James Carville once said running for President is kind of like sex, most people want to do it more than once. In this spirit, Rick Santorum has decided to get screwed over once again. The two-term Pennsylvania Republican Senator is going to give it another go in 2016. Santorum, who shocked the political world by winning the Iowa Caucuses and came with about 2 percentage points in Ohio or Michigan from throwing the 2012 GOP race into chaos, will start out as an underdog. However, that is where he began last time.
If he is going to be in the mix Santorum will need the support of social conservatives, who were critical to his campaign last time. Can you get them? He will certainly have challengers in the form of Cruz, Paul and Huckabee. One advantage he has is that this isn’t his first rodeo. Unlike Paul and Cruz, has been through this before so there are no new revelations about him to be unearthed. If you don’t believe me Google it.
Honestly, Santorum is yesterday’s news who caught the anti-Romney wave in the 2012 primary at just the right time. This time he won’t have Willard Romney to kick around so I really doubt he’ll get out of single digits in the polls. He will probably grab the most headlines with his passionate attacks on gay marriage and the GOP becoming more socially moderate. Surely, he’ll go after any candidate who dears to push the party in that direction.
As part of their commitment to being on the cutting edge of journalism Politico write that it’s 95% certain Rand Paul will run for President in 2016. Next they’ll be writing and in-depth series on how the Pope is a Catholic and ice is cold.
This has been a certainty since Paul won his Senate seat in 2010. The real question is whether he can win anything. I have my doubts. Don’t be surprised if he keeps alive the family streak of not winning any states in a GOP primary.
That’s not entirely accurate but you can bet your ass messages like that are going to start coming at Rand Paul since he wrote the forward for a book by Judge Andrew Napolitano. Not that book has nothing to deal with 9/11, or the ridiculously stupid idea that 9/11 was inside job, but in the heat of a Presidential campaign details like that are pretty small potatoes. If Paul has to spend time defending himself or refuting attacks like this it is less time he has to put out his message.
In addition, Paul’s pal Napolitano has a history of attacking Abraham Lincoln. That doesn’t play well with most people either.
Is that fair to bring this stuff up as a way to judge Paul? Not really. Is it life in a Presidential campaign? You bet your ass.
This story really highlights one of Paul’s biggest weaknesses. He does surround himself with a collection of neo-Confederates, conspiracy theorists, and kooks. Napolitano is not the first. Anyone remember the South Avenger who worked for Paul? The more Paul campaigns for President the more these associations are going to come out. If it is brought up by a Republican opponent Paul won’t be able to blame the media or some liberal conspiracy.
Do people really want a President who pals around with 9/11 conspiracy theorists or pro-Confederates? If you’re a Republican running for re-election do you want questions about who your nominee for President is buddies with? Guess we’ll find out.
In Quid Pro Quo at it’s finest Senate Majority Leader in waiting Mitch McConnell today endorsed Rand Paul if the junior Kentucky Senator runs for President. I say if because of course you can’t endorse something that isn’t happening yet. Here are McConnell’s exact words:
McConnell also is intrigued by Paul’s plans for 2016, when Kentucky’s junior senator faces re-election to his Senate seat while potentially running for president.
It’s a safe bet that Paul won’t be the only member of McConnell’s GOP caucus who considers trying for a move to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
Does that require a tricky balance?
“(It’s) not tricky at all,” McConnell said. “Obviously, I’m a big supporter of Rand Paul. We’ve developed a very tight relationship, and I’m for him.”
“Whatever he decides to do,” McConnell said. “I don’t think he’s made a final decision on that. But he’ll be able to count on me.”
Of course McConnell did this. First, he doesn’t want all the Paul supporters in Kentucky on his ass for months about this. Second, more than anything McConnell wants to get rid of Paul. McConnell knows Paul can’t run for President and re-election under Kentucky law. So if he gets Paul to run, and by the way Paul ain’t winning the nomination, Paul will leave the Senate and McConnell won’t have to deal with him anymore. Once Paul is gone, guess who’ll took control of picking Paul’s replacement? Oh yeah, Mitch McConnell.
It turns out Rand Paul had a bad night on Tuesday. Oh, his party took over the U.S. Senate and won a bunch of governor’s races. However his party didn’t take the Kentucky State House of Representatives. That means there will be no change to the state’s rules that prevent someone from running for the U.S. Senate and President. Meaning that Rand Paul has to pick one.
What will he do?
Both have there drawbacks. If he says no the White House much of the media fawning will end (you think Time will feature him on the cover again if he stays in the Senate? me neither) but if he runs and loses the nomination (which he probably will) his career ends then as well.
Washington is full of people who burst on to the scene and fade away quickly. Don’t believe me, just ask John Edwards.
Well, gentlemen start your engines. You can bet after last night’s many victories the GOP will have a plethora of candidates looking to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Why not? They won big and feel the political wind is at their backs after having crushed Obama and the Democrats.
Who will in this cast of characters? Here is a preliminary list:
- Chris Christie
- Rand Paul
- Ted Cruz
- Mike Pence
- Scott Walker/Paul Ryan
- Jeb Bush
- Marco Rubio
- Ben Carson
- Peter King
- John Bolton
- Rick Santorum
- Bobby Jindhal
- Rick Perry
- At least one Congressman you’ve never heard of
- Someone who’s never held elected office
Of it’s going to fun. Welcome to the brave new world.
Rand Paul may have earned the undying love of Reason Magazine and GOProud but the following quote may kill him in Iowa and South Carolina:
“I don’t want my guns registered in Washington or my marriage. Founding Fathers all got married by going down to the local courthouse. It is a local issue and always has been. Society’s changing. I mean, people change their minds all the time on this issue, and even within the Republican Party, there are people whose child turns out to be gay and they’re like, oh well maybe I want to rethink this issue. So it’s been rethought. The President’s rethought the issue. So I mean, a lot of people have rethought the issue.”
First, this is a no-go with social conservatives. If you don’t believe me go back and watch the Values Voter Summit from last week. You simply cannot win Iowa or South Carolina without the support of Christian conservatives. Exit polls from Iowa show and South Carolina show they made up the majority of voters. You can bet this issue is going to be stoked by people like Huckabee, Cruz and Santorum. They know social conservatives panic when they see the progress gay rights has made in the past decade and are looking for a champion to stand up and fitgh against this.
Third it adds to the narrative that Paul is not really one of them. Take his wanting to eliminate aid to Israel and his position on drugs and a theme starts to form that Paul isn’t really someone social conservatives can call one of their own. Certainly Cruz and Huckabee will push this message.
Lastly, Paul equated himself to Barack Obama in the quote. That’s a not a winner with today’s GOP.
The GOP fight is going to be nasty and Paul has given his opponents some ammo with this one.