The American Conservative: Rand Paul RevolutionSubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Mon, 02/01/2010 - 10:29
By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos | The American Conservative
March 1, 2010 Issue
Here’s one difference between Rand Paul and papa Ron Paul, says mama Carol Paul: her son is funny on stage.
“Ron doesn’t do that—he doesn’t tell jokes,” Mrs. Paul says of her husband of 53 years. She recalls a lively speech Rand made for his dad in New Hampshire on the 2008 presidential campaign trail. “He was so personable—it tickled me to death.”
Jokes aside, there are few obvious differences between Rand Paul, 47, and his dad, 74, who has become an unconventional political celebrity in his golden years. So Rand Paul, now embarking on a promising Republican primary campaign for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, finds himself charged with a complicated mission—convincing voters he is a good old bluegrass conservative Republican while maintaining the goodwill of his libertarian rebel base.
“It’s threading a needle,” says Scott Lasley, a professor of American politics at Western Kentucky University, “between what Rand Paul needs to do to win and where a lot of his base support is coming from. It’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out.”