Wednesday, March 6, 2013

WashPo: Rand Paul's Unpredictable Streak Makes Him a Danger to Opponents

An interesting article to read while Rand Paul conducts a good old fashioned "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" type filibuster (even people who don't agree with Rand Paul seem to be loving him for it):

So what do Paul's moves suggest? For one thing, he marches to the beat of his own drum in the Republican Party. Now, that's not wholly a new observation, considering the Paul's libertarian brand of conservatism and the issues over which he has found himself at odds with members of his own party during his time in the Senate.
But as Paul is mentioned with increasing seriousness as a potential 2016 presidential candidate, his unpredictability makes him a difficult candidate to read in the context of the potential GOP field, which includes the likes of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), New Jersey Gov. Christie, and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
And difficult to read translates to dangerous for his potential opponents. Yes, Paul has long opposed the administration's drone program and criticized its lack of transparency. But it wasn't clear that he was ready to elevate that opposition with a talking filibuster until today. He opposed Hagel, which means it certainly wasn't clear that he would ultimately vote for him.
In other words, anticipating Paul's net move is next to impossible. And in a presidential campaign, that could mean headaches for the opposition. Half the battle in politics is anticipating what your opponent is going to do and how to hit back against it. The first part of that task looks to be a tall order when it comes to Paul.
Paul is also signaling that he is more than willing to champion the issues he cares about  even if he has to go it alone — literally.

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