Rand Paul is no Ron Paul, and he'll go to Israel to prove itSubmitted by Allegory on Mon, 12/10/2012 - 15:41
Analysis of Rand Paul from across the pond:
Rand certainly isn’t Ron and he won his seat in Kentucky by presenting himself more as a Tea Party conservative than as an antiwar libertarian (although he publicly stuck to his guns on foreign policy). The only way to expand upon the Paulite electoral base in the 2016 primaries would be to make friends with other conservatives, and so it makes sense to blunt those parts of the foreign policy issue that cause the most offence. By “making the right noise” on Israel, Paul probably hopes less to reposition himself than to make the issue less definitive: he wants to be thought of as an economic and constitutional conservative (like Jim DeMint) rather than a one issue controversialist (like Ron Paul). Given that the other leading contenders for the nomination are rebranding themselves as more moderate Republicans, this gives him a great opportunity to become the spokesman for the alienated Tea Party base.
However, the strategy carries risks. The biggest is that he might alienate the very Paulite movement that made the Paul Family Brand what it is today. Despite their name, Paulites are not North Korean communists who will allow the son of their hero to inherit their support. They’re stubborn, angry individualists who are suckers for ideological purity. Ron Paul’s charisma was rooted in his lack of charisma: he appealed to those who favour ideas over personality. The cult of philosophy is so powerful within Paulism that if Rand moves too far too fast towards the centre, he could lose financial and political backing. And unless he enters the 2016 cycle with that Paulite base on his side … what has he got? Sure, he’s still got plenty of issues that appeal to the disaffected (legalized pot, military cuts etc) but he lacks the personality to pull them altogether into a compelling candidacy. Without ideological rigour, Rand Paul is no Ron Paul.