Rand Paul

3 Reasons the Rand Paul Campaign Failed

Not enough like Ron? Not the right time? Or impossible to succeed at any rate?


Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), seen by many as the political heir to a libertarian Republican revolution started by his father Ron Paul's 2008 and 2012 presidential runs, has suspended his campaign after just one state voted: an Iowa caucus in which Rand pulled less than half of what Ron did in 2008 in percentage terms, and less than a quarter of what Ron Paul pulled in 2012.

What went wrong, and why? Insiders and outsiders, libertarians and conservatives, journalists and social networking thread commenters, have set theories a-flying. Based on wide reading and talking with people from the Paul world, throughout the campaign and since it collapsed, here are the dominant theories (though many observers think more than one was likely at play).

1) Rand Paul Wasn't Enough Like Ron Paul to Build Off His Father's Success.

Many in the field of libertarian activism just were never satisfied that Rand would stand firm for some of the aspects they most loved about Ron, particularly a firmly no-intervention-unless-attacked foreign policy combined with a surprising empathy toward how our "enemies" might perceive the U.S. as a malign player on the international scene.

Thus, things like Rand's seeming to repeat anti-Iranian talking points or seeming willingness to wage war against ISIS deflated their desire to give money, time, or talk him up everywhere on the Internet as so many did for Ron. This is an idea that you were likely most exposed to not from the mainstream media either print or digital but from following old Ron Paul fans on social networking.

Their disenchantment had a lot to do with, not so much specific words out of Paul's mouth (the Iowa speeches in the last weeks that I saw on YouTube were quite solid in libertarian terms) about his political beliefs or likely actions as president, but with his lack of willingness to be a near-complete Party pariah.

Such concerns began way back in 2012 when Rand, like a good Party man, endorsed Mitt Romney before he was officially the Party's nominee (many Ron faithful believed til the end in some convention floor miracle). Those concerns were compounded by Rand's willingness to stand up for his fellow Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell and other sitting Republicans against possibly more anti-state challengers. 

These are the type of fans who might just value pugnaciousness above political effectiveness. (Not that Paul's playing nice with the Party seems to have helped in any obvious way with this presidential run, though it may be vital to his Senate effectiveness moving forward.) But to many Paul fans, and Tea Partyers, a general mistrust of the established Party and its figures was key to their support. Turning around and becoming pals with and respected members of that establishment just made such potential supporters mistrust his and his team's intentions and core spirit.

Even on issues where Ron had or flirted with positions that made some libertarians uncomfortable, such as immigration and abortion, Rand managed to make those positions even less palatable by proposing an essential federal ban on abortion and demanding border walls rather than suggesting they aren't such a great idea because they might someday keep us in, like Ron did in a presidential debate. 

Even in areas where he was still a stonger libertarian than any other choice this year, some just had their enthusiasm sapped because you weren't apt to hear a Rand Paul mocking the idea that heroin needed to be illegal to keep everyone from using it, as Ron did in a debate.

The fact that Rand hired pretty much all established political professionals and no diehard Paulian libertarian ideologues for his campaign staff also made some old Ron fans think the campaign was designed to hobble libertarian radicalism from the get-go. Many detected that even when Rand or his people could explain how his particular stances weren't really unlibertarian or that different from Ron Paul's, on things from foreign aid to intervention to abortion to drugs to military budgets, the very complications or equivocations that led to such explanations even being necessary ruined the ideological and moral clarity that helped Ron win so many fans.

Drew Ivers, a higher-up in both of Ron's Iowa runs, declined from the beginning to get involved in working for Rand, though he voted for him and still has political fealty to the Paul family. He saw, Ivers says, a strategy he was sure would fail exactly as it did: "Rand comes from the liberty, right-wing, the small government wing of the party and [trying to pull from or appeal to other sides] just muddled the message."

Rand Paul himself has, since the campaign suspension, noted the annoying, to him, irony of being accused of losing steam for being insufficiently purist libertarian, and also accused of having lost potential scorched-earth anti-establishment constituents to Donald Trump. 

2) Rand Paul Didn't Get to Campaign in the Political Environment He Wanted and Expected 

Both the actual GOP field, and the world around him, didn't deliver the environment that Paul and his team expected or needed to thrive. Certainly the perceived rise of ISIS and the possibility of domestic terror threat made many voters eager for a more bellicose foreign policy voice than Rand delivers.

Daniel McCarthy (a veteran of Ron Paul's 2008 campaign) explains in American Conservative that the Paul team expected Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush to be the major opponents, and Paul could never be as much of an evangelical-free-market cross-appeal player as Ted Cruz has so far seemed to be. Running a purely insurgent anti-establishment campaign like Paul did will never be enough, especially in an environment with a more colorful nearly anti-libertarian anti-establishment insurgent like Donald Trump.

At Rare, Paul's former assistant and co-author Jack Hunter lays the blame pretty solidly on the presence of Trump. Hunter raises the question (that has also been haunting me as author of Ron Paul's Revolution, a history of Paul's political career and presidential campaigns) of whether the Ron Paul movement might have been less about libertarian ideas, and more about scorched-earth anti-establishment outsiderism, than we'd thought or hoped. Hunter also, on the optimistic tip, points out that at least stated opposition to the Iraq war and later interventions such as Libya has switched from a Paul family monopoly to a belief of both current GOP frontrunners.

David Boaz of the Cato Institute, writing in USA Today, rightly laments all the fresh ideas on criminal justice and specific constitutional liberties that Paul uniquely brought to the GOP table, and notes the (undoubtedly unexpected by Paul's campaign in the beginning) failure to attract any seven figure SuperPAC support from the very wealthy. For whatever reason 2016 was not the fundraising environment Paul hoped or expected.

Ivers of Iowa thought from the start that 2020, or even further down the road, might be Rand's real chance, giving him the opportunity to build a reputation as a national liberty leader in the Senate unsullied by any compromising needs perceived for a presidential run, especially given how impeccable he finds Rand's Senate voting record. Ivers would make ophthalmologist jokes with Rand, he says, about: "How's your 2020 vision?" While Ivers says he does not know for sure, he thinks it likely that Rand might have had his fill of running for president after this experience.

3) Rand Paul Was Trying to Do Something Impossible, So No Wonder He Failed. 

Maybe, maybe a candidate as libertarian as Rand Paul is just absolutely not what Americans really want right now, no matter who your staff is, how you sell yourself, who your opponents are, or how much money you raise.

It could be that conservatives are so metaphysically opposed to the conception of rights that generally undergirds libertarianism than any attempt to meld the two within the two party system is going to collapse from the weakness of its own philosophical foundation, as was roughly argued by Tom Mullen at Huffington Post, so that ultimately "Paul's attempt to fit the libertarian message into a conservative framework killed his chances" by making him unpalatable to both sides of that divide.

Gary Johnson, 2012's Libertarian Party presidential candidate and seeking the same honor in 2016, agrees that the GOP is no place for liberty: "Rand Paul is the latest to find that there is no room for the Liberty Movement in today's Republican nominating process. I've been there. With his departure from the presidential race, there is no voice remaining to challenge failed military interventions, mass surveillance of Americans by their government, or real cuts in the size and cost of government."

Molly Ball at The Atlantic reported from her own experience seeing Paul try to sell things to select groups of influential Republicans in Iowa and New Hampshire in the early days of the campaign. When Paul pushed an attitude toward immigration involving finding places to work here for people who wanted to work, or a punctilious respect for civil right and constitutional procedures even against terror suspects, she saw that the GOP base clearly wanted nothing to do with such heresies.

At Pajamas Media, Walter Hudson also believes that it is a overwhelmingly a simple matter of the American people, whether in or out of the GOP, in 2016 having no demonstrated interest in what Paul is selling, that:

 Right now, people don't want liberty. They may want a sense of freedom for themselves, but aren't willing to endure their neighbor's freedom. Modern Americans will sacrifice their own rights to wield control over others. If you doubt that, attend your town's next planning commission meeting. For freedom to reign, the culture must change, and a political campaign is not going to do that.

Hudson further laments conspiratorial and personality-centered thinking among libertarians that refuse to recognize that the above is the real problem.

Some insiders had more nuanced takes, including some different elements. Matt Kibbe, formerly of the Tea Party-ish grassroots group FreedomWorks and this cycle working with the Paul-supporting SuperPAC Concerned American Voters, saw some self-sabotaging irony: He saw post-Ron Paul figures who he thinks his revolutionary energy helped bring to prominence, such as Cruz and Rubio, sucking up some votes that might have been Paul's.

A similar irony: Kibbe knows some students whose presence the campaign specifically roused to caucus ended up hypnotized by Bernie Sanders as the anti-crony capitalism figurehead and caucused for him instead.

How to deal with youngsters who get energized by an anti-establishment figurehead, whether a Bernie or Trump, but don't seem to get the libertarian version of the anti-establishment message? One thing Kibbe thinks may work better is shifting libertarian persuasion emphasis from big ideas in and of themselves to specific stories of government failure and unintended consequences of its seeming good intentions.

Rand Paul perhaps summed up what we actually know versus what we might surmise himself in a statement to Associated Press reported by Concord Monitor. "I don't really have an absolute answer for what went on with the election and why people make their choices…But I do think our voice was an important one and I think as people look backwards they are going to say they were happy to have my voice in the debate." 

NEXT: Trump Stranded, Hillary Dancing, Bernie Courts Latinos: P.M. Links

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  1. The fact that Rand hired pretty much all established political professionals

    He paid for that shit campaign?

    1. If so, he should get his money back. I always assumed he went with the same zeroes who ran his father’s campaigns into the ground. If he actually hired professionals and they did that poor of a job, he got ripped off.

  2. “1) Rand Paul Wasn’t Enough Like Ron Paul to Build Off His Father’s Success.”

    AHAHAHAHAHA what success?!?! His success at funneling pork to his district? At discrediting libertarians by associating them with racist newsletters? His success at attracting a bunch of nuts and ‘look at me I’m in a movement’ people who cared not a wit for freedom?

    Ron Paul is a fucking fraud and so was his ‘movement’. The Libertarian Moment is overblown but hey MJ legalization and state-level tax reform is happening amongst other good things. The Ron Paul Revolution was just a nothing. A personality cult for a guy who just looks worse and worse in retrospect.

    All things considered Rand did pretty well. Nearly 5% in a race where Trump probably motivated 1) some people who would have supported Rand to support Cruz to stop Trump and 2) motivated a bunch of people to show up to stop Trump. If not for the Trump turnout surge I am guess Rand would have gotten a larger chunk of the support. At least he crushed Christie and Bush.

    1. Crushing Bush was especially good.

    2. Yeah, Rand almost got a quarter of the votes that his loser dad did. He’s the real deal!

      1. Yeah, he is. Read my post. Ron had a personality cult and really achieved nothing for the libertarian movement aside from attracting even more nutters to it. Rand has already out-achieved his dad and without his stupid personality cult.

        1. The achievement you gave Rand was getting 1/4 of his dad’s vote in Iowa, and then dropping out two days later.

          They’re both losers. But Ron had much more success in fundraising, in votes, in coverage, in support, in stick-to-itiveness than Rand. In this go-around, anyway. So far as I know, there are no “Rand Paul delegates” or “Rand Paul candidates” gaining local positions. Hell, Rand Paul is an achievement of Ron Paul’s; no way he would have won the 2010 primary without his dad’s name and network.

          Were you even in high school when Ron became a name on the (American) national stage?

          1. That’s not the achievement I meant to credit Rand with. The guy has gotten into the senate and helped pass anti-surveillance legislation, and filibustered surveillance bills. His senate record soars over his dad’s decades of pork-barreling.

            “But Ron had much more success in fundraising, in votes, in coverage, in support, in stick-to-itiveness than Rand. In this go-around, anyway. So far as I know, there are no “Rand Paul delegates” or “Rand Paul candidates” gaining local positions.”

            Aside from his son’s ascendancy-which is a very good point-I am not aware of any good coming for all that stuff you just mentioned. Like I said, it was a grab-bag of nutbars and people who probably think Sanders is the bees-knees right now.

            1. Got to agree with Cyto…Ron Paul’s following wasn’t particularly libertarian, it was anti-establishment and those folks are fickle. Rand Paul had a decent showing in Iowa, considering how badly his campaign was run and that he’s splitting the anti-establishment vote with Trump and Cruz and Sanders. He was smart to get out now…maybe in a few years, he runs again and does a better job (after getting some more experience, which he needs).

              Either way, I thought he was a better candidate for office than his dad (who, despite having some issues on which I agree with him, was a crackpot). He was just a bad candidate for this particular election.

              1. Rand will be a better candidate “after getting some more experience”? I would have thought that a successful senate campaign would have given him that … but it didn’t.

                He had no “presence” in the debates, didn’t seem to understand that TV producers were craving confrontation, humor, and spunk. There was only one time “WW3” that he made a unique impression.
                He almost never reacted to the insane assertions of his competitors, either facially or vocally.
                Politicians HAVE to be “performers”, not necessarily in Trump’s style, but they have to show passion, commitment, sharp wit, and spunk. Rand was dead on the stage.

          2. Regarding Rand Paul delegates in Iowa, although he only got 5% of the vote in my precinct, he got 30% of the precinct delegates to the county convention (where platform issues will be discussed). That’s because they had to practically beg people to sign up for the 10 county convention slots.

        2. I’m not the biggest Ron Paul fan. But you have to admit that without Ron Paul’s campaign in 08 it’s unlikely that we see Rand Paul or even Mike Lee make it to the Senate (probably the same with Cruz). It’s also unlikely that we see Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, or Raul Labrador make it to the House. The libertarian faction of the Tea Party movement came almost entirely from the sparks that Ron Paul’s campaigns lit back in 2008 and 12. The notion that libertarians could some how become a part of and take over the Republican Party from within was an idea re-started by Ron Paul, and his supporters in the Campaign for Liberty.

          1. His son, definitely. The rest? I don’t see it. The Tea Party was started by the Santelli rant and I don’t think Ron was needed or all that beneficial to it.

    3. I hear Canada is not an especially tropical paradise this time of year

      Are you suffer from cabin fever ?

      So you have decided not to vote for Paul as I take it ?

      Pray tell Cytotoxic, who are you going to cast your vote for in the primaries, and then most importantly, the general election for President of the United States ?

      Inquiring minds want to know ?

      1. 7th graders can’t vote, even if they are American.

        1. He gets to vote on the color of his Flintstones vitamin as he gets on the school bus.

          1. He’ll never amass enough delegates to make a difference. Grape it is…

    4. This site is giving about $700 daily… You can just do this simple task daily from home and have more time with friends & family; Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had. It sounds unbelievable. Its best site that i found till now.

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    5. “What success?”

      …At making the name Paul poisonous to any family member of a service member?

      …At showing a sociopathic disregard for someone getting murdered by a lunatic be unequivocally stating that he had it coming?

      Ron Paul belongs in the same bin as flat-earthers and chemtrail nuts.

      1. Ron Paul, an Air Force veteran, was elected 12 times, and held in very high regard by members of the US armed forces.

    6. What Ron Paul success?

      21% in Iowa in 2012, 3 points behind Romney and Santorum, good for third place.
      23% in New Hampshire in 2012, second to Romney.

      Second in fundraising in the 4th quarter of 2011.

      Rand Paul sure would have liked those numbers.

  3. I think you are using the term “campaign” loosely. Rand barely campaigned in Iowa.

  4. more about scorched-earth anti-establishment outsiderism

    WTF is wrong with that? We sure as hell aren’t going to incrementally reform our way out of this statist mess.

    1. Actually that’s probably the only way it ever would happen; frogs can only be boiled slowly, unfortunately.

  5. I don’t think he was libertarian enough. If he had presented himself as the most capitalistic he might have got some attention. He tried to only appeal to social conservatives.

    1. and #BlackLivesMatter, and the “tear down the Confederate monuments!” crowd.

    2. He had to appeal to social conservatives. There are not enough social liberals in the Republican party who would vote for a libertarian.

      1. He needed to forget about it. He needed a focused campaign on the economy and ending the wars.

        1. “”He needed a focused campaign on the economy and ending the wars.””

          Add “and fix the immigration system” and I’d agree.

          If all he did was repeat his clearest arguments about all 3 things, he’d be in the top 3

        2. We’re not in 2008. Ending the wars is not a popular slogan anymore. Especially among the Republicans. ISIS happened and the war in Iraq ended like a decade ago. And what could he say about the economy that would make him very popular? Free stuff is popular, but a libertarian cannot credibly offer it.

          1. Well Cruz just won Iowa by not only not offering free stuff but buy promising to take it away from many Iowan’s themselves.

            So there is room for a non free stuff candidate if we can get the media and the mainstream parties out of the way.

      2. “He had to appeal to social conservatives.”

        Oh, you mean like the half-liberal New Yorker athiest who has zero opinion about gay marriage or god or abortion or guns (or has had different views on all of these things in the recent past) who is currently way in the lead?

        1. The New Yorker isn’t specifically targeting liberty minded voters. The Canadian-born Cuban SoCon preacher’s son is.

        2. If Trump could fake being a Christian better, he could have actually won in Iowa.

        3. Trump’s supporters would never support Rand and they are aberrations not usually present in the primary.

        4. You need new glasses. I said “tried” not “had”.

        5. That’s liberul jooish athiest to yoo, SPELLINGBEE?

      3. Yup Rand Paul is deep down a pro choice atheist. He just pretends to be social conservative to be popular

        1. Hey, it worked in Germany, March 1933-May 1945. Positive Christianity, death to liberals and whatevah…

    3. From the looks of Republican voters nowadays, I think this would have if anything been counterproductive.. Right now capitalism seems to be pretty unpopular among a big chunk of GOP voters. In truth, once terrorism and Muslims and whatnot became the biggest concerns for republicans, Paul was doomed, and he probably knew it and maybe figured he’d save his prospective donors some money. There’s only so much you can do to market smart ideas to stupid people.

      Speaking of marketing, we really should stop calling it ‘capitalism’ and just call it ‘economic freedom.’ ‘Capitalism’ seems to have become a rather unpopular word, and seems to suggest an image of the monopoly man raping peasant children with a solid gold dildo in a lot of people’s minds.

      1. I’m single handedly trying to rehabilitate two things, the word capitalism and the swastika.

        1. With you on the swastika, although that’s a hard one. It’ll come back eventually, but might take another century.

        2. Start with the left hand version.

      2. “Capitalism” is an inappropriate word, invented by Marx, suggesting a regime in which capital rules. “Free enterprise” conveys it a lot better, or your “economic freedom”, or other phrases.

        1. We must give socialists credit for that one; much as they bitch about the ACA becoming ‘Obamacare’ and that Lakoff guy claiming leftists have lost the linguistic war, they managed to reduce the grand notion of economic liberty to ‘capital’ for all time, as though capital investment were the moral essence of the concept. The definitely won that marketing game.

        2. Kudos to Robert. Next we line up the illiterates who flatter and assist communists by calling them liberals–and make them look at a dictionary!

    4. Is it just a coincidence that Rand Paul is republican and he likes pandering to people he secretly disagrees with or is it possible that he is actually pro-life?

  6. “Lack of a libertarian electorate” among Republicans.

    The Republicans (generally) favor med pot. They are against full legalization.

    Trump has (so far) renounced his full legalization stance and now just favors med pot.

    Full legalizers went for Bernie.

    1. Republicans favor getting their genocidal claws in the till, and along come the libertarians with their spoiler votes throwing election results. The Republican National Vanguard would legalize exterminating all non-christians if it would get one more of its grasping hands into that public till. But nooooooo… the LP had to show up in the middle of Watergate and ruin everything! –snif–

  7. Yeah, well to me, it more is based on the fact that Rand became what outlets like Reason wanted…a candidate in the GOP sphere. Not a real libertarian, but a watered down libertarian who would fit in with the GOP. And all those who supported Ron had no interest in that.

    You got what you wanted.

    1. There is some truth to that. But it is a two party system, and the other party is controlled by people who share your politics. So what’s left? The Republicans at least give lip service to limited government.

      1. actions words, and Obama is a huge example of that. What he said has seldom meshed with what he has done. In that vein, so it goes with Repubs when it comes to actually working toward limited govt. They’re like the 16-year saying “just the tip” and hoping she’s stupid enough to buy it.

        1. Yes, but it’s a better place to start than with a party which explicitly calls for more government and which works to undermine our rights.
          I suspect that some of the Republican voters actually do want a smaller government. There is not one Democrat who does.

          1. be nice if those Repubs walked their own talk. They turned on the tea folks as the fast as the left did. With the left, I know it’s total hostility to expanding liberty and downsizing govt. With Repubs, it’s like being cheated to hear the talk and then have them do the opposite. All I’m saying. Be nice if the Paul/Amash/Mike Lee type had greater numbers but that falls on us.

            1. I think a number of Republican legislators really do believe in smaller government, but they’re scared to death they won’t get re-elected if they don’t going along with some of the expensive social programs. And sadly, they may be right — but I wish they would at least get a backbone and test that theory.

    2. Um, where have you been the past year? Reason has been bitching about Paul not being libertarian enough almost nonstop since he started running.

      And if he’d been a ‘real libertarian’ he wouldn’t have gotten 1% of the vote.

  8. 4) Ron Paul had a career in politics since 1976, while only ever polling anything close to decent numbers in 2008 and 2012? He also was a lot better at presenting himself as an ‘anti-establishment’ candidate in these Presidential runs (there’s a reason why Trump and Sanders have been surprisingly successful this time around).

    1. Between Cytotoxic, John and now myself Canadians make up 33% of the 11 comments so far!

      Proof Americans are lazy?


      1. Or we are busy working late and being productive. Ps, back bacon is inferior.

        1. No peameal bacon for you!


      2. Proof Americans have something better to do on a Friday night than play Xcom 2 until midnight while randomly alt-tabbing to Reason?

        Scumbag alien sympathizer, the lot of them.

        1. I’ve never played X-com 1 or 2. Is good?

          1. It’s a mix of a turn-based tactical game and a base management sim. The fun’s in the escalation. In the first game you start as a standard modern military and by the end of it you had cyborgs, psychics and gene-modded troops. Every time you get a step up by researching better weapons or armour, the game fucks you by giving you harder and harder enemies.

            Also, you can heavily customize your troops (even moreso in X-Com 2 where you can change everything from their bloody gun colour to their accent or language). Since I’m not expecting most of my rookies to survive, I’m naming and customizing them after Presidential candidates. Carson took a laser blast to the face. Trump got hugged to death by an alien snake lady. Now they’re on my WALL OF HEROES back at base.

            1. Awesome. I’ll give that a try sometime.

      3. President Trump is going to make you Canucks pay to build a wall too.

        1. At least he hasn’t threatened to fuck us to death.

          1. Your new prime minister is importing Syrians to do that.

            1. Ah yes, any day now comes the immigration-acolypse. About the same time the polar ice caps melt.

              1. Northwest passage is open.

                1. So is the rear passage. In some cases.

      4. We’re too busy basting our cue and slaying tang on a Friday night.

      5. That’s only in metric. In real numbers, it’s not even close.

      6. Perhaps it is proof.

        Proof that Canadians worry too much about the splinter in someone else’s eye and not the stick in their own perhaps ?

        Just asking for a friend ?

        1. Hey, you…

          seem to know us pretty well.

          /narrows gaze.

          1. “/narrows gaze.”

            Are you credentialed enough to do such a thing?

          2. “/narrows gaze.”

            Are you credentialed enough to do such a thing?

      7. Well, a Canadian is leading the delegate race on the Republican side so far, so yup.

  9. then we’d thought or hoped

    1. Out of that jumble of grammatically incorrect, hard to follow, poorly structured sentences, that’s what roused your inner editor?

    2. *snicker*

      1. Yo bra.

  10. Hunter also, on the optimistic tip, points out that at least stated opposition to the Iraq war and later interventions such as Libya has switched from a Paul family monopoly to a belief of both current GOP frontrunners.

    Hunter shouldn’t have had to point this out. Reason should’ve been all over this. TEAM RED has overwhelmingly rejected neocon interventionism yet Nick pretends “make the sand glow” rhetoric is somehow far worse than the GOPe candidates’ “we need boots on the ground to fight Assad AND ISIS !” and referring to Salafist fanatic despots as “our friends and allies in the region”.

  11. Prolife soon bs and peaking too soon.

    1. Yes, he didn’t gain support in the republican primary because he was pro life. /rolleyes

      1. No more than he lost. Not addressing it is the best strategy. It’s the economy and wars, stupid.

        1. Fair enough.

  12. The problem with theory #1 (‘he wasn’t enough like Ron’) is that it is only trying to explain “Why He Didn’t Do Just As Well As Ron” – not why his candidate failed to attract anyone else.

    It also assumes that “had he just replicated himself as Ron Paul redux, he’d have done better at least” – which is doubtful. Ron was the “alternative” option when he ran. Rand was one of a range of alternatives. His current showing is probably the best a Ron-Paul re-run would have gottten.

    As to this gripe re: differences w/ Ron = “”He needed to have “a firmly no-intervention-unless-attacked foreign policy… “

    These people think this is a reason *he failed*? Or just reason THEY didn’t personally support him?

    Ron Paul’s foreign policy warbling was his weakest point. He would have done better if he’d kept his yap shut and just offered “America Must Be Restrained, But Prepared” BS rhetoric.

    Theory #2 = “the wrong environment”. Sure. But he chose the time and place to run. He should have adapted and dealt with the obvious challenges. He didn’t. He failed to distinguish himself and sucked in the debates until the end.

    Theory #3 – “maybe a [libertarian] candidate just absolutely not what Americans really want right now,”

    Rand wasn’t even all that “Libertarian”. You can’t blame him for being too-ideological at all. I think where he is ideological, he explains it poorly (see: Abortion). Where he’s not ideological, he’s too much of a copy cat.

    1. Were three of those restaurants you linked to by the same owner? The websites had the same layout/designs but different menus. So I’m guessing he has three of them?

      1. yes, same owner, same neighborhood. “Frank” is the first one, and is the best for a couple looking for the best-food and cozy atmosphere. “Supper” is a bigger place that has picnic table-seating (shared tables) and has ‘simpler’ food and is a little younger crowd…but still very good nosh. I get the mussels, mozz, proscuitto, asparagus, and wine instead of a full dinner. “Little Franks” is a pizza place/wine bar that i’ve only been to once, but probably does a great lunch.

    2. Amazing. A libertarian (supposed) saying Ron “warbled” his foreign policy, and that was where he was weakest.

      Really? You have no clue. That was his strength. That made him Ron Paul, the only voice at the time in the GOP cautioning about American interventions overseas. On everything else, he was nearly the same as the other candidates. He only distinguished himself on the military, and THEIR contribution to our debt. And he got the youth support because of it.

      Get a grip.

      1. Everyone listen to Jack, the liberal troll. He’ll explain how libertarians are supposed to win-office.

        1. At least I understand Ron Paul’s support, and how he got 10% to 20% support in Iowa and New Hampshire and Rand got less than 5 and then dropped out.

          1. And who are you planning to vote for?

          2. “”At least I understand Ron Paul’s support””

            And perhaps you do. But apparently you can’t read, because the very first part of my comment was that “Ron’s support” means very-little for why Rand didn’t do better than he did.

            1. If you don’t think that Ron Pauls foreign policy, particularly in regard to American military, was the core of his support, you know nothing about Ron Paul.

              1. Try reading Gilmore’s comment with all your mental effort focused on reading comprehension.

                1. “Ron Paul’s foreign policy warbling was his weakest point.”

                  So sayeth Gilmore. And yet, it was the core of Ron’s support. But of course, cyto can’t comprehend. Another phony libertarian on the Reason pages.

                  1. Have to side with Jack here. Ron Paul only showed up at all in the presidential races after taking Giuliani to task for being a warmonger.

              2. Christ you are an ignorant son of a bitch.

                Read what i wrote, motherfucker.

                Rand Paul was not going to run a far more successful campaign being a Ron-Paul Re-Run. His failure was not a matter of “losing the Ron vote”.

                1. I’m a what?

                  1. You’re an idiot who wants to niggle about Ron Paul rather than actually even pretend to understand what i wrote, which is that Ron’s positions and fanbase were never going to help him win. At best hey’d possibly have added a few points to his inevitable failure.

                    He instead ran a campaign where he *could have done much better* than Ron. But he failed for reasons which i listed above, which you remain too fucking stupid to digest.

                    1. I will let his former Chief of Staff attempt to inform you about Ron Paul’s weakness on foreign policy

                      “One of the most important things Ron accomplished in public life was to show that it’s possible to oppose war without being a leftist. He likewise explained that a foreign policy of peace and nonintervention was a central, indispensable feature of the message of freedom, and not just an odd personality quirk of Ron Paul ? as the many people who said “I like Ron Paul except his foreign policy” seem to have believed.”

                      Enjoy your evening, Gilmore!

                    2. “WAH WAH RON PAUL WAS GREAT”

                      yeah that’s really a wonderful rebuttal to nothing i actually said.

                    3. Link


                      Oh yeah, about Ron Pauls new book, “Swords Into Plowshares.”

                      Yeah, foreign policy. A weak point for Ron Paul.


                    4. Sure. Which still has absolutely nothing to do with Rand, or the subject of this piece. Thanks Joe for that shining insight.

                    5. Glad I cold educate about a trueibertaroan. You’ll get there!

                    6. *libertarian

                    7. You added absolutely nothing. fuck off and take your meds joe.

      2. I think you misunderstood. It’s hard to tell because of the crappy writing, but I think the author meant Rand warbled and that cost him some of his dad’s supports.

        1. No, I meant Ron was *limited* in his potential appeal by his “Its all America’s fault! Terrorism is Blowback” Foreign Policy kookiness.

          Rand’s attempt at pandering to the ISIS-bombers was a flop because he didn’t explain his posturing well. He was better at it in the Senate, but when he got on the campaign trail he didn’t seem to have a way of saying, “We can destroy ISIS, and we probably should = but the US needs to stop sticking its dick in everything”.

          i.e. there’s nothing wrong with having even *blatantly inconsistent* positions, as long as your rhetoric is clear.

          instead he waffled between Ron’s “sheldon richman” style rhetoric, and then pandering to the Carpet-Bombers. which pleased no one.

        2. Ok. Maybe.

        3. Now Gilmore makes it clear, Denver I take my maybe back. Gilmore is an ignoramus.

          1. Coming from you, that’s basically an endorsement

            1. Good!

          2. Well I’m the confused. Were you replying to Gilmore? I thought you were commenting on the article. It’s hard to follow the nesting on a phone.

            1. I was.

              1. Ah. Well then. Gilmore, I was criticizing the article author’s writing not yours.

      3. Oh please. The people Ron attracted with his foreign policy nonsense were nutbars of whom a serious movement cannot be built. You have all the political sense of Tulpa.

          1. Oh and a war monger who doesn’t want to send his own troops to fight and die, but wants the U.S. to send troops to fight and die.

            1. I’m not a war monger. I am the most pro-peace person here.

              1. Calling you a war monger may be a tad excessive. But you are not the most pro-peace person here. Nor am I. Not sure who is, but it’s not you.

              2. Ha, if one accepts the premise of war as an invariable means to peace and peace an invariable means to war, sure you are.

      4. Thanks so much for your concern, joe. I hope one day libertarians will be able to satisfy you.

      5. If that were the case, I’d be a Bernie Sanders supporter now.

    3. This. Babbling about The American “Empire” is not welcomed at the adults’ table.

      1. America’s not an empire? Your sophomoric ideas are what’s not welcome at the adults’ table.

          1. And not welcome at the adults’ table!

    1. I just wikipedia’ed this guy to find out how one earns a billion dollars, figuring that he must be famous for something other than ‘Curves’.


      1. $10 a week from every overweight non-destitute flyover-country Christian woman in America? That’s a lot of cash.

        1. I guess they just came to NY because I never heard of it until a couple years ago.

    2. Paul went after rival Donald Trump so aggressively

      When did this even happen? And what proof is there that it alienated anyone? Trump supporters live in a permanent state of alienation. They baste in it. It is pointless to try and reason them over.

      1. When did this even happen?

        The early debates. About the same time Paul’s polling plummeted.

        1. Ah, so when Paul did a very bad job of debating. Which has nothing to do with piling on Trumpo.

        2. Paul was polling at 4.5% on August 6th, the date of the first debate. That was less than half of his peak from earlier in the year. The plummeting happened before the debates even happened.


  13. 1 ) not enough war boner
    2 ) not enough free stuff
    3 ) not enough angry

  14. OT: has anyone here read Richard Morgan’s books? I really liked Altered Carbon but was kinda meh on Broken Angels. Does it get back to form or should I just forget about the rest of the series?

  15. Has anybody visited the parody presidential facebook pages? I can’t stop laughing at some of them.

    The most developed one is Barnie Sandlers, but Hitlery Clintock is pretty good, too.

    1. “I am the only candidate who promises to make anime real.”

      And people think Cthulhu is the pro-tentacle rape candidate.

  16. 1) Rand Paul Wasn’t Enough Like Ron Paul to Build Off His Father’s Success.

    The two things about that is . . .

    1) When Ron Paul was running, he was the only pro-capitalism, anti-war candidate available. And it’s important to remember that the reason Obama beat Hillary the first time was because Obama was seen as the anti-Iraq War candidate at the time. War tends to radicalize people, and there was a lot of enthusiasm for Ron Paul–because he was anti-Iraq War. But once Obama became President, rightly or wrongly, much of that anti-Iraq War enthusiasm was spent.

    Being anti-war just doesn’t sell as many tickets when there isn’t an ongoing war to oppose like his father had. If Rand had run hard anti-war, it would have been like campaigning against the Vietnam War in 1980–long after the debate was over.

    2) The reason why Ron Paul never had a snowball’s chance in hell is because Ron Paul was running against what the establishment wanted. The establishment has been the same pretty much since the Reagan era. In the past, there are certain issues you had to be on the correct side of, or you weren’t going to be nominated–it was as simple as that. Anti-abortion, anti-gun control, pro-hawkish foreign policy, and pro-defense spending. Ron Paul scored 50% on the basics. He never had a chance.

    1. Trump and Cruz are both running as varying degrees of “anti-war”. The neocons are in fits over it.

      1. No they’re not. They want a different foreign policy but they are not “anti-war” in the Doherty sense.

        1. Trump wants boots on the ground and to shake down the Saudis for mercenary money. He’s certainly not anti-war. He’s just less insane than Rubio.

          1. SIV not care. SIV lie without end.

            Rubio, oh Rubio. I saw the title of a Forbes article saying he did real good in legislation that sort of ameliorated the harm of Obamacare and particularly the danger of insurer bailouts. He’s somewhat sane on immigration. Too bad on foreign policy he’s the cartoon people here want to believe I am.

      2. Didn’t Trump call for invading Syria to take their oil?

      3. “Trump and Cruz are both running as varying degrees of “anti-war”. The neocons are in fits over it.”

        It isn’t the same as it was in 2008.

        In 2008, people were sick as hell of the war-mongering, but no one in the Republican establishment would admit it. According to the Republican establishment (and Democrats like Hillary, Feinstein, Pelosi, et. al.) at the time, everything in Iraq was going according to plan.

        Rand wasn’t in that situation 8 years later. It’s just a different situation. Why would Rand play it the same way his father did–especially after his father lost?

      4. I kind of get the impression Cruz is only being ‘anti-war’ just to put himself at odds with Hillary and Obama’s catastrophes; I suspect (perhaps I’m wrong) he will prove to be the GOP equivalent of the Democrats who were doves when Bush was in office then hawks when Obama was.

    2. Yeah, most of this is what i was trying to say (in fewer words) above.

  17. Rand Paul was right to target his pitch to establishment primary voters. It’s just that rules changed this time with Trump in the contest. Rand Paul’s strategy in pitching himself to the establishment in the primaries would have worked in 9 out of the last 10 election cycles. It’s just that Trump made this one different.

    The Republican primary in 2020 or 2024 may be decided on questions like global warming, the Iran War, stubborn people who want to drive their own cars, or God knows what. It’s a crap shoot. Just because the dice didn’t roll Rand’s way this cycle doesn’t mean he played the percentages wrong. It’s important to remember, too, that he’ll likely get more than one roll of the dice. Richard Nixon lost in 1960 and 1962. Reagan lost to Ford, of all people, in 1976. In my opinion, if Rand made any mistake, it was that he should have run for governor in Kentucky.

    But as a very wise man once said, “Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. Courage is always crucial.” If the American people aren’t ready for worthy of Rand yet, then I guess it’s up to us to get the word out. I know Rand is looking at this as a longer journey; otherwise, why would he make a play like going to Howard? That was ingenious. When we make the people ready by preaching the libertarian gospel, Rand will be ready for prime time. I don’t think Rand should have done anything differently.

    1. Eh the Trump explanation doesn’t hold. Cruz took Rand’s playbook and, like him or not, ran with it to beat Trumpo.

      Rand ran a weak campaign. His first debate appearance was particularly bad. If you want him to succeed, you must be critical. ” I don’t think Rand should have done anything differently.” is wrong and not critical.

      What’s a Howard and why is it ingenious?

      1. Cruz didn’t take any Paul’s playbook. That doesn’t even make sense.

        Howard is a traditionally black college. It shows that Rand was playing the long game to win the swing vote, too. That’s smart.

      2. Cruz sucked up to Trump. Cruz is an opportunist and panderer with no clear principles of his own.

    2. “Rand Paul’s strategy in pitching himself to the establishment in the primaries would have worked in 9 out of the last 10 election cycles. It’s just that Trump made this one different.”

      Hari Sheldon failed to predict this.

      1. It’s gotta be a cognitive bias of some kind, where people play the percentages correctly but lose–and think that losing means they played the percentages incorrectly. The world doesn’t work that way.

        Listen to Herman Edwards explain Rand’s strategy to people. He could make the exact same speech:


        Sometimes you should go for it on 4th down–depending on the situation. If you don’t make it, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have gone for it on 4th down in that situation. The real world is full of uncertainty.

        Also, Hari Sheldon failed because he couldn’t have foreseen The Jackass, right? So in this formulation, if Rand is Hari Sheldon, doesn’t that make Donald Trump The Jackass or whatever it was?

        1. I believe you mean The Mule.

          1. and it’s hari seldon. also, isaac asimov was a communist.

  18. Ron Paul was anti-war when anti-war was popular on the left. He combined that with some small government shit that a lot of his allies didn’t really give a shit about.

    But the anti-war thing has passed and with it all the bipartisan support. It would be like if Rand decided to blab about police beating black people and mixed it with small government. It would attract attention, but even then not really win anything.

    1. Rand did do that.

    2. A lot of what you say here overlaps with my point above.

      If Rand tried a “Ron Paul 2.0” campaign, it would never have done as well as when his pop tried the same pitch.

      His sales pitch of “sorta-kinda-libertarian stuff”, with some added “I’ll bomb ISIS too” and “hey i hate abortion” was just poorly executed and he didn’t explain himself well

      He could have done far better, but it wasn’t due to any particulars on policy as far as i’m concerned = it was his campaign strategy and M.O. and his personal lack of clarity and passion.

      1. I thought he was a lot better in the last debate, aside from the abortion question where he still wasn’t clear and concise, but it was too little, too late.

        1. Yes. i think part of why he did so well is that he actually (finally) got airtime. the problem is that he’d never figured out how to GET airtime and force people to pay attention to him in the previous 8 months.

          and then even when he did get some attention, he fumbled it with things like that abortion hair-splitting thing.

    1. She wrote 27,000 prescriptions for pain and only three people died. That’s a near-Jesus record, if you ask me.

  19. On point 1. Naw, don’t think so. Rand has done a good job staking a serious claim as an important advocate for many issues that appeal to people who also support his father.

    On point 2. This is the biggie. Like a rogue planet falling into a solar system, Trump has thrown everything off completely. Jeb Bushes placement is proof positive of that. And did you see the last debate without Trump? It had a very different cadence and I don’t think thats an accident.

    On point 3. This is right in soem ways but wrong in others. Any other year I would say that point would have been true, but I think the fact that not only Trump, but also Sanders are getting so much traction indicates that the electorate was willing to reappraise the traditional Dem/Repub battle lines in ways I haven’t ever seen in an election. However, it is also true that the republican party is not particularly liberty friendly. And yes people do want to control their neighbors, but it seems to me that many more voters than usual are interested in trying something else on.

  20. So Rand Paul was prolife and earned a small portion of the votes. Therefore, the fault was his prolife stand.

    I also noticed that Rand Paul wore a suit during the campaign. Therefore, his suit was also to blame for his low vote count.

    One might think that the suit wouldn’t be a factor since the other candidates had suits, too.

    But I happen to be a casual dresser, and so I will insist on blaming the suit.

    If Paul had simply worn a T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops to his campaign appearances, he would have gotten twice the number of votes he did!

    1. “”Therefore, the fault was his prolife stand.'”

      No. Just as it wasn’t his “Maybe bombing ISIS isn’t the worst idea” stand either.

      Assuming that Rand Paul’s failures are based on the technical details of his policy positions is idiotic. Its not the positions (or lack thereof) that are the problem. Its how you explain them and how you SELL yourself.

      Everyone wants to blame him for failing to pander to their own personal pet-issue. It wasn’t the details – it was his overall persona and his inconsistent approach to his campaign.

      He certainly would have done better without the 12 others eating up all the airspace, of course.

      1. I’m not certain if you got my sarcasm.

  21. One data point:

    I have a friend who somewhat libertarian. Not full bore crazy like me, but almost there.

    He wrote Rand off when he went on Meet The Press about 6 months(?) ago. Said he was a dick. I didn’t watch it. And if I was on Meet the Press when David Gregory was still on, I’m sure I would have been a dick too. I hate that guy. But still. That’s how he lost at least one voter. I don’t think he actually does “aggressive” very well.

      1. Q 1 was basically about, “do you think Bush III (jeb) would be like Bush II”? … which i think is idiotic.
        Rand (smartly) twisted it to say, “I think invasions are bad, like Hillary’s in Libya”

        Q2 was about Rubio’s statement “at least Saddam is dead”, and the guy asks, “i guess you think it would better if Saddam was alive”.

        … christ its like they designed the interview to be all about every candidate other than Rand. Its fucking insulting.

        he smartly twists it again to say, “We’re being ‘smarter’ now than were were in the past”.

        But the thing seems designed to try and fuck him by trying to force him into over-simplified positions.

        Q3 was “would you attack a country that WAS forming a threatening nuclear program?”

        Rand = “the threat of force is always behind diplomacy”.

        He’s actually very very good on how he’s handling the questions…. but the thing seems designed to fuck him and make him seem “confusing” to viewers.

        1. “He’s actually very very good on how he’s handling the questions….”

          And he presumes a level of intelligence in the audience that the interlocutors purposely side-step, aiming at that 8th-grade level as did newspapers forever.
          The left (and certainly a part of the right) presumes policy can always be defined within the character-limits of a bumper sticker. Well, no.

          1. “And he presumes a level of intelligence in the audience that the interlocutors purposely side-step, aiming at that 8th-grade level as did newspapers forever.”


            Which may be his problem = but the fact that the interviewer seems to have designed his Q&A around the idea of “How can we fuck this guy the hardest?” is still palpable

            I only watched 3/4 of the interview, but everything was “here are things other candidates say which make sense” and then force answers out of him that are longer and more nuanced.

            The subtext was, “these other people are legitimate, you’re crazy – why are you so crazy?” Regardless of what he says, he’s stuck with that framing.

            1. I didn’t watch it (I break out in hives if TV news is on the tube), but I have no doubt that is true.
              Comparing the treatment of Hillary and her MANY crimes to the treatment of, oh Cruz’ campaign loan (I think it was a loan) was example enough.

  22. Rand is not Libertarian. To the extent that Rand is a Republican, what does that mean, what does the GOP even stand for? I can understand Rand kinda floundering around on the issues because the GOP flounders around on the issues. How is a Republican candidate supposed to represent the core GOP values when nobody knows what those are? If Rand were Libertarian you’d know where he stood on the issues, but since he’s trying to espouse some GOP values, meh, who knows what the hell he’s yacking about? You want a clear vision, Rand’s not your man and the GOP’s not your party. But he has some libertarianish ideas he got out there, so maybe some other libertarianish guys might pick up the ball and run with it. Next time.

    BTW: You Canadian guys who seem far more hawkish on the foreign policy, more worried about the Mohammedan hordes, you gotta remember we’re the United States. We can afford to be more casual about our approach to the Middle East because we know when it gets down to it, we’ve always got the nuclear option. You ever nuked anybody, Canada? We have. We’ve actually nuked cities full of innocent men, women, and children when we thought it needed doing and we’ll damn sure do it again. We may be fat and stupid and lazy, but we’re also some violent murderous sonsabitches. We’ll argue and spat a bit with you, but push come to shove we’ll genocide your ass and not think too much about it.

    1. “We’ve actually nuked cities full of innocent men, women, and children when we thought it needed doing and we’ll damn sure do it again.”

      You bet! Why, we just did that on the spur of the moment ’cause it sounded like it’d be fun!
      You’re a fucking ignoramus.

  23. I’m nearly persuaded he lost for the same reason that place down the street didn’t sell; he (and it) are too expensive.
    You can nit-pick the house (only one bathroom, wrong color, etc), but that’s commentary. It didn’t sell because the market said it was not worth the asking price.
    Now, Paul never said he’d cut S/S, but he *is* ‘libertarian-leaning’ so old farts might like cutting taxes, but he just might…
    And, as president, he really doesn’t have the power to repeal O-care, but those getting subsidies can see he represents a threat…
    Those working in defense industries, well…
    Anyone who has read Bastiat knows full well that he’s the ‘low priced spread’, but that’s trusting that ol’ ‘invisible hand’ and most folks don’t recognize that’s what already puts food on the table.
    People have one vote to spend; gonna spend it on the chance he’s right?

  24. Rands problem is he didn’t present libertarian ideals correctly. While this shouldn’t matter, it does. I would love to have a country that willbase it’s voting off of how logical and reasonable the argument is but that isn’t true of the majority of people. People like emotional appeals. They LIKE to be manipulated. They can put a demagogue out front and trust them to fix their problems. see Obama, rise of Trump.

    Rand often just came off as soft and whiny. He fought the right battles with the wrong tactics. I’m sure his physical presence didn’t help him either.

  25. For all the people who think there some very-important distinctions about these presidential candidates and their “War”-postures….

    …. remember, Obama was the “Anti-War” candidate.

    and no, that doesn’t mean that everyone else is therefore destined to be “far worse” than he has been. It means that rhetoric is bullshit, and most FP decision making isn’t made on the basis of theory or principle, but rather on political expedience and from pressures coming deep within the State & pentagon establishment.

    The president is just a political animal. You’re never going to get any more-libertarian policy-attitudes into the highest offices in the land while demanding some kind of foreign policy litmus tests during their candidacy. Doing so makes incremental progress impossible.

  26. Paul gave it a good shot. I would have liked to see him in the White House — but of the 3 theories, #2 resonates the most. At various points in the race, Rand was ahead in Iowa — but after the various foreign policy issues cropped up, it seems that the political environment has a) shifted towards the GOP, and b) against the libertarian wing of the GOP, at least on foreign policy. Unfortunately Rand Paul was not able to ride that wave successfully.

    I would point out, however, that the candidate who won Iowa is a hell of a lot more libertarian than his peers, and won despite being anti-ethanol subsidy. It’s premature to call doom on libertarianism just yet, especially in the face of a series of issues for which libertarianism doesn’t have very good answers (immigration and foreign policy).

    1. Also, what Gilmore said

    2. “At various points in the race, Rand was ahead in Iowa”

      I’m not really sure if it’s accurate to say that. Sure he might have been polling there early last year, but that was either before or just after people were starting to declare. He wasn’t competitive at any point after people started paying attention (which from my POV was basically after Trump entered and made his infamous comments about Mexicans).

  27. The presence of Trump is a minor factor. The main factor is that Cruz courted those Ron Paul supporters in Iowa and won them over. The Liberty Movement in Iowa was, in large part, due to the work of Ron Paul. Rand took those folks for granted, but Cruz worked hard to take them away. He mostly succeed. The big question is how? Why would libertarians shift away from the Ron Paul / Rand Paul camp to go over to Cruz? Conservativis/libertarianish voters maybe, but a huge chunk of the Ron Paul camp? It makes no sense to me, but the Ron Paul Revolution from 2012 to 2016 was basically lost due to Ted Cruz and his 4-year mission to win them in Iowa. Maybe Cruz is just a more clever and more crafty politician, who worked his ass off in Iowa. Worked harder at it than Rand. And Rand just didn’t play the game of politics the way it has to be played.

  28. You can’t paint yourself as any kind of outsider or maverick when you have the support of Mitch McConnell and Al Sharpton.

    Which now that I read the article, you kinda said.

    1. Having lunch with Al Sharpton doesn’t mean Rand has his support. Unless I missed Al’s endorsement somehow.

  29. 4. No one believes the “free” market bullshit these days. They at least intuit there’s nothing free about it, that it requires massive supports you take great pains to conceal, and that just like everyone you’ll support it at the point of a gun.

    People want more than the illusion of freedom you’re offering. They understand that a guarantee of health care without bankruptcy is a very genuine form of freedom.

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  31. Rand is not his father but he was a step in the right direction. Rand could not get any steam because Trump is all the media wants to cover. The media wants to talk about Iran and ISIS but never about Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Turkey that all support ISIS. Since they are all our allies then it seems ISIS must be our ally also. The French Revolution happened in part because the people were tired of being played for fools. Journalist, Educators and Politicians all got their heads chopped off and deservedly so. Keep stuffing the poor into slum neighborhoods and have the police lord over them. Let the politicians keep getting richer while those they are suppose to serve keep getting poorer and there will come a reckoning. And remember the Saudi’s practice a form of Islam that preachs world domination. When they buy your politicians they are buying your soul.

  32. Dude that makes like no sense at all man. None.


  33. 1. I don’t think the pros Rand hired to run his campaign took the time to really understand what his dad’s campaign was all about. This lack of understanding is the key factor to squandering 20% of the vote.

    2. Paul spent far too much time and energy and money talking about his opponents. Rarely did he talk about what he would actually try to do if elected POTUS.

    3. Rand is tone deaf when it comes to audience.

    4. The materials (mostly emails) I received from the official campaign were incredibly amateur. A total turnoff.

    1. 1. Ron didn’t win, so the thing to understand is why he didn’t.

      2. When your opponents are ahead of you, that’s what you have to do, unless you have facile statements like Trump.

      3. Or the audience isn’t who you think it is.

      1. 1. We agree. Why didn’t Ron win and how did he do so well? The 2 are closely related. That 20% was low-hanging fruit.

        2. Disagree. Completely. Bigger man theory. If you say you are a different type of candidate then you MUST campaign differently. See B. Sanders.

        3. No. For any audience this crap was awful. Just a crude pitch for cash. Relentless stupid blather.

        My problem now is who the hell, here in frozen New Hampshire, to vote for. Might be Sanders!!! What the hell has happened???

  34. one must have a little light in their eyes to be President. Unfortunately Rand has the same amount of charisma as the hair on my ass.

  35. Its definitely a fair point that Bernie and Trump have sucked up most of the anti-establishment voters (college students and everyone else, respectively).

    I knew Rand was doomed the minute he said he’d cut defense spending. No one will ever win the Republican nomination on a pledge to cut defense spending. I’m not saying he was wrong (he wasn’t), nor that he should have been dishonest, but in being truthful he killed his chances. He’d be far better off as a third party candidate.

  36. the man has no core values,he flip flops to whatever the new crisis is on faux news,wether its BENGHAZI!!!!!!! ebola abortion or a wall until he understands what his core values are he wont win a libertarian vote.much less a gop voter..the donald is the making of faux news and the tea party..he is exactly what they have been dreaming bout since 2008.

    1. In 2010 Paul opposed abortion even in cases of rape or incest as well as pledged to use discharge petitions to move pro-life legislation out of committee. http://web.archive.org/web/201…..sponse.pdf

      Where is the flip flop?????

  37. The curious thing about Rand Paul is that no one really seems to hate him. There have been by far more eulogies written for his campaign than there have been for any other candidate and most of them are sympathetic because everyone across the perspective agrees that he’s a smart, sincere guy who either missed his moment or was foiled by electoral circumstances well beyond his control.

    In other words for a dude who is 53 and will likely be in the Senate for as long as he wants the job I’d say he’s in a pretty great situation career wise. The more experience he gets leading on particular issues the more respect he’ll get which means more influence. Senate Majority Leader Paul is certainly a possibility. Just something to think about.

    1. Really good point. A Cruz presidency with a Strong Paul in charge of the senate could be a great thing.

      Rand could definitely be prez someday, and he doesn’t even need to be to be powerful.

  38. I think Gary’s got it in point number 3. Neither party is seriously interested in liberty. Not even a little bit. The Republican party hasn’t even been seriously committed to small-government conservatism for decades now. Libertarians and Republicans might have been ideological cousins in the 60s with the whole “movement conservatism” thing, but that’s long dead. Let this election cycle, the cycle of the “libertarian moment” when Rand Paul had to withdraw from the race because he was losing to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, teach libertarians that the best hope for change is the pressure of a third party. The whole “change Team Red from the inside” thing isn’t going to work.

    1. the best hope for change is the pressure of a third party.

      Sorry, this election cycle doesn’t change the fact that this idea has failed for even longer than Movement Conservatism. Like it or not The Two Teams is what we have to work with.

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  41. I wonder how long it will take before people just accept the fact that Rand is not Ron?

    Rand is far less libertarian than Ron.

    Rand is far more of a social conservative than Ron. For examle Rand is going to be a pro-life voice as opposed to a pro-life vote like Ron was. Anyone who saw his Senate primary 6 years ago knows this.

    Rand is far more of a Republican than Ron. He is going to endorse people in his own party like McConnell whIle Ron never would. It doesn’t make him a sellout that he supported McConnell over Bevin- it is who he is.

    As soon as people stop trying to make Rand fit into their predetermined mold of who he is the better off we will be.

    He isn’t a very hard guy to figure out so look at who he actually is as opposed to who you want him to be.

  42. No, no, no…. Reasons Ron failed: he was a horrible bumbling orator. Even as an ardent supporter many times I found him hard to listen to. He wore oversized cheap suits. He’d complicate simple principles unnecessarily and failed to stay on point. He was too gentle. If this all sounds superficial that because that’s how voters choose a candidate.

    Regan had charm. HW simply wasn’t Dukakus. Clinton was relatively young and was a slick pandering charmer. W simply wasn’t as stiff and boring as Gore. Obama was the first of many -to-come celebrity presidents. Young, relatively good looking, charismatic, well dressed, progressive, hip and black.

    Reasons Rand failed: he’s short, both in stature and temperment. His last name is Paul. Pauls were successfully pigeonholed as being weak, ie sensible on foreign policy. He suffers from a boring white suburban guy personality which makes him bland and uninspiring. Failed to recognize how dumb and unintellectual the American voters are. They really don’t give two shits about liberty or policy. They want their nationalist egos stroked. They wasn’t someone who possess characteristics they when they had, like height, good looks, popularity, charm, smarts, charm, class, etc. The American voter at the end of the day has the same ignorance and mentality as when they were in high school voting for class president. It’s really just that simple.

    1. I know, i know, typos… Goddamn auto speller.

    2. I don’t mind tyos

      I pretty much agree with your #1 on Ron. He rarely could say anything effectively enough so that it made an impression on the average voter.

      I am not sure Rand actually failed. Was he really in it to win? His campaign sucked. Totally ineffective strategy.

      I think his model should have been Harry Truman.

  43. “Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), seen by many as the political heir to a libertarian Republican revolution started by his father Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 presidential runs”

    Ron Paul got the pacifist idiot youth. If you want that this year, Bernie is your guy.

  44. Ron Paul’s brand of libertarianism – with its radical pacifism, sympathy for 9/11 conspiracies and hints of paleo-conservative southern racism and anti-semitism – had very little to do with real libertarianism/classic liberalism.

    Rand Paul was right to try to move beyond that and find a version of libertarianism that fit better in the Republican tradition. He is laying the groundwork for 2020 or 2024, when the choice will become even more clearly socialism or…something else.

    Many Ron Paul supporters defected to Trump and Sanders. They were never serious about individual liberty and limited government.

    1. There were no hints of racism or anti-semitism coming from Ron Paul. Maybe from a few of the fringe Birchers who supported him as he started to gain momentum. And the sympathy for conspiracy theories is just a healthy mistrust of government power that is sadly lacking in much of the electorate. And a preference for peace should never be considered “radical”.

  45. Or maybe he was overaggressive with fundraising. In spite of numerous requests to please stop calling for more money, the number of calls increased. Good way to turn off your supporters.

    1. Or maybe we were broke from giving to Ron Paul in 2012 and 2008…. and a little more realistic in our budgeting this time… Once Paul fell below 10 percent in the polling, and wasn’t willing to go full tilt liberty, why donate?

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  54. …whether the Ron Paul movement might have been less about libertarian ideas, and more about scorched-earth anti-establishment outsiderism, than we’d thought or hoped.

    Bingo. Rand Paul kept the liberty vote in the family — 5% in Iowa. The rest wanted that outsider “pugnaciousness above political effectiveness” that Donald Trump is now peddling.

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  56. The melding:
    Their conservative ideas can exist, and thrive if correct, with a government required to follow its constitution, but not without everything that goes along with it. Show some faith, brothers. Abide the law in your hearts. Demand it in full.

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