So Rand Paul Gave A Speech at CPAC…….

….and he hit a home run.  Here’s a video of the speech.

Rand Paul came out with rolled up sleeves and blue jeans, a clear shot at Scott Walker. Although many of my older political friends don’t like the blue jeans, young people, who are Rand Paul’s base, love it (more on this later).

Rand Paul’s biggest problem over the past few months is that he seemed off track. He was populist Rand, libertarian Rand, conservative Rand, and moderate Rand. This was the first speech he finally put it all together.

Rand Paul hit some of his usual themes at the beginning of his speech. He started by asking a simple question, “Will you lovers of liberty? Will you rise to the occasion?” Then he went into his civil liberties heavy message and likened it to the American revolutionaries rising up against the British Crown.

Paul criticized the Roberts decision on Obamacare and said “we should be presumed free” in response to the Roberts court presuming Obamacare constitutional. Paul also promised to repeal “every last bit of Obamacare.”

Paul continued his libertarian populist themes with criticisms of the NSA metadata program saying “I say the phone records of law-abiding citizens are none of their damn business.” He also attacked overspending by calling debt “a threat to freedom from within.”

Paul also addressed foreign policy outlining his vision of a less hawkish foreign policy. He also took shots at “Hillary’s War” in Libya as jihadists have almost taken over that country. He also slammed Hillary on Benghazi and said “it’s time for Hillary Clinton to permanently retire.” He called ISIS a “dangerous cult” and pointed out that many in ISIS were armed by the U.S. to fight the Syrian government. He called for a foreign policy that “promotes stability, not chaos.” Paul also said “not one penny more to these haters of America” as he called for a sharp reduction in foreign aid. I agree with Jim Antle at Rare that the first shots in the Republican Party’s (much-needed) foreign policy debate were fired in the speech.

Paul has refined his outreach to black and working class voters. He said “liberal policies have failed our inner cities”, making it clear he will address income mobility by reducing the size of government. He also said he will propose the largest tax cut in America when he proposes his tax plan and balance the budget in five years.

Rand Paul also hit some anti-Washington themes by calling on Congress to read the bills they vote on, term-limits for Congress and judges, and making Congress obey the laws they impose. The pro-Paul crowd was chanting “President Paul” as he was finishing his speech.

Rand Paul essentially hit a home run with this speech. We finally see a narrative emerging and libertarian populism actually becoming a thing. You know why Rand Paul wears jeans and is one of the best social media trolls on the internet? It’s because that’s what young voters are looking for. They want a fighter and someone who is not “one of the stiff suits.” As a result, young voters love Rand Paul.

Just some anecdotal thoughts here. During Rand’s speech, I was sitting by a couple of people from Wayne Dupree’s Team Ninja in media row covering the speech. When Rand finished, these two people were giving Rand a standing ovation. Ironically, I was also talking to several young “establishment “Republicans who were also going to support Rand Paul because of his ideas and outreach.

Going forward, Rand Paul will be one of the top-tier candidates who can stay in the top-tier throughout the race because he can raise money and he has his father’s libertarian base. However, Rand needs to expand on his foreign policy views with a foreign policy speech and soon. Rand also needs to follow through on his promises on taxes and the budget.

Rand Paul will also come under fire over his father’s more nutty remarks. Will these attacks be fair? No, but Rand’s a Republican and the same media that didn’t care about Obama’s associations will go over Rand’s with a fine toothed comb.

If Rand can stay standing during these attacks, he has a shot at the nomination and the White House.




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