Update II: If it’s true that Rand Paul’s First Challenge: Defeat Ted Cruz then Rand Paul just headfirst hit a roadblock called Ted Cruz. Bloomberg Exclusive: New Ted Cruz Super-PACS Take in Record Haul.
Ted Cruz’s presidential effort is getting into the shock-and-awe fundraising business.
An associate of the Texas senator, a recently announced presidential candidate, tells Bloomberg that a cluster of affiliated super-political action committees was formed only this week, and among them they are expected to have $31 million in the bank by Friday.
Moneybags Jeb Bush and his own shock and awe strategy of a blockbuster $$$ announcement just took a hit too. This amount of moolah keeps Ted Cruz in the game even if Jebby tops well over $100 million in his first cash haul report.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul formally announced his presidential campaign Tuesday, and notably failed to mention a top target of GOP hopefuls: Obamacare.
It’s not just on ObamaCare that wackadoodle has ‘splaining to do:
“As I have said all along, I believe it is in everyone’s best interest to find a peaceful way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” Paul said on March 3.
“As to Rand Paul, I like Rand a lot,” Sen. Graham told Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren on Monday. “But at the end of the day, his foreign policy is to the left of Barack Obama.“
Graham noted that Rand Paul was the only senator in September 2012 to vote against Graham’s resolution saying that containment would not be the policy of the United States — that the U.S. would not allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon. The resolution passed 90-1, with Paul providing the only no vote. [snip]
“I don’t think the best way to negotiate with the Iranians is to have the one senator who would be okay with a nuclear Iran to go in to take Obama’s place.”
April asserts itself as the “cruelest month” once again. This is the month the very many Republican candidates for president realize they must announce if they are to have sufficient time to organize a campaign and fund-raise a serious run for president. Today it is Rand Paul announcement day. Jeb Bush got the jump on them all late last year and a short time ago it was Ted Cruz’s turn.
In the past we’ve had some nice things to say about Rand Paul (“stand with Rand”) and some painful things to say about the “wackadoodle two-headed dentist”. On candidate announcement day, today and in the future, we will examine the positive and negative aspects of the debutant. Like a shooting gallery in a circus arcade, as the metallic ducks slide by we will take shots at them along with our impressions of how their opening day went.
So what are the positive aspects of Rand Paul?
We like that Rand Paul realizes and articulates very clearly that the 2016 elections will be about change. Deep and profound changes in American government policy and organization are needed and Rand Paul articulates that very well.
We really like that Rand Paul articulates his vision of how government should work in a schematic way. It’s fine for conservative candidates to say that they want the government to “follow the Constitution”. It’s fine for conservative candidates to say they want to govern with “conservative principles”. But what does that mean?
Candidates for president should articulate very clearly how their principles and visions work for everyday Americans. For liberals/progressives this is very easy to do. If there is a problem of any sort, no matter how minute, no matter how personal, the liberal/progressive has a new law or a new government intervention to fix the problem.
For conservatives the problem is that they have to not directly address the problem at hand but to warn about how in the future every government intrusion/solution whittles away at liberty of the individual. For conservatives concerned about fiscal probity every government intrusion/solution also has a price tag and the conservative flails against the demand to “do something now” with “look at the cost”.
For libertarian Republican Rand Paul the solution is to have “the least government that is necessary” which is a good counter to the liberal/progressive “as much government as we want”. For both sides the mantras fail, the visions fail, and that’s why Americans go back and forth between the two visions even as the liberals/progressives/government interventionists intrude further and further into every detail of life.
For liberals/progressives today’s solution requires solutions to the solutions and then solutions to the solutions to the solutions. It’s a mousetrap that never gets completed because the mouse always outwits the trap maker. The liberal/progressive requires impermeable doors on airplane cockpits post 9/11 only to discover that that same impermeable door can also be used to protect a miscreant pilot.
Against the ever growing power of government and government intrusion, always for some great reason, comes Rand Paul. For Rand Paul every government attempt to make something better only ends in things getting more fouled up. For Rand Paul every government do good intervention means the problem does not get solved, the problem only becomes more complicated.
Rand Paul can thank Barack Obama for any success Rand Paul has achieved and will achieve. Barack Obama has not only demonstrated that government is not always the solution, Barack Obama is a poster child for the Reaganesque proposition that all too often the government is the problem.
For Rand Paul and his libertarian brethren the test is how to communicate the “best government is the least government” message. The “great communicator” Ronald Reagan did it. We doubt Rand Paul will.
Rand Paul simply does not have the skill set of Ronald Reagan. Rand Paul does not even have a good grip on the issues of interest to Republican primary voters. On illegal immigration reform, Rand Paul is Eric Cantor. On foreign policy and Israel, despite all denials, Rand Paul is Ron Paul. Rand Paul is a Ron Paul only a Ralph Nader could love.
As we watched, and we did watch, today’s Rand Paul announcement we came upon the same conclusions we have previously about the candidate. Something is just not right.
Rand Paul spoke from a teleprompter today but he still has not mastered that skill. Rand Paul was reading instead of communicating.
Rand Paul read his lines as if he had to speak above the roar of the crowd. But their was no need to do so because the staging of the event oddly kept the excitement of crowds out of the picture. Rand Paul was surrounded by flags but stood alone. The crowd seemed to be far away. The noise and fervor of the crowd was oddly at bay.
It was odd. In some odd way Rand Paul reminded us of the Cambridge Cherokee, Elizabeth Warren. Both are fervent as snake oil salesmen who really believe their snake oil will cure the maladies described. But the snake oil, like Obama Hopium, only gets you drunk.
Rand Paul also oddly resembles GermanWings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz. We can see him in the cockpit. We can also hear the Republican Party leadership trying to break down the cockpit door.