Rand Paul

Will Rand Paul Be Able To Deal With Neocon Money if He Runs in 2016?


Credit: Gage Skidmore /wikimedia

Over at The Week, Michael Brendan Dougherty has written about the very well-financed opposition Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) may face from neoconservative Republican donors once his widely anticipated 2016 presidential campaign begins.

Last month, TIME magazine's Zeke Miller reported that some donors at the Republican Jewish Coalition suggested Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate, was prepared to spend "vast sums" if it looked like Paul was in a position to do well in the primaries. According to Miller's reporting, one former Mitt Romney bundler, who believes that a Paul nomination would be "scary," thinks that the Kentucky senator could win the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.

Dougherty believes that a Paul nomination is unlikely without so-called  "'Paul bundlers,' 'Paul angels,' and 'Paul-billionaires'":

Perhaps the Paul camp would welcome such a unified opposition. After all, it would grant his us-vs-them fundraising campaigns quite a bit of legitimacy. Surely, his grassroots-savvy team could light a few money-bomb campaigns with that. But does even Paul believe that a presidential campaign can run on $100 checks sent in by hepped-up liberty advocates?

To win, Paul and his anti-interventionist cadres must develop a fundraising apparatus as well-organized, as active, and as deep-pocketed as the one he faces. Until the media is buzzing about "Paul bundlers," "Paul angels," and "Paul-billionaires," I wouldn't bet on him winning the GOP nomination.

Slate's Dave Weigel asked at the end of last month, "Could the shadowy network of Rand Paul's old fundraising machine sink his presidential ambitions?" Reason Senior Editor Brian Doherty wrote about Weigel's article, saying that the answer to Weigel's question is "probably not."

Although Paul might not have the support of any "Paul-billionaires" yet, he is enjoying popularity. Paul topped the list of possible Republican 2016 contenders in a recent CNN/ORC International survey, something his father never managed to do, and won last month's CPAC straw poll. Last month Paul also won a 2016 poll conducted by the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference.

Of course, popularity this far ahead of the race doesn't mean Paul will necessarily clinch the GOP presidential nomination. While some may be pleased with Paul's success at the most CPAC straw poll it is worth remembering that four of the last five winners of the poll have had the last name "Paul."

However, Paul's appeal does reportedly have some neonconservatives worried, which, as I have said before, is a sign he's doing something right.

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  1. I don’t think Sheldon Adelson’s public support is quite the plus with the general public that a certain portion of the GOP seems to think it is.

    1. I think you are probably spot on in that assessment Dragon.

    2. The GOP could do no greater service to the Paul campaign than to create the appearance that shadowy billionaires are unleashing floodgates of money to destroy his chances.

  2. Yes, he will because is speech not votes. That billionaire’s money will only make a difference if he convinces voters. And if he does, it will be because the voters don’t agree with Paul not because of some shadowy neocon conspiracy.

    Stop it Reason. You don’t buy the “oh my God money is the death of clean government” bullshit in any other context. You shouldn’t do so here. If this guy wants to spend his money trying to beat Paul, good for him. If Paul can’t handle that, he has no business winning the nomination.

    1. “Clean government”? What is that?

    2. I really don’t see Reason buying into that here either. They are just making observations. Just a little nuance is good sometimes. There is something in between believing that money is horrible for elections and that money makes no difference at all.
      Money doesn’t buy elections, but you do need some to run a campaign. Rand’s appeal is somewhat limited among the GOP party faithful, so if another non-terrible candidate comes along, loads of money going to that candidate is a concern for him.

      1. Well since there is no other non-terrible candidate, I guess Paul’s nomination is sealed!

  3. I thought the Kochs were going to fund his shadowy campaign. Can they not be relied on for anything nefarious anymore??

    1. shhhh….ixnay on the ochsKay.

  4. To answer the headline, ‘no’. Money doesn’t buy elections especially in the hands of a bunch of people so inept that they think Jeb Bush is a winner. They’ll piss away a bunch of money on The Big Flop and then they’ll throw some money at others but it won’t affect Rand much.

    What Rand should be worried about are the nativist brigades and Cruz’s potential to excite them with pandering. Rand can’t get sucked into out-pandering to those apes it’s a game he can’t win.

    1. Or maybe he should worry that open borders are not a popular idea outside of Washington.

      1. Here we have an example of the nativist idiot brigade I was talking about. It does not matter that Rand has never proposed open borders, nothing will stop the nativist from yelling SHAMNESTY. It is possible they get off on this. These cannot be reasoned with and should be ignored or treated with disdain and contempt.

        What Rand should remember is that xenophobia is toxic to the GOP brand and most voters want a pathway to legality of some kind.

        1. Go tell me when I ever said we could close the borders? I never have.

          You only call me names and assume I am for closed borders because you can’t make a rational argument.

          If open borders were anything but generally unpopular outside of Washington, we would have had amnesty years ago. The Dems owned the Congress for two years and didn’t get amnesty. We have now had pro amnesty Presidents for going on 16 years and still no amnesty. Bush would have signed onto bipartisan amnesty in a minute. So would Obama. Yet, it never happens.

          Why? Because it is not that popular of an idea. If anything is toxic to the GOP, it is people like you who refuse to have an intelligent debate on the subject and call anyone who doesn’t think exactly like you do a “bigot”. That is a problem.

          1. Another delusion by members of the nativist idiot brigades is that Washington, an entity desiring control over everything, wants open borders. This is despite years of evidence to the contrary which they will sometimes go into detail in posts that bizarrely use years of ‘no amnesty’ as proof that Washington wants amnesty.

            you can’t make a rational argument.

            It’s been done John but you’re basically a prog on this issue. Impervious to logic. I don’t assume you are for closed borders. You just have a kneejerk negative reaction to any politically realistic proposal on immigration.

            1. I was not sure I would see it…but you have out-overreacted in a thread arguing with John. Mercy!

              He makes a decent point about the popularity out in the non-DC parts of the country – the principles behind it are not part of the argument, merely the politicking.

              I have a hard time seeing the extremes on either side (DEY TOOK R JERBS! or But who then will do our laundry, mow our lawns and nanny our kids????) being anything but an embarrassment. However, in the midst of the dismal O!conomy, it is a tougher sell to the non-libertarian majority of this country, that we need another amnesty.

              1. There are possibilities other than amnesty.

                We could have an umlimited quote on work visas without amnesty, for example. Which would be my suggestion for the next step.

                If you are here illegally, get to the damn border and get your work visa, but if you stay undocumented, you may face permanent deportation.

                I guess it would be “amnesty” in the sense of 3 months of so for illegals to get the visas.

              2. But who then will do our laundry, mow our lawns and nanny our kids?

                Is that extreme? I thought that was sort of the middle of the road on immigration.

                1. I thought that was sort of the middle of the road on immigration.

                  You should move somewhere with fewer than a million people. You might be shocked to find a lot of American families doing that shit themselves. This kinda gets at the whole “cosmotarian” criticism. When the only time you ever encounter a brown person is when you need your toilets cleaned, and you don’t know anybody who does their own yard work, you’re disconnected from about 75% of the country.

              3. But who then will do our laundry, mow our lawns and nanny our kids????

                Orphans, who else?

  5. Sure Adelson finances GOP candidates, but secretely he’s just a Democrat.

    1. Secretly?

  6. Surely, his grassroots-savvy team could light a few money-bomb campaigns with that.

    I think the answer to that as always is found here.

  7. The problem here is that is is highly unlikely to be just a Neocon vs paul in the early running so whoever the Neocons pick to back will be using their money to attack and defend attacks from the field, not just Paul. Combine those with the extremely low level of support that Neocon policies enjoy right now and that doesn’t make them much of a threat.

    1. Combine those with the extremely low level of support that Neocon policies enjoy right now and that doesn’t make them much of a threat.

      Well the neocons have done more than just about everybody else to bring that situation about. When your “solution” every time someone somewhere has a hangnail is to start a war, people start losing interest in what you have to say.

  8. Once again the GOP will run enough negative ads during the primaries to poison the winner in the general election.

    1. But you know the Democrats are going to portray anyone the GOP runs as a white supremacist who wants to re-institute slavery and make it illegal for women to work outside the home.

      If the candidate can’t handle the GOP going negative against him, he has no chance against the Dem major media machine.

      1. Talk about missing the point.

        1. I didn’t miss the point at all. If the Dems are going to be 10 times more negative than anything the GOP runs, the GOP going negative won’t matter.

          You have to be able to respond to negative ads. You might as well start early in the primaries. If anything the GOP primaries are not dirty enough. They let guys with glass jaws like Romney through.

          1. Point to John. GOP demonization isn’t the problem, bad GOP candidates are.

      2. John, I’m about ready to vote for the “white supremacist who wants to re-institute slavery and make it illegal for women to work outside the home” just out of spite.


        /not srsly but it’s getting tired, innit?

      3. My point is that the average voter will see first attack ads by the GOP candidates against each other during the primaries, so whoever wins will be tainted before the Dems even begin their attacks.

        If the GOP would stop demonizing each other during the primary, they might stand a better chance in the general election.

        1. I see your point. I am just not sure they do that. Did anyone demonize Romney in the primaries? If anything they went to easy on him.

          1. Yeah. The attacks on him were, well, veiled. Questioning his religion and the MassCare thing. I dunno. It just seems to me like they beat each other up so much in the primaries that whoever wins comes out pretty bruised before they even have a chance in the next fight.

          1. Who said I care? It’s an observation, disphit.

          2. Because sarc’s a TEAM RED SYCOPHANT! How do you not get that, PB? Jeeze.

  9. Neocon Money

    I was going to light the Cytotoxic/Botard signal, but I see it’s self generating…

    1. Neocon Money

      Not a bad band name.

  10. It’s cute to see the circle-jerking war-boners have a lovers’ spat.

    1. Other Reasonoids – It’s What’s For Dinner!?

    2. circle-jerking

      Projection: It’s What’s For Dinner!?

        1. I consider my vanity and pettiness to be virtues!

  11. I’m sure the Team Red field will be crowded early in the primary season. If Paul wins Iowa and New Hampshire, bundlers and angels will probably start showing up.

    1. Bundlers and Angels would be an excellent name for the debut album of the eponymous band.

      1. I just might make that for you. I’ll have your screen name scratched into the lacquer.

    2. Rand Paul won’t win Iowa. For Fucks Sake Pat Robertson won there.

      He will win NH though.

      That leaves it up to South Caroline and the mystical priests at Bob Jones U.

      1. Ron Paul won Iowa, why wouldnt Rand?

        1. Rand has the advantage of being a “serious” candidate too, so maybe if he wins they won’t change (or ignore) the rules so they can pretend he didn’t.

    3. ^THIS^

      When you’re donating large amounts of money to a campaign, the big issue is can they win. After that, everything else becomes an afterthought.

      1. No, I was not thising Shreik. What a tool.

        1. The threading is pretty clear don’t worry.

  12. If I were advising Team Red I would tell them to dump the fucking debates because they all look like idiots when faced with complex questions.

    MORE FLAG WAVING AND BIBLE THUMPING! (the Heartland loves this shit)

    1. If you were advising Team Red it would explain why they keep derping.

      1. “Forty-Love, Cytotoxic…”


        That is the route to success in the GOP, you brain-damaged Canuck.


          Game, Mister Cytotoxic.

    2. because they all look like idiots when faced with complex questions

      Says the guy who looks like an idiot when faced with, well, anything.

      1. Not everybody can have the sophistication and command of the issues like Obama or Biden.

  13. Rand’s outfit in the photo has a distinct Deep Space Nine feel to it.

    1. Beat me to it. that’s what I get for doing HyR during the Operating Review….

      *fer reelz*

    2. Oh no! He’s a red shirt!

      1. Redshirts being disposable was pretty much only for TOS.

        By TNG and DSN, red uniforms were command positions – captains, etc., instead of security officers, which were the ones always getting killed. Security got changed over to yellow.

        So Rand is good to go – he’s wearing the Uniform of Near-Invincibility.

  14. This is very weird, but I’ve realized that my eight-year-old son could play the young Rand in the movie biopic. He’s got the exact same hair.
    (Honey, we need to have a talk. Were you anywhere near Bowling Green nine years ago?)

    1. getting an “eye exam”.

        1. +E

  15. As long as he’s willing to outspend his opponent 2-to-1 (like Obama vs. RomBot 2.0), Rand Paul can be our next President.

    Or is Obama outspending Mitt by $250,000,000 not part of the accepted canon of campaign finance bullshit?

    1. It is well known that Obama drew huge donations and spent that cash.

      The bigshits are still terrified that the TeaKlan will take over.

      1. Money buys elections is an article of faith among, progs, but when the Anointed One, King Barack I Obama, the First of His Name, Defender of the Faith, Shield of Chiraq, Protector of Cronies, Finisher of Unguarded Blunts, Knight-Commander of the Poor Fellows of the Health Insurance Industry, Lord of the Holy Drone Strike, Patron of Bailouts, Smiter of Libya, Archduke of the Teleprompter, and Rightful Master of these 57 States, does it then it’s okay to spend away?

        1. Money only buys elections when the proggies lose.
          When they win it’s the will of the people.

  16. Rand Paul certainly has the right enemies. Whatever else, he has that going for him at least.

  17. All I know is that if the motherfucker ever wears a turtleneck under a V-neck again (that is NOT in the context of doing a bad Star Trek parody) he can forget about ever being elected anything.

    “I question his judgment.” (alt text, please)

  18. This is the worst dating site ever.

  19. Yeah, neocon money will definitely be Rand Paul’s biggest obstacle to election in a country that overwhelmingly put Obama in office twice.

    He’ll never even see the nomination, of course, but the entire question is a bit silly.

  20. Sweet turtle neck and v neck.

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