The over-rating of Rand Paul 2016

Here’s my point. As long as Paul’s in the Senate, as long as he’s a fascinating, quotable, and potentially successful libertarian iconoclast, stories about his associations and his movement will be relegated to the think-piece pile. If he’s a credible presidential candidate? The jackyls run loose, and they know where to hunt. Years of experience and evidence tell us that Paul can be rattled by that. His potential opponents know this.

It’s a latent and undiscussed problem, exacerbated when Paul criticizes Hillary Clinton because of her husband’s infidelties with a White House intern. “In re-invoking Bill Clinton’s track record,” writes Carl Cannon. “Paul seemed to serve notice that the checkered pasts of other (male) Democrats is fair game as well.”

True. But the Clintons have put up with decades of reporting and embarrassment about their pasts. When Paul’s received the same treatment, it hasn’t gone very well.