Rand Paul

Rand Paul Fights for Iowa, Silicon Valley


Robert Costa at National Review revisits Iowa, famously a Ron Paul state (yes, Ron Paul did win the Iowa caucus, in the only way that matters–delegate votes) and finds it is unsurprisingly a place where Rand Paul is also a player.

Costa focuses on the chair of the state party, A.J. Spiker, former Ron Paul campaign staffer in the state:

Paul's advisers credit Spiker for helping Paul rise in Iowa from outsider status in 2008 to near the top of the pack in 2012.

That reputation buoyed Spiker a month after the caucuses, in February 2012, when the the state GOP needed a new chairman after the abrupt resignation of Matt Strawn, who had embarrassingly fumbled the final tally of the caucuses….Spiker decided to make a play for the post, and he used his social conservatism and his Paul network to woo support. "The vote was on a Saturday morning in Des Moines, and Kim Lehman, who supported Santorum, nominated me," he recalls. In his pitch, he talked about the need for the party to stand up for conservative principles, and not just its brand….

Eventually, Spiker won by only one vote, nine to eight. Less than a year after joining the Paul campaign as a volunteer, he became the youngest Republican state chairman in Iowa's history….

What might this mean for Rand?

though he's not officially a member of Senator Rand Paul's political operation, Spiker is still a prominent member of Paul World — the group of politicos close to the Paul family who are quietly getting ready for Paul to run. In our conversation, Spiker plays down his ties and says he speaks to the senator only on rare occasions. "He came here a few times for his father, and I talk to him when he visits, but that's about it," he says…

Spiker's claim of neutrality, however, hasn't stopped his critics from wondering whether he's tilting the party toward the Paul wing, especially after he invited Senator Paul to give a high-profile dinner speech in Cedar Rapids earlier this month — the first major 2016-related invitation that he was able to extend. That gesture clarified the image of cozy relations between the new Iowa GOP vanguard and the Paul family, at least among the establishment Republican operatives who once scoffed at all things Paul.

Those Republicans haven't refrained from blasting Spiker for his association with Paul. Branstad, sources say, has icy relations with Spiker, and several prominent Iowa donors have resisted giving money to a Paul-affiliated party….

Spiker, naturally, dismisses talk of a conspiracy to ensure Paul wins the 2016 Iowa caucuses. "This is more of a generational shift," he says. "There is a group that wants to see the party advance, and there is a group that wants to see principles advance, and the latter is where the party is moving." Regardless, should Paul run, as many close to him expect, he'd no doubt benefit from this Republican sea change. The Paul camp is no longer an Iowa sideshow. It's running the show, and Spiker's odyssey is proof.

Iowa's Spiker has been a fixture in my Ron Paul campaign coverage.

As Matthew Feeney noted last week, while Hillary currently polls ahead of Rand in Iowa, she is closer to him than she is to Marco Rubio.

And last July, I noted the Paul political machine making an open bid to be the force for Internet liberty in the GOP. This week, Rand is doing the political reachout to Silicon Valley big money, as per Buzzfeed:

On the 30th, he'll meet with Facebook executives at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, then deliver a speech at the Hoover Institute, a conservative think tank at Stanford University. In the afternoon, Paul will visit the Google campus and meet with Google executives.

The next day, Paul is scheduled to visit eBay headquarters and then give a speech at the Reagan Library Foundation at a dinner that the Paul source who passed along the details of the trip said will be attended by 950 people. Donors who have given over $25,000 will be in attendance. Paul will sign copies of his book, Government Bullies, there.

The source adds that the trip will include "fundraising and also a bunch of friend-raising," such as with the Frederick Douglass Society, a black conservative group….

Both Pauls have backed a libertarian manifesto supporting internet freedom, and Rand Paul recently gave a full-throated criticism of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations questioning Apple on its tax practices, saying, "I'm offended by a $4 trillion government bullying, berating and badgering one of America's greatest success stories."

As always, I wish Paul well in getting big companies to see any clear connection between their own self-interest and supporting libertarian-ish ideas in national politics.

NEXT: Marathon Bombing Victim Named Prom Queen

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  1. I eagerly look forward to the Team Red cheerleaders telling us how “disastrous” is would be to nominate Paul and how we need a serious conservative like Christie.

    1. Christie is now Obamas biggest advocate and official sock puppet. He has Obamas hand so far up his ass, that the fingers are coming out of his mouth.

      1. Things don’t generally come out of Christie’s mouth.

        1. With gastric bypass, or maybe even more so the stapling, they do. One does not become accustomed so quickly to the small stomach, and you can imagine how the transition is.

      2. And I’ll never believe that Obama’s arm is longer than Christie’s colon.

    2. Look, they nominated known moderates in Romney and McCain the last two times, clearly the third time will be the charm!

      1. Yeah, I think Christie has taken some really bad advice. Unless he plans to run as a Democrat.

        1. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised at this point, to see him turn Democrat. He will if the GOP don’t embrace him.

          1. Christie/Crist: This time we mean it.

            1. And when they win, Trey Grayson will be their minister of truth.

              Take that, Paultards!

          2. I hope he does he would be a really good influence on Team Blue! But Team Blue will reject him for a myriad of reasons.

            1. A good influence? What is it, exactly, that you like about him? Is it his:

              – vetoing of gay marriage?
              – vetoing of legalized gambling?
              – sucking up to the Administration for welfare benefits?
              – His likely corruption?

              1. -standing up to PSU teachers and cops
                -vetoing a millionare’s tax

                The guy’s a fat douche but give credit where it’s due.

    3. my friend’s sister-in-law makes $66/hr on the laptop. She has been without work for ten months but last month her income was $18808 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more… http://www.daz7.com

      1. That means she either worked 9.5hrs a day, EVERY DAY OF THE MONTH, or 13.5hrs a day, five days a week. Sounds like a classic deferrer. She should read The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris.

  2. … I wish Paul well in getting big companies to see any clear connection between their own self-interest and supporting libertarian-ish ideas in national politics.

    I think there’s a bigger – national – group he’s going after. An Internet crowd that is dubious about IP issues, and (largely) views anyone who could be labeled conservative as hopelessly ignorant about tech issues. I think this is the first salvo in trying to woo those people. (And possibly also get Paul donations since the companies know he won’t go after them for tax issues).

  3. I’m happy to see old Ron out there supporting the cause. I hope he continues to do so.

    The GOP establishment will cheat, lie, steal, and backstab anyone they have to, to keep Paul from winning a single primary or caucus.

    We all know the script. First, the SoCon comes from nowhere and starts winning. Then the east coast Dem lite comes back strong and wins the prize. Just fill in the blanks for who designated SoCon or Dem lite will be, doesn’t really matter.

    1. And in the end it will be gays and abortion that decides the nominee.

      1. It will also likely be that same thing which decides the election (plus the pill, of course).

        1. It’s just gehs and vaginers all the way down.

    2. Then the east coast Dem lite comes back strong and wins the prize

      Not quite. Sometimes its an old man war hero type.

    3. Bad luck with that, GOP Establishment. Rand doesn’t create the same knee-jerk opposition from conservatives that Ron did, and he’s libertarianish enough to keep his father’s supporters on the bus.

  4. Most importantly, what is Rand’s position on alt-text?

    1. He doesn’t think the Federal government has the authority to mandate alt-text, but the states can. Call your local state assembly member.

    2. Rand: (Thinking).. hmm, what do the SoCons think about this alt-text?… ok, I’ve got it!

      Rand: I’m not for legalizing this alt-text, I think people need to be responsible. So let’s lower the minimum punishment for these alt-texters.

      Rand: (Thinking)… Did I just over-pander to the SoCons again?


  6. I’m waiting for Rand’s libertarian-principled discussion of ethanol in an Iowa speech.

    1. Watching the whiny, childish, dependent, welfare queens that form the farming class howl at the notion that they’ll have to actually grow stuff that people want to consume would be awesome.

    2. Now that will be a test.

  7. This all looks a lot like the situation within the GOP between the
    defeat of Goldwater in 1964 and the nomination of Reagan in 1980.
    If you think Dem vs. GOP politics is nasty, it’s nothing compared to
    one wing of the GOP vs. the other wing of the GOP.

    1. And we really don’t need another Nixon from the republicans.

      1. The Democrats already have one, in the White House, and not in the good way.

  8. yes, Ron Paul did win the Iowa caucus, in the only way that matters–delegate votes

    The best part was that it ultimately allowed Paul to make that rousing convention speech where he put forth his vision for… oh, wait.

  9. I wouldn’t say Ron Paul won the Iowa caucuses in the only way that matters. The caucuses came to the fore in the presidential nomination process only after they instituted a beauty contest; previously, Iowa did not loom large at all in campaigning. So it seems that’s what chiefly matters; the number of delegates they send is pretty small.

    1. Yeah, a beauty contest win in Iowa would have carried more weight, followed up with a win in a New Hampshire, but South Carolina and Florida would have still brought his campaign to a screeching halt.

      Rand won’t have the same issue, except maybe in Florida.

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