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Either for Us or against Us

Binyamin Rose Washington, DC

In Rand Paul’s worldview, a nation that considers America to be a friend is also a friend of America. If you don’t like America, an America under Rand Paul won’t like you, or help you.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Rand Paul has yet to declare his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Nor have any of his potential competitors, and no one is expected to throw his hat into what will be a crowded ring until September, at the earliest. Yet to land our interview, conducted in the board room of Paul’s office in the Russell Senate Building, I was directed to an aide whose e-mail address ends with @randpaul2016.com. While that can just as easily relate to Paul’s reelection campaign for US Senate from Kentucky — a seat he would have to defend in 2016 — it is only a matter of time until Paul asks the American people to promote him from Bowling Green to the White House. Ultimately, it will be up to Republican primary voters to decide who stands a better chance of beating Ms. Inevitable, Hillary Clinton, in the November 2016 presidential race — an antiestablishment, libertarian, Tea Party–style Republican such as Rand Paul or Texas senator Ted Cruz, or instead, a more mainstream candidate such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush or New Jersey governor Chris Christie. The most recent Rasmussen Reports poll shows Rand Paul running the strongest versus Hillary, an early indication that voters are leaning antiestablishment and will prefer candidates who run for a seat in Washington by running against Washington. There is hardly a day when the outspoken Paul isn’t making headlines somewhere. Google him on any given day and you will find a minimum of three press references, whether it’s Paul warning Hillary Clinton on Meet the Press: “We will make her answer for Benghazi,” verbally jousting with former Vice President Dick Cheney over Iraq, or having his positions on US aid to the Middle East scrutinized for veracity.Paul had never held public office before Kentuckians sent him to the US Senate in November 2010 to replace the retiringJimBunning, known more for the perfect game he pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies against the New York Mets in 1964 than for anything he ever accomplished in the Senate.

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