Rand Paul already gearing up for 2016?

The younger Paul’s prospective campaign is still four, or eight, years away, but the junior Senator appears to be taking all the right steps to position himself for when the time comes. Later this month Rand will return to Iowa — without his father — to deliver the keynote speech at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalitions spring rally — the most obvious indication yet that Sen. Paul has his own presidential ambitions.

“He loves Iowa,” Sen. Paul’s communications director Moira Bagley told Business Insider. “He’s been out there so much, with his dad’s campaign, so he’s really comfortable and really happy with the people out in Iowa, and especially the evangelical groups.”

In fact, Sen. Paul’s overture to Iowa’s social conservatives is evidence of a budding romance between the Kentucky Republican and evangelical leaders, most of whom have never been particularly taken with the elder Paul.

Business Insider has learned that Sen. Paul has even been approached about a possible trip to Israel with Christian activist David Lane, a conservative kingmaker whose “Pastor Policy Briefings” helped launch Mike Huckabee’s political star in 2008.