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Rand Paul launches presidential bid

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With Ted Cruz taking a good majority of the conservative spotlight, it would seem that Rand Paul took his sweet time announcing his obvious presidential bid. A first term senator of Kentucky, Rand Paul was seen as a potential candidate for the highly contested primary. Rand comes from an extremely well known family of libertarians and is constantly attempting to distinguish himself from his father Ron Paul a former member of the House of Representatives.  


Rand made his announcement on his website before appearing before a crowed stage in Louisville, Kentucky.  He stated before the crowd, “The Washington machine that gobbles up our freedoms and invades every nook and cranny of our lives must be stopped.” This sort of technologically heavy campaigning was expected of Rand who is promising to appeal to the younger voters of the GOP.  Though his candidacy is in question since the power of the Tea Party is questionable at best. 


Rand Paul first became a Senator in 2010 when he rode his popularity during the height of the Tea Party movement. As a young Senator, Rand has proven to be anything but soft spoken on issues relating to drones and governmental surveillance.  He once spoke for over 12 hours attacking President Obama’s policy on drone usages and then the President’s nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA.  


Despite some early popularity Rand Paul has run into some confrontations with the upper-party leadership like Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Paul has openly challenged many of his fellow Republicans on Capital Hill.  The Senator has made it clear that he holds critical views on issues such as government surveillance and drone polices—often criticizing his fellow senators on their stances.  However, Paul has often been seen as an isolationist with his foreign policy views and his attitude towards to US Military spending budget—that is to say that Paul believes the military is too big and is being misused.  


Unlike the other hundred something potential candidates gunning for the Republican nomination, like Ted Cruz and Governors Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, Rand Paul has an unusual problem with his father... no not “daddy” issues but the fact that Ron Paul has made numerous failed attempts at the White House while a representative.  Ron Paul has some very unique opinions regarding his stances on both foreign policy and domestic affairs. Ron appealed to a young demographic of Republicans who focus more on a healthy amount of individual freedoms and a microscopic government. The elder Paul is known for his criticisms against the Federal Reserve and condemnation of government spending on both social programs and the military.  


Rand however, has made a good attempt at distancing himself from his father on foreign policy issues by rallying for air strikes against the Islamic State (ISIS) while also condemning the current violence in Crimea.  However, on domestic issues he wont goes as far as others in the “Ban the Fed” movement but he does support an independent audit of the Federal Reserve done at a reasonable interval.  Civil Liberties is probably the most in common view that Rand has with his father, with a filibuster against Obamas drone policy in 2013 alongside his major condemnation of civil forfeiture laws.  


Can Rand actually pull off a successful Presidential bid? It all depends on his opponents at this point; Ted Cruz has had a few mishaps in the last few weeks including his own father making a few not so respectable remarks on President Obama. Jeb Bush who is expected to announce his candidacy before the end of the month must be ready to deal with both comparisons to his father and his brother, both who served during controversial times. 


I personally fear that Rand Paul may not be the absolute best choice for the Republican nomination—yes, I agree his candidacy will bring a good perspective to the upcoming debates and issue stances, but in terms of a national election the GOP will need to put someone more moderate/ center leaning in order to pose any sort of threat to Democratic front runners Hilary Clinton and the hopeful Elizabeth Warren. 
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