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Rand Paul, the tea party U.S. Senator from Kentucky, said Sunday that — like his father who tried and failed three times in runs for President — he may also run for the job but won’t make up his mind until after the mid-term Congressional elections later this year.
If he decidea to run, Paul will arouse a small but loud group of followers driven by fanaticism but little of what is needed to actually win an election.
Like his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, Rand Paul ended the annual comedy show called the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with a win in the their Presidential straw poll and, like his father, he will forge ahead without realizing that a win at CPAC is usually a kiss of death in Presidential ambitions.
“We’re definitely talking about it, my family’s talking about it,” Paul said in an appearance on Fox News Sunday, a usual stop for any member of the rabid right after an appearance at CPAC. “We do the things that would be necessary to make sure it can happen and will work. But I truly haven’t made my mind up and won’t make my mind up until after the 2014 elections.”
In father Ron Paul’s case, “what will really work” meant milking gullible supporters for campaign contributions that were never intended for use in a Presidential campaign but were always stockpiled and used after the failed runs to finance phony foundations that provided little more than paychecks for members of the Paul family.
“Ron Paul’s primary purpose in campaigns was always to make money,” says a former campaign staffer who quit after he leaned that the Texas Congressman’s primary goal was to make money and not win a national election and who asked that his name not be used because of past retaliation from Paul fanatics. “I watched Ron Paul milk his followers for years and they never caught on. His son is cut from the same cloth and will be in it for the money.”
Ron Paul’s half-truths and misleading comments were also cited by former staff member Eric Dondero, who said Congressman Paul, who for years denied writing racist columns in his newsletters was, in fact, “obsessed with the newsletters” and not only wrote the controversial columns but also proofread them repeatedly.
“He’s completely telling falsehoods about his newsletters — they were his babies,” Dondero told Examiner.Com.
Dondero said Paul and a staff member concocted the newsletters to make money after his first tenure in Congress left him deeply in debt. After that, Dondero told Capitol Hill Blue, Paul “become obsessed with making money.”
As news organizations focused on Paul’s record with the newsletters, the Congressman backed off earlier denials and admitted he wrote “part of them.:
“This is a complete vindication of everything I said,” Dondero said after Paul’s admission.
The admission, however, did not stop Paul fanatics from launching repeated online attacks against Dondero. Several urged Paul to sue Dondero but he never did.
“A libel suit would go nowhere,” says legal scholar Justin Williams. “In libel cases, truth is an absolute defense and by Ron Paul’s admissions he was not telling the truth about his role in his newsletters.”
Wrote Joe Newby of the Spokane Conservative Examiner: “Paul’s ever-changing statements do not seem to be winning many converts outside of the more militant supporters who hang on every word he utters.”
Like his father, Rand Paul misinterprets the Constitution to further his political and financial goals. If he runs for President, he will focus on the constitutionality — or lack of it — of the National Security Agency’s questionable electronic spying on Americans.
While opponents of the plan cautiously applaud Paul’s focus on the practice that many feel violates the Fourth Amendment, they also question his motives and worry that having him on their sides hurts more than it helps.
Like his father, Paul has a nasty habit of saying stupid things that come back to haunt him, like his statement in Kentucky that claimed, constitutionally, restaurant owners have the right to refuse to serve African Americans or other minorities.
While such comments play well with the rabid right racists who make up the bulk of his following, the words doom any chance of votes from a more enlightened electorate who help decide national elections.
Paul’s antics also leave fellow Republicans shaking their heads. Rep. Peter King of New York calls Paul “an absolute disgrace” whose actions and statements have “disgraced his office.”
And while Paul won the CPAC straw poll, he captured just 31 percent of the vote in a crowded field of more than 20 contenders.
A GOP campaign for the Presidential nomination would also face a mob of candidates that includes New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and a gaggle of others.
While political prognosticators can’t agree on who — if anyone — from the current crop of losers has what it takes to win the Republican nomination for President and try to reverse 16 years of GOP failure to recapture the White House, the one thing they can agree on is that the nominee won’t be Rand Paul.
Because like his father, Rand Paul — at the national level — is a loser.
(Updated at 11 a.m. EDT with additional material)
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