Ron Paul

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.

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  1. This enters the realm of do not care for me.

    1. I’m gonna have to agree. Never heard of this guy before, and I don’t care who is is, who he was, or what he does with his career. I have my own career to worry about.

      1. But, but, libertarianism in any guise requires a vow of poverty!

        Otherwise, BURN!!! Burn the witch!!!

        1. I am thrilled about this. If anyone can prevent the Turtle from being re-elected, it’s Benton.

          1. There is that, too.

            Where’s the downside?

          2. I am thrilled about this.

            So we can trade him in for Jack Conway? No thanks.

            1. This.

              If there is a libertarian on the ballot, I will vote for him. But Im not voting for Conway. Ever.

              1. Yes. McConnell and Conway both super-suck.

  2. Alt-text: “I think the acid is kicking in… whoa, fingers are *weird*!…”

  3. Rush 2112!

    1. Focus on the current tour.

  4. This is what it looks like when small “l” libertarians start to gain influence in the Republican Party.

    Yeah, if libertarians gain influence in the GOP, it will water those libertarians’ message down. Single member districts, y’all! The GOP isn’t ever going to be as libertarian as libertarians…

    But it can be a lot more libertarian than it is, and if this is the stuff that needs to happen for the GOP to become more libertarian? then I’m all for it.

    Senate Minority Leaders don’t embrace things like libertarianism because one day they sat down and reasoned it all out and realized that the libertarians were right all along. Senate Minority Leaders embrace things like libertarianism becasue embracing libertarianism becomes the pragmatic and smart thing to do.

    1. But, but, Ken, that makes too much sense! Clearly you, also, must burn for your heresy.

      Now maybe Benton won’t turn McConnell towards libertarianism at all. But worst case, how is anyone worse off? It’s not like Jesse Benton (not a household name exactly) was the guy who scored the nomination for Ron Paul or anything.

    2. “…the stuff that needs to happen for the GOP to become more libertarian?”
      and a good start would be for the gop to kick-out the socons who ruined the party and re-establish ties to libertarians, NE moderates, and western land-owner/private property republicans.

    3. This.

      Paul beat the McConnell backed candidate.

      In the 4th district primary this year, the tea party/Ron/Rand backed candidate beat the GOP insideres.

      McConnell doesnt want a primary challenge.

      1. Just saw this, havent been paying attention to northern KY:

        Rep. Geoff Davis, who was not running for re-election, stepped down as of July 31. So, there will be a special election to fill his term, which might be held same day as regular election (they might hold it sooner if they can get it scheduled).

        So someone is going to be elected for Nov/Dec at same time as someone to take over in January.

        Sigh. Since they are only 2 years long, I dont know why House vacancies are even filled.

        1. Also, just noticed with the finally finalized congressional district changes, I am real close to the 3rd/4th border. Im still trying to figure out which Im now in.

          1. I guess Im still 3rd as I dont remember voting in the 4th primary. I dont remember voting in the 3rd primary either, but I would have remembered if it had been the 4th.

            1. I would have remembered if it had been the 4th.

              Wouldn’t that depend on how much acid you dropped before heading to the polls? NTTAWWT. Being stoned as fuck is probably about the only way to make the process of voting tolerable.

              1. I know I voted for Paul, and I thought that was it. I dont think there were multiple republicans running in the 3rd to choose between.

            2. And I found the map finally, the 4th doesnt quite make it to me. Im sure you all cared deeply.

        2. You can’t waste nearly as much money if you use common sense or sound logic.

    4. This was LP founder Dave Nolan’s take on how things would progress. There would be an LP advocating “mainstream” libertarianism and various other libertarians who would peel off and infilitrate the GOP or Democrats as situations dictated. Meanwhile mainstream GOPers would embrace certain libertarian issues where pragmatism dictated they could pick up enough votes to matter.

    5. Campaigns are marketing, and there is a no returns policy and no fraud protection.

  5. Senate Minority Leaders don’t embrace things like libertarianism because one day they sat down and reasoned it all out and realized that the libertarians were right all along. Senate Minority Leaders embrace things like libertarianism becasue embracing libertarianism becomes the pragmatic and smart thing to do.

    Where does it say McConnell “embraced libertarianism”?

    He hired a marketing whore.

    1. That’s the point.

      He hired a libertarian marketing whore becasue he’s afraid of getting his ass kicked by libertarians.

      That’s the process you go through.

      This is politics–not a philosophy or economics class. The point is to win an election–not to get the right answer. He’s a dirty politician and politicians will always be this way. In Libertopia, the politicians will only be libertarians because if they embraced something else, their constituents would all vote against them.

      That’s right, Mitch McConnell. We’re in your district, and we’re screwing with your constituents.

      Better get libertarian quick!

      1. Exactly.

        Politicians are whores.

        That seems like a bad thing, but it’s not necessarily. Sure, it would be nice to have a principled libertarian in every seat. But at the end of the day, if we have a sociopathic Marxist pedophile, yet every one of his votes is libertarian, the results are the same.

        1. Maybe Benton could pull McConnell a bit towards libertarianism, but he’s not going to become the second coming of Ron Paul, and it’s very possible there’s no effect at all, and Benton just helps keep a terrible senator in office. Very possible that he’s just trying to advance his career, without a second thought about liberty. I don’t know him, so I can’t say for sure what his motivations are

          1. The second coming of Ron Paul isn’t ever going to happen because we elect the right politicians. The second coming of Ron Paul doesn’t happen until there’s a big change in the American people.

            If part of that change in the American people requires the GOP to become more libertarian, than this is the way that happens. …and it’s progress.

            It’s not the solution. The solution is to win the hearts and minds of the American people. The solution never was, isn’t, and never will be politicians–not even politicians named “Paul”. But this could be progress toward a solution–if the GOP becomes more receptive to libertarian ideas, and libertarian leaning people become a larger portion of the GOP’s constituency.

            I don’t like blase tasting beer. It tastes watered down to me. I like micro-brews! But if you want to sell a lot of beer? You gotta water the flavor down. It just makes it more palatable to more people. There’s a reason Green Day sold more records than GBH. I prefer GBH, personally, but political parties and group identities aren’t about me personally.

            Political parties and group identities are about appealing to as many people as possible. And if that’s what we gotta do to live in a more libertarian world, then that’s what we gotta do. Can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

            1. Ken, I don’t think Benton is going to pull McConnell toward libertarianism. I don’t even know if he wants to. Based on his actions the last year or so, he strikes me as a political opportunist. If you’re going to spend your time working on a political campaign, you should do it for someone who’s actually a good candidate, not a scumbag like McConnell who is not going to change his stripes

              1. Like I was saying, it isn’t really about one politician or another.

                If this is a sign that McConnell thinks he needs to worry about libertarian minded people in his constituency, then that’s a good thing.

                Like Gandhi said:

                “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

                We might be in different stages of that depending on what segment of the electorate you’re talking about, but in terms of the GOP? After them fighting Ron Paul people at the convention, I’m hoping we’re somewhere between the fighting stage and the winning stage with the GOP.

                In other words, this may be evidence that libertarians are gaining influence–with voters…even if the McConnells of the world aren’t really changing their stripes.

                If Republican voters are becoming more libertarian, and McConnell and other politicians are starting to worry about how they appeal to people who lean libertarian? then that’s a vast improvement over where we’ve been since the Bush Jr. Administration, at least.

                During the Bush the Lesser Administration, the GOP leadership treated libertarians with contempt.

                1. What I’m saying is there’s not any evidence that McConnell hiring Benton means that he’s worried about appealing to libertarians. Benton isn’t very well liked by libertarians, and I don’t see this move improving his credibility

          2. You’re assuming that Benton would actually help keep McConnell in office. Hell of an assumption, even if McConnell does get re-elected.

            1. I’m just hoping that libertarians gain more influence.

  6. McConnell really does look like a turtle head.

    What is Libertarian about turtle head? Can someone name one vote that he got right? What about NDAA? Did he get that right? If I remember correctly, nay.

    If I remember correctly, I also remember that Rubio voted against it and Ryan for it. Still think Obamney #2 would have been wiser to choose Rubio, who has the added advantage of being Hispanic. Bad VP more, Obamney #2, you dipshit. I still think Rubio is a Neocon, but he would have been better than Ryan.

    1. Can someone name one vote that he got right?

      Back in the early 90s, he flip-flopped on flag burning and voted against the bill to ban it on 1st amendment grounds.

    2. He was the most prominent opponent of McCain-Feingold.

  7. McConnell is scum, and I never thought much of Benton, especially after he was a bit rude to me in person.

  8. So McConnell hires a guy who might get him to say some vaguely libertarian sounding things to get re-elected, but once re-elected will he actually behave and vote like a libertarian? I highly doubt it. This is a classic political bait and switch.

  9. I’ve been withholding judgement on Jesse Benton, but if he’s going to work for McConnell, that doesn’t indicate much in the way of personal integrity.


  10. I am full in support of having libertarians infiltrate and take over the GOP. I was expecting to applaud this guy’s move, but… Mitch McConnell??!?

    How the hell does helping McConnell PRETEND to be a small government conservative help anything other than McConnell?

  11. I wonder if Benton is going to follow Dondero’s career trajectory: Paul aide- Paul enemy- GOP hack- Internet troll- cautionary tale about the power of mental illness and obsession…


    2. The security measures have taken away our ability to do the DONDEROOO thing. I haz a sad.


    3. Here’s my cell phone number, you pussies. If you don’t call and talk to me, I’ll know what pussies you are. Pussies.

      …I’m so lonely…

  12. Let’s remember who works for whom. I’m pretty sure McConnell only wants a marketing guy who understands the “new model” (and wants to take him off the market so a challenger can’t hire him) and couldn’t give a fuck less what he thinks about the drug war or crony capitalism.

  13. My guess is McConnell thinks Benton can MoneyBomb him into Strom Thurmond level permanence in the Senate.

  14. The point is to win an election–not to get the right answer.

    No kidding.


  15. lol, sorry but that dude just looks corrupt as the day is long lol.

  16. If you think a slimebag like McConnell is going to be swayed in the political direction of his campaign manager…. it’s amazing you survived out of the crib.

    1. Oh ho, who hacked Tulpa’s account today?

  17. it also gives Benton more credibility with the insiders. When he runs Rand’s 2016 or 2020 campaign, he will have the connections to get top-notch staff. Most importantly, this widens the Overton window. People are fucking retarded. You can’t just present them with an idea they’ve never heard of and expect them to get on board just because it’s objectively correct. They assume they are too smart not to have heard of it if it is a valid idea. The biggest achievement libertarianism can accomplish right now is to expand the scope of acceptable political ideas, and the best way to do that is for libertarians to infiltrate the retards. Become known entities as individuals and then gradually start slipping libertarianism in as if it were exactly what the retards had always believed. In this regard, having Benton running McConnel’s campaign is a huge win.

    1. If Rand hires Benton to run his campaign, I am not going to be happy

  18. BTW, Tom Woods has a pretty interesting write up on Benton on his website

    1. Executive summary: Benton doesn’t like me therefore he’s a traitor to liberty.

      1. Really? That’s all you got? I understand the need for pragmatism, but I feel that many people who place such a high importance on it are willing to go along with anyone who’s supposedly a “pragmatic libertarian” regardless of the facts

  19. The sign wavers are just pissed that Benton didn’t fund more sign waving.

    1. No, the sign wavers are pissed because they were busting their ass and spreading the word for zilch, while Benton and the rest of the Paul family were getting big bucks to run an incompetent official campaign.

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