The Corner

A Politician Straining to be Born

Rand Paul’s GMA interview last Friday was a bit of a trainwreck, although a very instructive one. You could see Paul working out, during his pauses, his inner conflict over what he believes — yes, the minimum wage should be abolished, and forthwith! — and what he knows he needs to say to keep from torpedoing himself politically any further. He’s made the right decision to turn down national interviews and try to go to ground with, presumably, a less ideological, abstract message that will connect with Kentucky voters. What makes Rand Paul different from some of the other figures that Ross mentioned in his excellent column Monday is that he really wants to be elected to the United States senate from a state that’s not Utah. With that ambition, he’ll learn the inevitability of politics, and either adapt or lose. I understand the appeal of political outsiders, but it’s always best if you can find an outsider who knows his way around a political campaign–e.g., a Marco Rubio or a Scott Brown. I don’t know much about Paul’s opponent, attorney general Jack Conway, but judging from an MSNBC appearance last night, he’s going to try to “out normal” Paul and could well succeed.

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