Brian Doherty on Rand Paul Rising Above Scandal


The political world around the Pauls—retired Republican congressman Ron Paul and his son, sitting Kentucky senator Rand Paul—was roiled by mini-scandals last week.

Treated as most consequential by national media was, naturally, the one that touched on the senior Kentucky senator, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Last September, McConnell hired Jesse Benton, a former campaign higher-up for both Pauls, to run his 2014 re-election campaign. Benton made national news last week when a former Paul campaign worker, Dennis Fusaro, leaked a tape to the press. In the recording, Benton told Fusaro that he was working for McConnell because of the job's possibilities to help Rand Paul. What's more, Benton said he was "holding my nose" while doing it.

Senior Editor Brian Doherty explains the story—and also why it probably won't hurt Paul's political fortunes. Gaffes and political operative machinations fascinate the media whose job is to follow this stuff obsessively. But voters care a lot less.