The Corner

Rand Paul Turned Down Parks and Rec Cameo with Libertarian Icon Ron Swanson

Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) may have passed up a chance to be linked to the most popular libertarian in the country: Ron Swanson.

According to Parks and Recreation co-creator Michael Schur, Paul was set to appear on an episode set in Washington, D.C., in which he would have been associated with one of the show’s most popular characters, but ”bailed at the eleventh hour.”

“I think he thought we were making fun of him, or something, which we were not, at all,” Schur told Hitfix, an entertainment-news website. ”We were in fact flattering him, by linking him to Ron.” 

“I get the sense that maybe interpreting writing and humor is not his strong suit,” he continued.

Ron Swanson, played by actor Nick Offerman, emerged as a fan favorite during the show’s run, which wrapped up last week. He became somewhat of a cultural icon for some, representing anything ranging from traditional outdoorsman manliness to unabashed libertarianism, due in part to his gruff and straightforward demeanor, coupled with principled but still-comedic views on the United States and government.

During the show’s seven-season run, several prominent political figures have appeared on Parks and Recreation, including Vice President Joe Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.), among others.

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