With the federal-government shutdown over, strategists are weighing in on how the ordeal will affect Republican presidential hopefuls and contrasting the differing approaches of Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.
Many believe Paul's "keep your head down" strategy improves his odds to win support from American voters and the Republican Party should he decide to toss his hat into the 2016 presidential ring.
"Cruz is playing the short-term game to get short-term gains, whereas Paul is looking downfield for the long play," GOP strategist Rick Wilson tells Politico
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"It's a real contrast in style, especially if you’re looking at a national campaign that’s more marathon than sprint," he said.
One top national GOP strategist says Paul "was a reasonable voice in a very difficult time for the party.
"He wasn’t as strident as Cruz. When he recognized there was no real end game in sight, he recoiled. He wasn’t on the tip of the spear. I think that did him a lot of good with a lot of Republicans, a lot of conservatives."
While Paul voted against the bill that opened the federal government, he did make efforts to ease tensions during the political stalemate. He invited party leaders from both sides for coffee on the steps of the Capitol to calm tempers. One only democrat showed up, but Paul won points for making the gesture during a tough time.
"Rand Paul’s been incredibly responsible," South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has clashed with Paul in the past, said just before the Senate voted to end the government shutdown. "I’ve seen a side of Rand I haven’t seen before. That’s one of the pluses of this whole deal. He’s been great."
Paul says he is still discussing a 2016 run with his family
. His wife Kelly already has expressed her doubts, but a Newsmax/Zogby poll released last week
puts him close to the top of GOP hopefuls.
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