Should we get ready to say “President Rand Paul?” Maybe we shouldn’t, but apparently he is starting to say it and is thinking it might sound very nice:
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., visited Charleston Monday to talk about his possible presidential bid, how to rein in the national debt and the current military action in Libya.
Paul, a tea party favorite who won his Senate seat last fall, is visiting several early presidential voting states independently of his father, 2008 presidential contender and current U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas.
“The only decision I’ve made is I won’t run against my dad,” Rand Paul said.
He has upcoming trips planned to Iowa and New Hampshire, in part, he said, because “I want the tea party to have an influence over who the nominee is in 2012.”
Paul said he favors a balanced budget amendment and restructuring Social Security and Medicare to increase the age when future benefits will kick in and to limit benefits to those who have relatively more income. Paul said he is working with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Social Security reform.
Paul also expressed skepticism about the wisdom of the current U.S. military involvement in Libya, particularly when the nation’s forces are engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I’m not sure we need to be involved in a third war,” he said. “You should ask the question, ‘Is Libya a threat to our national security?’ I’d like to have that debate.”
If Paul does run, he most certainly will get some solid Tea Party movement support. And no one has ever accused him of never offering alternative ideas (even if his opponents feel the ideas are lousy). It would also set up an almost epic war within the GOP for 2012 for the candidate who’d be the front runner of the GOP establishment versus the frontrunner of the Tea Party movement.
And it would provide would provide a delicious sight in a debate:
Rand Paul brimming with ideas versus Sarah Palin brimming with Sarah Palin.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.