Rand Paul

Is Rand Paul Still Running For President? "Yes. I Wouldn't be Doing This Dumbass Livestreaming if I Weren't," He Says

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In the midst of his day-long (sort of) campaign livestream, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul responded to a number of online questions about him, one of which was, "Is Rand Paul still running for president?"

His more-than-slightly-exasperated response: "Yes. I wouldn't be doing this dumbass livestreaming if I weren't. So get over it." 

Watch the video:

This is probably not exactly the response that most campaign consultants would suggest in response to a question like this, and, naturally, it generated a little bit of attention, with the word "dumbass" briefly trending on Twitter in Washington, D.C. 

But that's sort of the point of an Internet stunt like this—to generate the sort of humanizing moments that more cautious, conventional campaigning is typically designed to avoid, and then, perhaps, to generate a bit of attention as a result. In that sense, I suppose this one moment worked, though the event as a whole seems to have been a bit of a dud

Candidates, it seems, increasingly feel the need to generate and perform for these sorts of online oddities: Witness Ted Cruz making "machine gun bacon," Bobby Jindal showing off his push-up abilities, or Rand Paul's previous video showing him hacking up the tax code with a chainsaw. 

Sometimes these sideshow events are briefly amusing, but overall I can't say I'm very fond of the trend, which prioritizes trivial, attention-grabbing antics over substance. In this case, I suppose, it's nice to see that Rand Paul seems to find the whole thing somewhat ridiculous too. 

NEXT: Clinton and Sanders Pay Lip Service to Criminal Justice Reform, but Offer No Concrete Solutions

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  1. Well, there goes the dumbass vote.

    1. Bernie had them wrapped up anyway.

      1. That’s an inaccurate statement, robc. Bernie’s splitting the dumbasses with Trump.

        I’ve also seen a surprising amount of borderline pro-Hillary memes on Facebook today.

        1. I think there’s plenty of dumbasses to go around. No Peak Derp and all. But the dumnasses weren’t going to vote for Rand Paul anyway.

          1. Asses are split down the middle. Bernie is sewing up the left cheek and Trump is sewing up the right cheeks.

            The question is who can sew up the swing sphincter vote?

          2. Loki,

            Rand could be out Trumping Trump if his libertarian type of Republicanism included strict border controls and the rest of Trumps use of Ann Coulter’s immigration plan. I get this from various sites covering both-it’s pretty easy for any of you to verify, if you want to take the time. Trump came out with a cut and paste version of her plan pretty early in his run as his immigration plan.

            I just want Rand to keep on being himself, and let it all hang out just like this. Because the Repub heat is in the Coulter style total anti libertarian border ideal, this wont be his election. But he would at least spread the word about different libertarian ideas and some potentially interested ears would then access what they otherwise are really unlikely to hear.

            1. The ‘anti-libertarian border ideal’ is necessary given the country and world in which we live. Open borders don’t work on so many levels. That isn’t ‘anti-immigration’ at all. Just practical.

            2. Pwa. Somebody thinks inviting millions more illegal immigrants to play useful tools for the power-hungry is somehow libertarian? And they have to spend more money (robbed from you) to pay another Robber-Baron-Corporation industry to take care of them, not to mention robbing your pocket for the rest of it.

              And to think in another story Reason’s writers saw fit to feel compassion for gays who lose their jobs for being gay.

              There are more people today who lose their jobs (or at risk of losing their jobs) for saying what they think about it all than the gays who got fired because they were gay. Give me a break already!

              Christians (and right-thinking atheists) now have to watch their mouths and avoid SAYING something “offensive” to some gay or even having a BIBLE on their desk. For God’s sake, one little itsy bitsy donation got the creator of JAVASCRIPT drummed out of his job for THOUGHT CRIME on this subject.

              THAT IS THE REAL CRIME HERE. Thinking that having an XY chromosome or XX chromosome pair has meaning.

              1. I meant the crime is making independent thought a thought crime.

        2. Dumbasses can split the vote three ways and still get the top spot.

      2. +1 FEELTEHBERN!

        1. only after Mexican food

        2. If you feel the bern you should consult your doctor, and inform your partner.

          Ive posted this as a reply to every facebook incidence of that hash tag. I am now blocked, unfollowed, or unfriended by most of my graduating class. So im happy to report it does, in fact, get under their skin.

  2. Sometimes these sideshow events are briefly amusing, but overall I can’t say I’m very fond of the trend, which prioritizes trivial, attention-grabbing antics over substance.

    As opposed to the serious grownup business that presidential campaigns have been otherwise?

    1. Politics has always been a sideshow.

  3. I love that response. And bonus points for punking the reporter.

    1. He should build his whole campaign around calling the dumb-asses that run the country dumb-asses their faces.

      1. Isn’t that essentially Trump’s strategy already?

        1. Dammit, Epi, why didn’t you tell me to read down.

          1. T, read down.

        2. yes

          the model works

      2. That would win a lot of votes. But he’d also be accused of trying to out-Trump Trump.

  4. Of course it’s idiotic. It’s just that these campaigns are getting more honest about what they are: entertainment. Popularity contests. Social signaling. Really, how different (in execution) are these campaigns from a season of American Idol?

    1. The people on American Idol usually have some kind of talent?

      1. Are you telling me Katharine McPhee doesn’t have talent?

        I am doubly outraged!

          1. Well, I mean, she could stand to purge a few large meals in those pictures, but yeah she is pretty swell.

          2. Her greatest asset is her ability to gut her way through the weekly dialog of Scorpion.

            For a show that is presumably about smart nerds it is stunningly fucking dumb. I keep waiting for them to start using Hillary email server jargon in an episode because the writers actually think that is real tech talk.

            God I love that show.

            1. Proper use of tech in entertainment is rare. The matrix used NMAP correctly (NMAP keeps track of who uses their tool in movies on their site) but unfortunately it was in one of those two movies that never happened. I saw The Martian, and technical jargon/philosophy was acceptable with one exception…Damon referred to hex as hexadecimals. No true nerd would include an s to pluralize. Hell most are too lazy to say more than hex.

        1. If the candidates looked like that it would be a different story. Alas, they most particularly do *not* look like that.

          1. You haven’t seen Bernie in his handwoven fair trade vegan wool Bernkini, Epi.

            1. You don’t know what I’ve seen, Hugh…the horror…the horror…

            2. I just…I can’t even…

            3. It’s not vegan wool. It was actually made from his personal collection of belly button lint.

          2. If the candidates looked like that, it would be even more of a popularity contest.

            But we’d probably get to see all of their hot nude selfies, so not necessarily seeing a downside.

        2. Would

        3. Whoever decided that tight yoga and workout pants were appropriate out of the house wear should be given a Nobel Prize.

          1. Maybe Obama could them his, he’s not using it.

      2. That’s debatable.

      3. The only good thing about American Idol was when Simon Cowell would rip some bad singer apart.

  5. OT: so I accidentally ran across this. #peckerwoodlivesmatter #nowaittheydont

    1. I haven’t forgiven you for the ISIS video you posted. No thanks.

  6. A bit testy, ain’t he?

  7. “Dumbass” is one of my favorite insults.

    1. Then you’ll probably like this.

      1. I liked him better in Robocop.

    2. Well……double dumb ass on you!

  8. You know, I’ve been calling Hillary in 2016 since early on, but even I began to waver when her email scandal was boiling lukewarm a couple of months ago.

    But the problem is the GOP field is largely an empty one, which leaves Hillary “Tricky Dick” Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Biden on the Dem side of the field.

    I keep running the numbers in my head and it’s my perception that whatever popularity Sanders holds now, it’s just a mistress of the moment– something Dems can “feel good about”, but when it comes time to actually choose a president, and sanders has had enough Crazy-eyes moments, they’ll line up behind Clinton. The GOP field doesn’t have a candidate strong enough to pull crossover votes- and Trump has already established himself as the crazy-eye candidate.

    I’m still calling Hillary in 2016.

    1. No way. She’ll be lucky to get the nomination, even. I still think the odds favor Team Red (though I recognize they could easily blow it through their own idiocy).

      1. they excel at that.

    2. I’m trying to remember your past track record at calling elections, Paul. What is your accuracy rate?

      1. I called Obama 2.0 early on when some here were saying that no president has been re-elected during bad economic times and record high gas prices.

        I’m no soothsayer in politics. I just can’t see Dems sticking with Bernie to the end, and I can’t see indy’s voting in significant numbers for dark-horse candidates, let alone Trump to tip it in any surprising way.

        1. Yeah, but anybody could have called that. What was your call in 2008?

          1. Obama. All the way. I knew that white liberals wouldn’t miss a chance to vote for a real, electable black president, no matter how big Hillary’s vagina was.

            And NPR had been humping Obama’s leg since his infamous DNC speech in 2004.

            I don’t remember what I called in 2004 or 2000.

            1. Yes, your habit of listening to NPR might give you a valuable insight into the mindset of “mainstream” TEAM BLUE voters and where they seem to be leaning.

              Still, that’s also not that amazing of a call. What about other presidential races?

              1. Whoa, I never said my calls were “amazing”, in fact that’s the thing, they seemed fucking obvious (to me at least).

                Is there another candidate besides Hillary that you think has a real shot for 2016?

                1. I honestly don’t know. Obama surprised me a bit in 2008, but then it hindsight it made a lot of sense. Trying to read the motivations and voting patterns of millions of people who are voting for insanely idiotic reasons is just not something I have the processing power to accomplish.

                  1. Trying to read the motivations and voting patterns of millions of people who are voting for insanely idiotic reasons is just not something I have the processing power to accomplish.

                    Seriously. After everything that has happened in Washington for the past fifteen years, a substantial number of Republicans have turned to Donald Trump instead of moving in the direction toward libertarianism, at least with respect to spending and foreign policy. Impossible to predict.

                  2. Srsly, Epi? First. Black. President. The white guilt vote combined with a fairly monolithic black vote guaranteed that outcome.

                    1. Like I said, in hindsight, I get it. I’ll be honest: I seriously underestimated the white guilt thing. It’s not something I encounter very much in real life. Because I choose who I associate with carefully. And people who feel “white guilt” are collectively guilting…themselves and everyone else with pale skin. It’s horrifically collectivist. So I avoid such fucked up people like the plague.

                  3. Trying to read the motivations and voting patterns of millions of people who are voting for insanely idiotic reasons is just not something I have the processing power to accomplish.

                    I have a simple rule: Assume everyone is retarded.

                    It’s worked well for me.

                  4. To me, O became an obvious lock when the right selected Romney to run against him. He was the worst possible candidate, because he had no ground to stand on against O-Care.

            2. I think 2008 was an opportunity for all of us to truly begin to grasp the overwhelming power of stupidity and social signalling.

              1. 2000 – I voted for Brown…knew Bush would win.
                2004 – I voted for Badnarik…knew Bush would win.
                2008 – I put good money on the Clinton machine blowing the upstart out of the water…i lost good money.
                2012 – Only morons and John thought Romney had a snowballs chance in hell.
                2016 – I still think HillDog could do it but this email thing is really serious. My prediction is conditional:
                A. If she gets the Dem Nod she wins the Presidency.
                B. If they bail on her the chosen candidate loses unless it is condition 3.
                1. The chosen will be Biden. 65%
                2. Bernie makes it through. 20%
                3. Al Gore sweeps into the field just in time to win the nod…crowd goes wild. 15%

                1. I don’t see any of those pathetic turds winning.

          2. But hey, this one ain’t about being vindicated, I’m honestly curious to know what other people think, and why. What’s your honest opinion about 2016?

            1. Oh, I never make predictions any more. I just don’t have enough information. There are too many factors, too many unseens. And also, no matter who wins, I lose, so I already know the overall outcome.

              1. Yeah, but you must still have an opinion.

                1. No, I don’t. When I don’t have enough information, I know that I don’t know, so an “opinion” is meaningless. Because it’s literally a flat-out guess.

            2. Crisis postpones elections during a period of martial law, Obama retains Presidency for duration of his life.

              It’s how socialist roll.

            3. I think Rubio has a shot. He’s becoming the consensus candidate for the GOP, not hated by the establishment or the base. He’s benefited from the fact that JEB! has fallen, and Scott Walker ended up being a dud. He’s young, charismatic, Cuban-American (first Hispanic President), and he’s from an electorally important state (Florida), plus he’s a great speaker that can effectively blow sunshine up the American Public’s Ass.

              In a race between him and Shillary I could see him winning the election.

        2. Well Hillary is the safe option. Even many of Sanders’s fans know he’s not going to win the nomination. Biden is the only question at this point, and it’s looking more likely that Hillary has it in the bag.

          1. It’s nine months until the Democratic convention. A lot could happen between now and then. If Biden doesn’t formally declare then Hillary wins the nomination but could well lose the general unless the other party does something really stupid which is always a possibility.

            1. By “doing something stupid” that could mean nominating Trump.

              1. My prediction is that Trump eventually flames out. I don’t see him getting more than his current showing as other candidates leave.

                Fiorina gets repub nom unless she does something stupid.

                Biden ends up with Dem nod.

                Fiorina becomes president.

                Trump could change this significantly if he chooses to not go quietly.

            2. Biden is not running! It is way too late. The Biden candidacy is a media invention to make the Democrats more “interesting”.

              Sanders is BS as well. 2016 is The Hillary Show, because it is her turn.

              Democrats are “running” with the last survivors of the 1960s, last gasp of the baby boomer generation. They should have been easy to beat for any serious Republican.

      2. I figure I can call an election with about 75%-80% accuracy by taking the inverse of my ballot.

        1. So you color in the whole sheet EXCEPT for the circles? You just turn in a pile of chads?

          1. Um, no. But thank you for playing.

            1. I’m just trying to understand your methods.

              1. Whomever I vote for will not get elected. If I vote no on a bond it will pass. If I support an initiative it will be defeated. The outcome will be the inverse of my ballot, or something very close to it.

                1. I knew it was all your fault! Next time, vote the opposite of how you want to vote. It’s the only way.

    3. I think the GOP can win if they nominate the right candidate, but I’m not sure how strong the field is. I don’t think Trump, Carson, or Fiorina would get elected with the total lack of political experience they have, not to mention all the baggage Trump and Carson bring (I realize Obama wasn’t exactly well-seasoned, but he was a US senator and had held political office for over 10 years). Carson polls fairly well right now, but I don’t think that holds up when the spotlight is on him.

      Paul might actually have a decent shot in the general, but there’s no way he wins the primary. That leaves Bush, Rubio, and Cruz (I don’t think anyone else has a chance either). Bush has the problem of not motivating the base plus his last name is still toxic to most people. Rubio is probably the most “electable” Republican. Cruz would have a chance but he would have to effectively fight off the extremist label that he would get tagged with (granted the Dems do this to every Republican nominee, but Cruz is clearly further to the right than Romney, McCain, or GWB were).

      1. Rubio or Cruz with Fiorina as VP is their best bet for winning. The dems have a white woman, but no minorities.

        1. I like it, but swap Nikki Haley for Fiorina.

          What happens if Hilary gets indicted? Will she get indicted?

          Look at it another way. What will Hilary do to the Obamas when she wins the Presidency? Live and let live?

        2. Rubio and Cruz aren’t allowed to be minorities. You know that. And Fiorina still isn’t classified as “female.” As far as the media is concerned, all the Rs are just old white men.

          In fact, imo, if the Rs run a minority or a woman the Ds will just use all the grumpiness they can muster to say the Rs are just “using identity politics” for votes. It’ll be funny.

      2. I don’t see a GOP candidate winning regardless of who gets nominated by either major party. We’re still over a year out from the elections. Clinton will get sunk before she’s nominated. We could see someone else enter the race before too long.

    4. I’m pretty sure she will get the nomination. Because, like you are saying, Bernie might be a bit scary to a lot of folks. And, most Democrats know he probably can’t win a general election. I truly hope she wins the nomination. Because I don’t believe she can win a general election either. She was a shoe in before news of her email practices broke. But, I really can’t see independents voting for someone who’s most associated with words like Crook, weak, joke, and Liar. I think most independents would find a jackass blowhard preferential to a crooked liar. Besides, after reading about the security setup she was using for her email server. There is no doubt in my mind that her home network was compromised. And, I’m pretty sure that will sink her if it ever comes to light.

  9. OT: I found the problem with Seattle politics: The people who live here.

    So Seattle schools had lower-than-expected enrollment, so the school district decided to shuffle a few teachers to better reflect student enrollment numbers from school to school. No teachers would be cut, no budgets cut, teachers still get their eleventy billion percent raises and guaranteed pensions.

    Seattle residents go fucking apeshit bonkers, start screaming about “cuts” which gets repeated uncritically in the local media, with one 1%er progressive personally donating $70,000 to a school his kids don’t even go to, because of the horror that a teacher that used to teach here, might have to teach there… or something.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/se…..gnments-2/

    1. People are fucking stupid, Paul. You know this.

    2. I found the problem with Seattle politics: The people who live here.

      You could replace Seattle with pretty much any city’s name and it would still be true. This planet would be great if it weren’t for all the fucking people.

    3. Oddly enough, when a company shutters an office and tells the employees to transfer or get a new job, we don’t hear the same whining from Seattleites. And when the company shutters an office, the transfer isn’t usually to the office 2 miles down the road. It’s to the office in Tacoma. And you know what that town smells like.

  10. ” which prioritizes trivial, attention-grabbing antics over substance.”

    Which is why Trump is doing so well in the polls. He’s an actual “reality star” so he has the attention-grabbing antics down to a science. The years of market research they did for his show is really paying off. The question I have is are people really going to be willing to cast a Presidential vote for Trump? Or, will they relies that the stakes are just a bit higher than who get’s kicked off the island or who the next “American Idol” will be? I can’t wait to find out. I (somewhat jokingly) predicted reality TV would be the fall of western civilization when it started taking off in ’99. I truly hope I was wrong.

    1. The question I have is are people really going to be willing to cast a Presidential vote for Trump?

      Beyond the hard-core xenophobic GOP base?* No.

      *a population that has a lot of similarities to the crackpot Democrat progressive base.

  11. If a couple politicians wanna get some attention, all they have to do is recreate that “two girls, one cup” video. That was pretty popular.

    1. Two socialists?

      1. Then it would be titled, “two socialists, your cup.”

    2. I wouldn’t watch that with SugarFree’s eyes.

  12. So, it Trump doesn’t get the nomination, will he run as an independent? And it he does, does he take more voters from the Republicans or from the Democrats?

    1. I think Trump said he’s not gonna run as an independent. And while I can see him getting some crossover votes, I think he still pulls most from the people supporting him in the GOP primary.

  13. I wouldn’t count any of Bobby Jindal’s push-ups.

    0..
    0..
    0..
    0…

  14. “the only perfect libertarian is yourself” was pretty good

  15. His more-than-slightly-exasperated response: “Yes. I wouldn’t be doing this dumbass livestreaming if I weren’t. So get over it.”

    Asked and answered. In less than 5000 words. Good job, Rand.

  16. That does it. We should just, as a country, admit that we want to pick our president via reality television show. I mean lets just stop pretending that this isn’t some sort of half-scripted game-show where people continually embarrass themselves in hopes of winning some prize at the end of the season all for no real purpose other than to entertain us briefly, until our next text comes in. I recommend Trump host, so that he is ineligible to compete. Ladies and Gentlemen, well come the the 2016 premier of So you Think You Can Run a Country.

  17. Hey, is Pat Paulsen still running for President? What, he’s dead?

    1. I’ve still got one of his campaign buttons.

  18. Online publishers, it seems, increasingly feel the need to publish these sorts of online oddities. Sometimes these sideshow events are briefly amusing, but overall I can’t say I’m very fond of the trend, which prioritizes trivial, attention-grabbing antics over substance. But I guess it’s all about the clicks.

  19. Paul is sewing up the smartass vote, me included.

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  21. The GOP nomination will come down to Rubio or Bush III as establishment choice versus Paul or Cruz as outsider alternative.

    Trump and Carson are still not serious candidates. Trump will stall just below 20 percent and look for a way to get out. Carson will have a meltdown moment.

    Fiorina is already fading. She is still running for VP. Kasich, Huckabee, Christie, Jindal, etc. all poll below Paul in recent – if that trend becomes more pronounced in upcoming polls, some will drop out.

    Paul has to stay visible, no matter how. dumbass livestream was probably a good way to do it. We’ll see. He should run more on personality and attitude at this point to reach low-info voters of the type Trump and Carson are getting – every vote counts…

    Cruz is a Trump mini-me, a pathetic panderer, a creepy Harvard lawyer with a wife working for Goldman Sachs. If Cruz wins the outsider vote contest, Rubio or Bush III will cruise to the nomination. Cruz would have no chance in the general election.

    …continued below

  22. …continued from previous post

    Rand Paul is still the only candidate on either side who is right for the times, in tune with the public mood; serious about rolling back out-of-control government, non-interventionist foreign policy, fiscally conservative / socially liberal.

    Sanders is doubling down on obamaism without the 21st century veneer; plain old 1970s socialism. “Hillary” would be a more electable version of the same thing; appealing to many, but not exactly a New Way Forward for America.

    If Paul could win the outsider contest from Cruz, he would have a decent shot at beating bland more-of-the-same Rubio, certainly Bush III. Rubio is the overwhelming favorite at the moment, but Paul has a serious path to the presidency.

    1. *Rubio is the overwhelming favorite at the moment, but Paul has a serious path to the presidency.*

      Wrong and wrong.

      It really is amazing to see a bunch of people who are so obviously out-of-touch with the mainstream of political thought try to make predictions.

      Rubio is dead to the rank-and-file GOP voter because of his stance on amnesty.
      To the same set of voters, Bush is seen as only slightly more favorable than Obama.

      Get a grip.

      1. Who are the “rank-and-file”? A few hundred old party activists in Iowa and South Carolina? How did liberal MA governor Romney end up winning last time?

        If the idiots in “the conservative base” keep pushing Trump or Cruz until the end, the GOP establishment and big money will mobilize around Bush III or Rubio.

        If Trump or Cruz win the nomination and the GOP runs as The White Nativist Party, Hillary Clinton will be the next President.

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