The Washington Post article: Shifting his views Rand Paul Seeks Broader Appeal but May Risk his outsider Image” is an interesting piece, in so much that it relies on articles, his legislation, and of course, those surrounding him, in order to come up with a profile of a “politician”. What is most telling in this article however is the description of Paul by these same sources:
“He’s been characterized as an isolationist,” said Rob Givens, a retired Air Force general living in Kentucky, who has become one of Paul’s advisers on foreign affairs. “He’s not. He’s a realist.”
“I think that Rand has a picture of what a utopia would look like,” the friend added. “And he’s very realistic about how long it would take to get there.”(Read full article at here at www.washingtonpost.com
So what is that utopia, in Paul’s mind? His friend said it would look like 1792, with the government that existed just after the Constitution was ratified.
“You’d have a smaller federal government, where the presidency is probably the weakest branch; you’d have a robust Congress, led by the House of Representatives,” the friend said. “You’d probably have a heck of a lot less taxes.”
The fact that in trying to define Paul as to who he is, politically, they have found that as he looks to larger responsibility, on a national rather than state scale, that he is pragmatic about his approach, looking at a situation in total, and then swiftly coming to a decision as to where he may or may not stand – it’s call evaluating and reevaluating in the real world. Paul, a doctor, may live in the real world, more than say, a politician who has spent their lives climbing up the ladder, having never been outside of the city council, state legislature, federal legislature, et al. Therefore, the flip-flop tag might not apply to Paul, as it would to say a “John Kerry”. Paul, rather than appearing to be a political opportunist, appears to be a man of prudence, much like a George Washington, Calvin Coolidge, or yes, Ronald Reagan. Therefore, try and they might, (media in general), those drawing conclusions, tend to run up against the brick wall of reality when it comes to defining the indefinable – a non-politician-politician.
Although it is too early to place bets on a 2016 primary let along the general election as the actual players are not known. Paul is leading in the polls in New Hampshire, by 5 points, which considering that the field consists of every known GOP except the deceased, that’s a win. The article by Politico is quick to point out that there are so many in the field, a win’s a moot point. Had the poll, not unlike early polling that pitted Hillary Clinton (only) against three or four GOP contenders, it may have been a much broader win for Paul. That said the polls that will be of most interest in the first of the nation primary state will come after the November’s midterm elections. Should Paul maintain an edge once other hopefuls have their boots on the ground, then, that pragmatic approach will have paid off. It is a matter of question whether the nation is looking for the next best shiny toy, or someone willing to take on the current mess and attempt to right a sinking ship, in a pragmatic yet decisive manner.