Rand Paul’s presidential run was always about doing the impossible task of walking a political line between social conservatism and Libertarianism. (Oh, also something about Rick Santorum deciding to suspend his 2016 presidential run as well…)
Rand Paul was never going to be the 2016 GOP nominee. Even if this election year didn’t include such an eclectic cast of political outsiders like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Bernie Sanders, a politician like Paul just felt out of place.
The 2016 primaries have proved to be the year of populace rhetoric. Whether that is Trump stoking the fires of anti-immigrant dissent or Cruz quoting bible verses in a barn house, Paul always looked to be a tough sell to voters with his brand of hardcore discussions regarding public policy.
There’s a famous saying in politics that campaigns are about poetry and governing is about prose. If this is true, then Paul was always all prose, no poetry. Yet in many instances Paul did try and connect with GOP voters through social conservative issues like gay rights and abortion. But there was always a Libertarian angle to it. So to many social conservatives, his stances never looked to be genuine.
Rand Paul always wanted to balance that line between electability and being a “true” Libertarian. However that was always going to be a tough sell. You saw glimpses of him doing it on a GOP debate stage once or twice, but he could never consistently put it all together. It’s hard to say if Paul would have been more successful embracing his Libertarian side or if his best shot were to double-down on expressing himself as a social conservative. Either option was never that appealing to a candidate like Rand Paul.
After all Rand’s father, Ron Paul, tried to run as the “Libertarian candidate” back in the 2012 GOP primaries and was mildly successful, but could never garner enough mainstream attention. At the same time, with candidates like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump having a brutal fight over the hearts and minds of social conservatives, maybe entering that fray wouldn’t have been that wise either. In the end, Paul tried to walk a line. From the looks of it, that was never going to be successful.
Or so it goes.
Oh! Also Rick Santorum announced today that he would be halting his presidential campaign as well.
Yeah, that looks to be the proper amount of interest you should have regarding that news.
(Photo Credits: Rand Paul Official Instagram, Google Images, YouTube)