Consider these numbers: while PredictWise has the freshman senator from Kentucky in fourth place with only a 9.7 percent chance of winning the GOP nomination, Paddy Power also has him in fourth, at 6/1 odds, tied with Chris Christie (who?).
Don't care about stuff like that nearly a year out from the Iowa caucuses? Fine. Then how about this (all emphasis mine):
Rand Paul called the push for same-sex marriage a “moral crisis” during a private prayer breakfast in Washington, D.C. “The moral crisis we have in our country, there is a role for us trying to figure out a thing like marriage,” Paul said Thursday on video obtained by CBN News’s David Brody. “There’s also a moral crisis that allows people to think there would be some sort of other marriage.” The Republican senator from Kentucky is due to announce his presidential candidacy next month. “The First Amendment says keep government out of religion, not religion out of government.” Paul said America needs a religious revival. “We need another Great Awakening with tent revivals of thousands of people saying reform or see what’s going to happen if we don’t reform.”
Huh? Does that sound like a "libertarian" to you? (Sounds more to me like a guy who "hears footsteps" from -- oh, I don't know -- Ted Cruz.)
How about this:
Just weeks before announcing his 2016 presidential bid, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is completing an about-face on a longstanding pledge to curb the growth in defense spending.
In an olive branch to defense hawks hell-bent on curtailing his White House ambitions, the libertarian Senator introduced a budget amendment late Wednesday calling for a nearly $190 billion infusion to the defense budget over the next two years—a roughly 16 percent increase.
Still not convinced? Okay, last one:
With progress having been made on the Iran negotiations, Republican Senators opposed to a deal have been threatening the administration left and right over it. Today, they took a different tack, issuing an open letter to Iran, warning them against the deal on the grounds that they’re just going to sabotage it in the future.
The letter was pushed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R – AR) and signed by 47 senators. Surprisingly, this included Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY), who had previously expressed opposition to Congressional attempts to sabotage the negotiations.
Just a month ago, Sen. Paul had admonished the Senate against standing in the way of negotiations in good faith. Now, with Iran a key issue in the upcoming presidential primaries, he seems to be wavering on the matter, and towing the party line.
Do these sound like the words and deeds of a confident presidential candidate? Or one who senses his libertarian philosophy is a little out of step with a party dominated by evangelical Christians and neocons? (And did he just figure that out?)
Some free advice to Senator Paul: you will never compete for the evangelical vote with the likes of Mike Huckabee or Ted Cruz (they're the real deal). And you'll never convince the Sheldon Adelsons and William Kristols of your party that you're one of them either.
So, please, either run as yourself or just don't bother. (You're getting killed in the polls anyway.)