Opinion Brief

Rand Paul for president?

The Tea Party favorite teases reporters with hints that he's considering a run for the nation's top job  

Rand Paul, the newly-elected senator from Kentucky, is the latest Republican visiting three significant presidential primary states on a book tour, prompting speculation that he is mulling a White House bid. Paul visited South Carolina this week, and is due to visit Iowa on April 2 and New Hampshire on April 28. Quizzed on his intentions by the Charleston Post and Courier, Paul teasingly said: "The only decision I've made is I won't run against my dad." The elder Paul, of course, competed in the Republican primary race in 2008. Could his son be next?

Yes, he could be the Tea Party candidate: It's not inconceivable to imagine Paul making a run for president, says Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice. He would be guaranteed "solid Tea Party movement support," and he is "brimming with ideas." If nothing else, it would set up an "epic war within the GOP," with Paul the Tea Party candidate vs. the GOP's establishment candidate. "Rand Paul pondering presidential run?"

No, because his dad will run: The likely outcome, says Garth Johnston at Gothamist, is that "the elder Paul will throw his hat in the ring again," and Rand will bow out. Just as well, given Rand's "close association with 9/11 conspiracy theorists" and his "aggressive" proposals to slash federal spending. Nonetheless, talk of a 2012 run "certainly won't hurt his book sales.""Rand Paul, friend to 9/11 truthers, is thinking about 2012"

Prepare for Paul/Paul 2012: Here's what will really happen, says Dan Amira at New York. Rand will run, and will "promise to make Ron his running mate." The prospect of two Pauls on the ticket is "so enticing" that Rand wins the Republican primary season. "Then, both Pauls lose to Obama by 20 points.""Presidential race will likely involve a Paul of some kind"

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