Jon Stewart may have been on balance an aggravation to many libertarians (though, as I reported in my book Ron Paul's Revolution, Stewart was better and more respectful on the Ron Paul Issue during the 2012 campaign than any other major media figure).
But Stewart's replacement as host of the comedy/news commentary program Daily Show on Comedy Central, who debuts on Monday, Trevor Noah, is out and proud with his deep and so far not even very conflicted love for GOP presidential candidate and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, the Daily Beast reports today:
"There are certain issues that I've seen, let's say, from Rand Paul where I go, 'Yeah, I like that,' and I think that we can move forward in that regard. When it comes to Social Security reform, and looking at different ways to adjust benefits for people, there's definitely a conversation to be had there. Now, I'm not an expert in it…But I believe progression can come from both sides."
Despite Paul's lackluster standing and poll numbers in the 2016 primary, Noah says it was the senator's two debate performances thus far that impressed him so much. "He was saying things that were sane at the debates, he really was," Noah said, referring, in part, to Paul's less "knee-jerk," neoconservative, invasion-happy approach to foreign policy. "He wasn't gung-ho. He did seem thoughtful. And that is progression for me. And maybe that's a tiny step in the right direction."
(When asked about Noah's comments, Paul spokesman Sergio Gor told The Daily Beast simply that Paul is "uniquely positioned to grow the GOP tent by attracting new voters and we welcome them all," and that Paul would be open to appearing on the new latest incarnation of The Daily Show.)….
A Daily Show colleague sitting near Noah at Friday's event chuckled, and warned him that soon the day will come when Paul does something to "break your heart," as all politicians are prone to do.
"I don't know all of Rand Paul, and that's what is gonna be fun," Noah replied. "But at this point, the romance is real. And I will embrace it as such."
Alas, according to the show's website, the first GOP candidate to actually appear on the show will be New Jersey strongman Chris Christie.
Noah has already been the target of some progressive ire for past tweets seen as insensitive to women and Jews. It will be interesting to see if this stance on Rand Paul will lose him even more love of old Stewart fans, or help normalize Rand Paul to hip progressives.
Me last year on the qualities that make Paul interesting even to people who identify as "progressive" (though not necessarily like a leftist political progressive!) such as Noah.