Trey Grayson gives us some interesting insights on Rand Paul in New York Magazine. In 2010 Grayson lost to Paul in the GOP primary. Perhaps his most telling observation is:
if he was going to give you an answer you weren’t going to like, he would give it to you in a way that wouldn’t offend you. It might even make sense to you. And you might even end up thinking that he agreed with you…. Rand is a lot better than his dad at making his vision sound appealing.
This is something people need to remember, Rand is not RonPaul. He is a much better communicator and more comfortable with the modern media.
Also Grayson does detail Paul’s aversion to retail politics. From Grayson’s view Paul is no back slapper and is never going to work a room. He makes it sound like Paul’s support is built on people’s desires to hear Paul’s message, almost like he is a preacher:
He wouldn’t even say, “Thanks for having me! It’s nice to be here!” He would just sort of begin his talk and it would be pretty serious. Even the jokes weren’t very lighthearted. But people would go to his town-hall events and tell their friends, “Hey, I heard this Dr. Paul guy, you should go hear him speak, he made some really good points.”
You have to wonder if that style can carry on to a primary/caucus audience that is used to getting up close and personal with the candidates. In New Hampshire they really do want to reach out and touch you. Being a good retail campaigner, like John McCain was, can be a real asset.
We’ll see how Paul’s lack of that skill hurts him up there.