What the heck happened to Rand Paul?

At the beginning of the year when people asked me which of the umpteen Republican candidates running for president actually had a shot at the nomination, Rand Paul was the second or third name out of my mouth.

My thinking went like this: (1) Paul was the inheritor of the libertarian political legacy of his father, former congressman (and three-time presidential candidate) Ron Paul (2) That meant he would have real organizations in Iowa and New Hampshire, not to mention the capacity to raise tens of millions of dollars (3) He was reaching out to the establishment in ways his father never did, meaning that if he did look like the nominee, people wouldn’t throw their bodies in the way to keep him from it.

Boy, did things play out differently.