Ron Paul's Former Political Director Jesse Benton to Work for Sen. Mitch McConnell's 2014 Campaign


Politico reports:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has hired a loyal aide to Rep. Ron Paul and fellow Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul to run his 2014 reelection bid—the latest sign of how the wily leader is already preparing to head off any tea party insurgency and Democratic challenge….

"We're committed to running a presidential-level campaign in Kentucky and that starts with a presidential campaign manager," McConnell said. "Jesse is literally the best in the business at building and organizing conservative grassroots movements and I'm thrilled he's chosen to return to Kentucky to lead my campaign."

Since Rand Paul defeated McConnell's hand-picked Senate choice in the 2010 primary, the leader has worked to win over the younger Paul, giving him political advice in that campaign, allowing him to operate independently in the Senate and touring the state with him back home….

Benton had McConnell connections already through Paul campaign advisor Trygve Olson, who reportedly first entered the Paul camp when sent, reportedly at McConnell's request, over from the National Republican Senatorial Committee to work with Rand Paul's 2010 campaign for McConnell.

Benton managed Rand Paul's 2010 Senate campaign; McConnell had initially wanted Paul to lose the primary, though the two camps have, as Politico notes, become friendly since Paul's Senate victory.

For those who trust Benton's liberty bonafides, this is a great step in the spread of Paulism throughout the higher reaches of the GOP. The folks at the Daily Paul are reliably anti-Benton in their comment thread on the news, seeing his move as a sign that he was never fully dedicated to Paul's libertarian principles in the first place.

The story of Benton's presidential efforts for Ron Paul told in my book Ron Paul's Revolution.