Rand Paul struggles with hawkish GOP donors

Members of the establishment wing “think he’s a good leader, an attractive candidate and they agree with a lot of what he has to say on economic policy,” said Charlie Black, a veteran Republican strategist. “But they don’t agree with him on America withdrawing to its own shores.”…

“For a lot of the establishment people that care about foreign policy, he has considerable concerns among that crowd,” the source said. “The interesting question is, how much does that crowd matter anymore? You still have … establishment people, a handful of people, who do care, whether it’s Israel, Middle East policy, policy regarding China. But at the end of the day, if you look at primary voters, it’s pretty low on their totem poll. However, for some bundlers, it’s a big deal. It really hits him, probably, on New York or D.C. bundlers.”…

“I think what you see is a sort of schizophrenic approach on his part, which is to try to make overtures to the establishment to try and allay concerns about his views, on one hand, and then frankly he can’t help himself and he says what he really thinks the next day or the day before,” the source said. “You sort of see, one day it’s the real Rand, the next day it’a more conciliatory Rand.”

The GOP source who works closely with donors said that Paul would initially “have a base of committed low-dollar donors who will give him a natural base and, I suspect, $30 million-$50 million of quick money. That’s a huge advantage.” But, that source continued, “That doesn’t get you to the hundred million-plus that it takes to run a winning primary campaign.”