Rand Paul's hawkish turn breeds unease at libertarian conference

Paul was undeniably the man of the hour, but there was also a tension in the air among the true believers at LPAC. On the one hand he’s almost certainly the movement’s best chance to put one of its own into the White House in 2016, especially given what looks to be a wide open Republican field with no clear frontrunner. On the other hand, the principled activists who powered his father Ron Paul’s overachieving 2008 and 2012 campaigns are nervous about what parts of their platform the younger Paul might need to leave behind in the process.

“I like Rand, my hesitation is that I want to see what he stands for,” Linc Austin, who traveled from Nashville, told msnbc. “It might be the only way you can do it. He won’t win by sticking with the Ron Paul platform all the way. The question is where are the compromises.”…

“Someone must have said to him ‘Don’t end up like your dad,’” Dylan Stephenson, an LPAC attendee, told msnbc. “I still think he understands Israel doesn’t need our money. They have nuclear weapons, there’s no reason they can’t support themselves.”

Given the likely Republican field, however, libertarians might not have much of a choice but to trust that he knows what he’s doing.

“For better or worse, he’s the best option for foreign policy doves,” Simonson said.