Speed Reads

2016 Watch

Rand Paul says he's opening a San Francisco office

Why is Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) opening an office in the liberal bastion of the San Francisco Bay Area? "There's a lot of smart people in Silicon Valley, and we want to use their brains to figure out how to win," Paul told the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday, after he spoke before the California Republican Party convention in Los Angeles. The junior senator from Kentucky didn't specify what exactly he hoped to win in California, but he told the Chronicle that one goal is "for the party, winning nationally."

It's lost on nobody that Paul is widely expected to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, or that Silicon Valley has a lot of very wealthy people, some of them inclined toward Paul's libertarian-tinged politics. "Probably some of the least loyal Democrats are in Silicon Valley," USC political analyst Sherry Bebitch tells the Chronicle. "No-party-preference voters are big in Silicon Valley — and it's not inconceivable that Rand Paul took that into consideration." As Paul said, he plans on visiting the Bay Area "fairly often." For whatever reason.