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January 23, 2014

The GOP Presidential Frontrunner Is... Rand Paul?

With Christie collapsing, the field's wide-open.

Except, this guy argues, it's not.

To understand the Kentucky senatorís hidden strength, itís worth remembering this basic fact about the modern GOP: It almost never nominates first-time candidates. Since 1980, George W. Bush is the only first-timer to win a Republican nomination. And since Bush used the political network his father built, he enjoyed many of the benefits of someone who had run before. Itís the same with Paul. In both Iowa and New Hampshire, he begins with an unparalleled infrastructure left over from his father Ron Paulís 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

Start with Iowa. Last May, Rand Paul gave the keynote speech at the Iowa Republican Partyís annual Lincoln Day Dinner. How did he secure this prize invitation? Because the chairman, co-chairman, and finance chairman of the Iowa Republican Party all supported his father. Rand Paulís not the only potential 2012 candidate who will inherit a political infrastructure in the Hawkeye State. Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee also have networks left over from prior runs. But their supporters donít play as influential a role in the state GOP. ďRPI no longer stands for the Republican Party of Iowa,Ē noted a recent article in Politico, ďbut for Rand Paul, Inc.Ē

And while Ron Paul scared the horses with his previous newsletters and outrť positions on foreign policy and oddball bugaboos about precious metals, Rand Paul has avoided most of his father's most disqualifying positions, while the Party has simultaneously moved in a more libertarian direction.

The Meatball said in an email that he liked this article, but they misspelled Scott Walker. The Meatball loves him some Scott Walker.

I think Scott Walker's path is this: Pitching himself as an Establishment candidate (even though he's probably not quite that). When the Establishment is made to realize there are certain depths to which the base will not stoop (Jeb Bush, or a much-damaged Chris Christie, or even Marco Rubio), it will look for a candidate who is at least acceptable to them, if not quite preferable.

And Scott Walker would be acceptable to most of us (though many are questioning his positions on things like amnesty).

And, meanwhile, the Senate appears to be a lean-Republican toss up, per Larry Sabato.

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posted by Ace at 07:36 PM

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