Rand Paul's last, best chance is to run against Hillary the hawk

“If I’m not in the race,” Paul added, “that voice doesn’t get heard. A lot of Americans are with me and think we need a more prudent foreign policy.”

Not Clinton, however. In the first Democratic debate, she doubled down on her defense of the U.S.’s intervention in Libya. That fiasco gave rise to the Benghazi consulate attack that has been whipping Republicans into a frenzy for three years, and her nonchalance demonstrates that she has learned nothing from her vote for the Iraq War.

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One of the reasons Paul has struggled this year is that hawkish Republicans have successfully branded President Obama as a virtual noninterventionist on foreign policy. From ISIS in Iraq to Russian intervention in the civil war in Syria, the narrative is that Obama’s retrenchment and retreat have created a vacuum that has been filled by the world’s bad actors…

The biggest foreign policy risk for Paul in the 2016 campaign has never been that the establishment wrongly thinks he’s an isolationist. It is the possibility that the Republican base will think he either supports or does not differ sharply enough from Obama’s foreign policy.