Rand Paul Seeks Republican Revolution

Sen. Rand Paul wants to change the GOP from the inside by becoming the party’s standard-bearer in 2016.

The Kentucky Republican poised to launch a presidential bid on Tuesday thinks he can capture the Oval Office prize that eluded his father by pulling the GOP in a more libertarian direction.

His strategy, honed over four years in the Senate, is to run as a different kind of Republican, who can expand the party’s appeal to young people and minorities who have soured on the Republican brand.

The senator’s candidacy faces deep skepticism and even hostility from some GOP corners, but Republican strategists see an opening for Paul to sell himself as the person best-equipped to revitalize the GOP brand and defeat likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“He’s putting his money where his mouth is,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “Everyone from the grassroots to the establishment is frustrated over losing the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, so he’s hitting on the things that could turn that around. The question is whether he can tie it all together.”

Paul is already making the electability argument to skeptical conservatives.

If Paul is not able to sell Republicans on his own foreign policy vision, it may not matter how much range he has or how many new groups he can bring into the fold.

“His success will be inversely proportional to where on the radar national security and foreign policy are for Republican voters and donors,” O’Connell said.

“If those issues remain high on their lists, he’s going to have a tough time breaking out. The only thing he can do to smooth that over is continue to claim that he’s got the best shot at taking down Clinton. If that polling stops, he’s dead in the water.” 

Read more from Jonathan Easley at The Hill

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