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Politico: Rand Paul Preps 2016 White House Run

By    |   Monday, 10 November 2014 09:16 AM

While Congress and the country return to business as usual following last week’s midterm elections, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is busy organizing his 2016 presidential bid, according to Politico.

Though Paul has yet to make it official, his staffers tell Politico the operation will be official sometime in April, with Paul making an announcement soon thereafter, once his staff "can put together a fly-around to the early states."

He has already decided to make the bold move of headquartering his campaign in the Blue Grass State instead of inside the Washington beltway, with plans to open a Silicon Valley office to benefit from fundraising "among the libertarian-minded tech crowd."

Paul would enter the contest, according to Politico, citing a Real Clear Politics national average of polls, as the Republican frontrunner, slightly ahead of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. His greatest liability is his reputation as an isolationist, a position that doesn’t endear him to the more hawkish members of his party.

He has already begun drawing comparisons between his world view and that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic favorite.

"Her main Achilles’ heel is that she didn’t provide an adequate defense for our consulate in Libya," Paul said before the midterms. "And also, she didn’t think through the unintended consequences of getting involved in the Libyan war. So I think you’d have an interesting dynamic, were there a [Republican] nominee that was for less intervention overseas and in the Middle East and that’s fiscally conservative. You’ve never seen that kind of combination before, and I think there’s a lot of independent voters, actually, that might be attracted to that kind of message."

Paul has not shied away from jabbing Clinton either. He launched #HillarysLosers on Twitter and Facebook, posting pictures of Clinton with losing candidates in the midterms. And he characterized the election outcome as a "repudiation of Clinton," according to CNN.

He and fellow tea party Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, also said to be eyeing a presidential run, appeal to different factions of the party, according to Yahoo News. Paul believes he has the advantage.

"Where Cruz appeals more narrowly to the hard-core conservative base, Paul believes he has enough support among activists and the grassroots in Iowa and South Carolina to be able to safely make appeals to voter blocs that have traditionally supported Democrats, such as younger voters and minorities," Yahoo reports. "And he's confident enough in his position to have already reached across the aisle to partner with Democrats on shared policy goals."

Also in Paul’s favor, according to Yahoo, is that Paul is well-liked by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

"A lot of the senior politicians around here see Rand as someone they recall as like themselves when they got here: at first very idealistic, then you evolve and start to make friends on the other side," a Democratic aide said.

Paul’s message is one of inclusion and cooperation that "emphasizes a rare area of agreement between the red and blue Americas that Washington needs to work better," according to Politico.

He has set a goal of building the GOP’s share of the black vote to 33 percent in 2016 and convincing top Republican donors "to give him the benefit of the doubt despite his past reputation as an isolationist."

"I define myself about foreign policy rather than have other people define me," he said.

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While Congress and the country return to business as usual following last week's midterm elections, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is busy organizing his 2016 presidential bid, according to Politico.
Politico, Rand Paul, 2016, White House, presidential
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2014-16-10
Monday, 10 November 2014 09:16 AM
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