally (very possible).

    I don't think a Free Market candidate can beat a Free Stuff candidate, but I'd like to at least SEE a Free Market candidate get in the ring.

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