Paul hopes to do even better this time around. Last month, he announced that he would once again seek the GOP presidential nomination. He enters the contest as a nationally known name, a fundraising powerhouse, and most importantly, no longer a fringe figure.
“That is the difference between now and four years ago,” Paul says. “When it comes to practical politics, the face of the party has changed. Any place we go, I get invited to Republican meetings. Before, we had to have our own meetings, or we might have been excluded.
“Now we go, and I think, wow, this is really nice. I get to meet run-of-the-mill Republicans,” he chuckles. “We used to think of that group as the businessmen and the bankers, and all the establishment people that make up the Republican party. When we visit these days, we find out that they look like us.”