Love him or hate him, you’re about to see a lot more of Rand Paul.
Tomorrow, the Kentucky senator is set to make The Announcement, and he has released a hype video in anticipation of the event. The ad is sponsored by his joint fundraising committee, the website of which already includes presidential campaign finance disclosures.
I guess that’s one way to upstage a hype tweet. No beating around the bush (speaking of Bush…) with this one. Watch:
The announcement is expected to come during Paul’s upcoming speaking event in Louisville. The speech will kick off a multistate tour that will include stops in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, and Nevada.
Paul will face a unique challenge as he dives into his presidential campaign: how can he effectively court conservatives, without alienating his prepackaged libertarian-minded base?
It is a tricky and delicate balancing act that the senator from Kentucky is trying to pull off: finding a way to make himself more acceptable to conservatives without dampening the enthusiasm of the boisterous, youthful and well-organized grass-roots network that his father, former congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex.), ignited in presidential bids in 2008 and 2012.
“Rand has made it clear that his strategy is to embrace a broader group of Republicans than his dad captured,” said Drew Ivers, Ron Paul’s 2012 Iowa campaign chairman. “Whether he can pull it off has yet to be proven, and he has significant challenges, even though he’s a smart guy and capable.”
“The question is mathematics: How many people will he gain versus how many will he lose, both in terms of numbers and energy?” said Ivers, who says he plans to stay on the sidelines this time around. “I’d prefer if he had a different strategy, reaching out his arms to the center-right and saying ‘join me,’ rather than meeting them in the middle.”
Paul’s recent forays into the worlds of robust national defense and religious freedom will serve as a good start for the fast-rising Republican, but they won’t be enough to put him over the edge.
Something that Paul has that other candidates do not, however, is the ideologically-exotic libertarian-leaning mystique that, if nothing else, will make potential new members of his voting base listen when he speaks. He’ll have much to explain and answer for with regards to his evolving policy stances on defense, for example; but those explanations will give him the opportunity to harness a new message. Candidates like Ted Cruz, who have ridden the hard line from day one, will have less of an opportunity for this kind of rhetorical outreach (but less to answer for in terms of a change of opinion.)
Kentucky is excited for a Rand Paul candidacy, and I expect he’ll field enthusiasm similar to that offered up during Ted Cruz’s presidential announcement. Paul has a difficult and unique path ahead of him, but the uniqueness that his messaging strategy will require could give him the opportunity to distinguish himself from the pack much faster than anyone has anticipated.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.