“I really think it’s more important than ever for us to do it this year because there have been reports of the Tea Party’s demise, but we’re absolutely still here and focused and engaged,” Kremer said. “The Republican Party doesn’t represent everybody in the Tea Party movement, and they certainly don’t speak for us.”…

“To me, I see it as extra response. I don’t see it as necessarily divisive,” Paul explained. “I won’t say anything on there that necessarily is like, ‘Oh, Marco Rubio’s wrong.’ He and I don’t always agree, but the thing is, this isn’t about he and I.”

Rubio aides have been equally deferential to Paul as Tuesday night approaches, and there is little doubt that the Florida freshman — who will make history by delivering his official response to the president’s speech in both English and Spanish — will enjoy the lion’s share of attention.

But if Paul does make waves either by his tone or by elucidating ways in which he differs with the wider party, his speech could mark the first significant step in defining the contours of the GOP’s 2016 presidential race.