Rand Paul Tries to Transform a Moment Into a MovementSubmitted by bobbyw24 on Tue, 04/23/2013 - 11:27
Sen. Rand Paul's big moment lasted nearly 13 hours.
To many, that's how long it took the Republican lawmaker to transform from fringe politician to overnight sensation, in an old-fashioned Senate floor filibuster to seek White House safeguards against using drones to kill Americans.
Billed as a spontaneous gesture, the filibuster was in fact the most successful of several planned actions that began when the eye doctor-turned-senator decided in December to weigh a run for president.
In short order, Sen. Paul, of Kentucky, won a first-place finish in a straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference, beating Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in a field of potential 2016 contenders; his new super PAC welcomed a flood of new donors; and he was invited to prestigious speaking engagements in key primary states.
Although Sen. Paul says he hasn't made a decision to run, he isn't coy about his ambitions to be a national force. "My new notoriety allows me to talk about ways to make the Republican Party bigger and better, and to be part of the national debate," he said, using a copy of the Constitution to block the sun from his eyes on a recent drive down a Kentucky interstate.