National Journal: Inside the Rand Paul FilibusterSubmitted by Neotheone on Fri, 03/08/2013 - 13:42
Eleven days before he spent nearly 13 hours filibustering on the Senate floor, Sen. Rand Paul floated his idea to block the president’s pick for CIA director to one of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s top political strategists over a Saturday night dinner of lasagna and red wine at his home in Bowling Green, Ky.
The adviser, Jesse Benton, occupies a unique place in Kentucky politics as bridge between McConnell, the old-school minority leader, and Paul, the insurgent tea-party firebrand. Benton ran Paul’s 2010 Senate campaign and is married to Paul’s niece. And since September, he has been advising McConnell as he seeks reelection in 2014.
After the dinner, Benton reached out to McConnell’s office, detailing Paul’s plans and his hopes for support. An important line of communications had been opened.