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Can Rand Paul avoid the Neville Chamberlain trap?

Paul is a noted non-interventionist in a modern Republican Party that despises Winston Churchill's predecessor

en. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is having a moment. It's not clear if "establishment" Republicans are concerned that the freshman senator with no previous political experience will crash their 2016 presidential primary, but the political press is starting to take Paul's presumed presidential ambitions seriously.

This started before Paul convincingly won the closely watched CPAC straw poll on Sunday — which, as Jon Terbush notes, doesn't mean all that much for 2016, especially since Paul is the son and political heir of frequent CPAC straw poll winner Ron Paul. Rand Paul's biggest obstacle to the GOP nomination probably wasn't an option on the CPAC poll, though: A long-dead British prime minister.

The Paul-as-frontrunner narrative started about two weeks ago, when The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza named him the favorite to win the next GOP presidential nomination, largely because "Paul is more likely to emerge victorious from the movement conservative primary than any of the potential candidates seeking the establishment conservative banner." After noting Paul's political skills and access to the Ron Paul donor and activist network, Cillizza issued a warning to reporters and politicians alike: "Dismiss the Kentucky Senator as a fringe candidate at your peril."


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