Shutdown brings out Rand Paul's softer side

“Rand Paul’s been incredibly responsible,” Graham (R-S.C.), who has clashed with Paul in the past, said just before the Senate voted to end the government shutdown. “I’ve seen a side of Rand I haven’t seen before. That’s one of the pluses of this whole deal. He’s been great.” …

“He was a reasonable voice in a very difficult time for the party,” said one top national GOP strategist. “He wasn’t as strident as Cruz. When he recognized there was no real end game in sight, he recoiled. He wasn’t on the tip of the spear. I think that did him a lot of good with a lot of Republicans, a lot of conservatives.” …

Paul is “a gentleman,” King said. In contrast, “Ted Cruz is totally different,” he continued. “I consider him to be a demagogue. … I’d say by comparison, Sen. Paul has gotten better. I have real problems with Sen. Paul’s positions, but Ted Cruz is in a class by himself.”