The Washington Post, in an unintentionally funny report, tells us the latest on Rand Paul’s damage-control front. Despite concerns from mainstream Republicans that Paul make clear his differences with his father, Paul the Younger seems to have made things worse on that front: “Paul named Jesse Benton, one of his father’s former aides, as his campaign manager.” Not to worry, though, as Benton tries out this howler:
Despite the timing, Benton said the staffing changes have nothing to do with the postelection political firestorm. Benton replaces David Adams, who was made campaign chairman.
“Our team is remaining intact,” said Benton. “We’ve clarified some roles and will be adding even more talent to what is going to prove an extremely formidable operation.”
Yeah, right. And then there is more bad news for the Paul campaign: a libertarian (one who admits to being one) may enter the race, thereby splitting the vote of those who look with suspicion on social security, child-labor laws, and civil rights legislation. Not to fear, because the former campaign chief assures us, “If someone wants to split up Kentucky’s non-conservative vote more than it already is, that’s OK with me.” So libertarians are more like liberals?
But it would be fun to see Paul and the libertarian debate. (Are you for or against child-labor laws?) This is certainly not going to put Kentucky voters’ minds at ease. They already suspect something is more than a little “off” with Rand Paul. What will matter is whether Paul is willing to come out of hiding and take tough questions from the media and whether he can present a less-kooky vision of domestic and foreign policy. I have my doubts he can do either.