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This is one of several smart maneuvers by the Kentucky senator on the political rebound in relation to the $40 billion blank cheque to Ukrainians.
It's been nearly seven years since the idiotic livestream, to use the words of a United States senator, not mine.
"The third and most frequently asked Google question is: 'Is Rand Paul still running for president?'" Senator Rand Paul read a statement from the campaign road. "And, I don't know, if I wasn't, I wouldn't be doing this dumbass livestreaming." So, yes, I'm still running for president; just accept it."
It wasn't the formal end of Rand Paul's presidential campaign, but it was the actual conclusion for all intents and purposes. Senator Paul would be the subject of a debate-stage inquisition by Donald Trump in the months following the livestreaming remark: Why was he even there? Trump, the Rain Man of polls in which he is performing well, said Paul was actually in 11th place, not 10th. I believe what the future president says.
Despite being dubbed "the most interesting man in politics" by Time magazine, Rand Paul's 2016 campaign did not go smoothly. As a result, the Washington players dismissed him as political roadkill.
Senator Paul, on the other hand, has quietly concentrated on his skills in the years since the last serious presidential campaign—Trump believes 2020 doesn't count, and as America prepares for a rematch...apparently the country agrees with him— While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a fellow Kentuckian, announced a trip to Ukraine this weekend, Kentucky's junior senator had the audacity to ask, "Wait, what are we doing again?"
As I flee California's eight-dollar gas prices ("The Ocho," as Golden Staters refer to it; the 2000s are truly back), Sen. Paul gets to the heart of the matter.
"My oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America," Paul said, announcing a procedural maneuver to sabotage the passage of a $40 billion aid package that no one has read. "We can't save Ukraine by bankrupting the United States."
Remembering that I just flew out of Cincinnati, Kentucky, last week, I believe it's a fair question to ask: What's the (Good) Matter With Appalachia? With the exception of "Mitch," the region represented by Paul and now possibly J.D. Vance could be the national nursery of rebellion, as it has been in the past—this time against another 21st-century lobotomy land of unending war.
Rand Paul has made his imprint on the political landscape in more ways than one.
He's become the Senate's Anthony Fauci par excellence when it comes to heckling. Throughout the pandemic, Paul, a medical doctor (quietly, all of the genuine doctors in the Senate are Republicans), persistently defamed (so to speak!) the Bad Doctor. Meanwhile, here in Pennsylvania, Dr. Mehmet Oz has pledged to lead the battle to have us all forget about Fauci by next year.
Attacking the Pentagon's old guard and humanity's most powerful hypochondriac may be easy targets, but victories are victories, and there are a shockingly small number of people in D.C. who are actually doing it. It also fits better with Paul's more successful "folk libertarianism" portfolio...much better than whining about the minimum wage in an era when We The People feel just as oppressed by the corporate state as the actual one. It was more than natural to wonder, in the midst of 2020, if there was even a difference.
So, given his famed father Ron's involvement, I'm not sure what Paul Family revival we're on.
This has the air of a "Final Comeback," like Axl Rose's in the mid-2000s, with guaranteed encores. But, writing from the historical cradle of American liberty, Philadelphia, it no longer seems ludicrous that Trump has identified Paul as a prospective president in recent years.
Associates describe Paul as a cerebral man first and foremost, rather than a glad hander in the Willie Stark mold. I don't know Bill Clinton, and I don't consider him a friend, but I am certain Rand Paul is not Bill Clinton. Still, this is the twenty-first century, not the twentieth. Eye contact is no longer as vital as viral online reach.
Perhaps it's time for Sen. Rand Paul to bring back the "dumbass livefeeds" in this age of influencers.