With New Jersey Governor Chris Christie still navigating his bridge over troubled waters, could this provide the opening for another Republican contender to woo the big donors and secure the “front runner” mantle? Christie may still emerge unscathed assuming his claims of being out of the loop continue to be upheld but some of the GOP bigwigs are getting nervous.

Report from The Atlantic:

If Chris Christie was ever the frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, he isn’t anymore. All along, the theory behind his candidacy was that he could overcome his lack of conservative bona fides with a combination of personality, competence, electability, and money. Bridgegate undermines all four.

So if Christie is no longer the candidate to beat in the 2016 Republican race, who is? Believe it or not, it’s Rand Paul.

To understand the Kentucky senator’s hidden strength, it’s worth remembering this basic fact about the modern GOP: It almost never nominates first-time candidates. Since 1980, George W. Bush is the only first-timer to win a Republican nomination. And since Bush used the political network his father built, he enjoyed many of the benefits of someone who had run before. It’s the same with Paul. In both Iowa and New Hampshire, he begins with an unparalleled infrastructure left over from his father Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

Rand Paul is not without baggage, perhaps specifically his lack of experience at the executive level, but he does bring some nuance that can unify the socially conservative and pseudo-libertarian wings of the Republican Party.

This assumes the writer’s assertion is true that Ron Paul’s supporters and volunteers will lend similar efforts to his son, despite their differences on some key libertarian issues. If that isn’t the case, Rand is no better off than someone like Ted Cruz with no prior organizational infrastructure in the early primary states.

44 COMMENTS

  1. The experience we have had in the past we sure as hell don’t need for the future. Rand’s biggest problen is he is one out of only 13 who voted to halt that billion dollar + package to Egypr. Americasns love to see borrowed dollars get shipped out of the country so they can borrow more. The deep;er they go in debt the better they like it as evidenced by the politicions they elect.

  2. This is another case of “be careful what you wish for.” The front runner is seen as saying, “I’m the best!” And there are a lot of people who will want to prove otherwise. Look at Christie. He was the media darling, but after one traffic jam, people are writing him off.

    Reminds me of 1972. McGovern was called “the Prairie Preacher,” and was always shown as a strong but humble leader. Then, once he got the nomination, they gutted him.

    Build ’em up and knock ’em down–that’s the media game, regardless of party.

    Same thing happened in 2008. Hillary was the best thing since sliced bread–until the new kid came along…

  3. No “executive experience”? It seems like we’re experiencing the ill-effects of that lack in the Democrat “Leader” currently. I don’t think we Republicans have anyone, at this point, who would be able to secure the vote over Hillary Clinton, should she run. It’s a sad, sad situation for the Republicans, and for our country.

  4. Upon further review:

    Governor Christie was the establishment republican darling of the MSM and left until Secretary Clinton was getting some serious flack from Benghazi and Secretary Gates book. Her viability as a candidate went down a few points so they had to adjust and knock the republican standard bearer down a few knotches. Governor Christie has already alienated the Tea Party right so his support base was limited when he needed them. Thus the fall that wouldn’t have been as bad had he had the BACKING OF THE FULL GOP CONSTITUENCY.

    By destroying any chances of Governor Christie running it would open the door more for a moderate like Jeb Bush to become lead dog than Senator Paul. We have witnessed the fall of Senator Rubio and Rep.Ryan within the Tea Party after their stance on immigration reform. When another Tea Party conservative becomes to popular he also will face not only the MSM but the establishment republicans.

    It’s early …….sit back, get a base, watch others one by one put their foot in their mouth and kill their candidacy.

    • Bob – Considerate of the absolute chasm between the Tea-Party and the mainstream of the Republican party, is it actually possible to find a potential candidate that even theoretically might have the backing of the ‘full GOP constituency’?? Is the ‘anyone but Hillary’ factor strong enough outside of the south to paper over the not unsubstantial cracks? Christie and Paul are interesting to me as I don’t believe either has a hope of uniting the GOP. Their personal antipathy toward each other is a perfect demonstration of this.

      • “TT”:

        As I wrote once before the only hope I see for any differences between the establishment and tea party having an amicable solution is for some kind of coalition party much the same way the Conservatives had to settle with the Liberal Democrats in the U.K. That would require the establishment side giving up power within the party however which I can’t see happening. They are in the process of making rule changes for the primaries and delegate count as we speak.

        As far as agreeing on a candidate I really can’t see anyone out there that knocks my socks off enough that I would laud no less that would unite the right. It is either their views or personality (Christie, McCain) that I don’t believe any of the current candidates have the right gravitas for the job. Being a statesman and having the art of diplomacy both domestically and internationally seems to be a lost art among our elected officials. Politics today is image and has all the subtlety of ruling with a hammer.

        The RNC made up a report after the 2012 election entitled “Autopsy” ! Well an autopsy is only performed on an entity that is dead.

  5. It is pretty evident that any Republican candidate will be subject to serious vetting and fake but alarming “scandal’s” generated by the liberal media. Unless the Pubs can finance and buy an ABC, CBS, or NBC to even out what the Lo Info voters watch, It will be 3 against one – Dems, MSM, & Lo info voters versus Pubs.

    I am still strong on a Carson-Rice combo either way. The Dems and MSM will have a very hard time generating improper vetting and scandals – even if Rice’s politics under Bush takes fire, a good campaign can deflect them. Neither has Tea Party or RINO attached to them.

  6. Sam…it’s shows that you like Condoleezza Rice. So do I. She was an astute political scientist who undertook the task of teaching a man who couldn’t locate Nairobi on a map, much less pronounce it, into presidential material. She never received the praise she deserved for her accomplishments as Secretary of State. Ms. Rice helped successfully negotiate agreements in the Middle East, including Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza border, and the 2006 ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon. I think the lady has had her fill of Washington, D.C.

    • Tess – I believe you are correct – She is now in positions of low msm coverage and happily gliding along. I agree that the politics inside the beltway are putrid in nature and she had her fill. – I also believe she is a strong patriot and a very good political scientist as you say and the right circumstances might get her to come out from behind the shield.

      Carson is the only person i know to stand directly in front of the Dragon’s lair and spout what a minimum of 50% of our nation believes.

      The MSM would have a very hard time figuring out how to take out those two and also use “we need a woman President” or negating them because they are black. They invented a shallow ruse to get Cain out of the picture in 2012 – strange how Cain’s scandal became non-existent when he dropped.

      • samreusser — no chance whatsoever for the two of them to be even considered.

        Americans got burned not once, but twice by the “race card”.

        Playing it a third time won’t work for the repubs — it will be a disaster, because MSM will exploit it saying the only reason the RNC wants them is because they are black (reversed psychology)!

        Rand Paul — or The End of our Free Republic for many, many decades to come!

  7. Libertarians believe in maximum personal liberty. That means that women should be free to decide when and if they will become a parent (i.e. are pro-choice). It also means people should be free to ingest drugs of their choice, watch porn, reject religion, and have sex with and to marry whoever they want. Good luck unifying the Libertarians with social conservatives!

    • Rand Paul has stated he’s pro-life though which is why I questioned whether he can articulate the chasm between “pure libertarianism” and social conservatives. He’s also in favor of at least relaxing the war on drugs or at minimum decriminalizing many drugs. That’s why I asked.. I’m aware most libertarians are not opposed to abortion or gay marriage, Ron Paul and Rand Paul perhaps being exceptions on abortion and perhaps the latter.

      • You should not conflate Libertarian-partians with libertarian-conservatives, which is what Reagan so memorably claimed to be. Paul is a constitutionalist, not a Libertarian. He is a strict adherent of the law, the legitimate and foundational by which our country is to be governed. That law is very libertarian in nature. He just isn’t quite as rigorous a constitutionalist as his father.

        For the record, there are a lot of people (like me) who find gay marriage distasteful or worse, for a number of reasons, but who recognize that it is far beyond the current authority of the federal government to be involved in giving or withholding permission for marriages. If Congress would get off their collective derrieres and pass the “We the People Act” or something equivalent, reigning in the federal court system on clearly non-federal issues (since Congress has absolute power over entire system, except re. the bare existence of a 1-justice SCOTUS), then we would be headed back toward liberty-ism.

      • Nate: As I said elsewhere, Rand is whatever Rand thinks he has to be to further his ambitions.

        I’m not writing him off, and he may be the best the GOP has, but unlike his father, just about everything Rand says is pandering to some new possible “constituency” rather than what he seems to believe.

        You mention gay marriage. Ron Paul is on record as saying he thinks gay marriage is icky, but it’s not for him to say, and that gays have a RIGHT to marry:

        http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/ron-paul-personally-opposed-to-same-sex-marriage-but/

        As usual, Rand “threads the needle” by equating gay marriage to bestiality, but pandering to the other side by saying it’s an issue to leave up to the states.

  8. A few hours ago, I received a communication from Rand Paul (who had been my favorite), in which he conflates a fertilized egg with an abortion in the ninth month of pregnancy. NO WAY will I support him now. Ed Uehling

        • Ed – But they are: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zygote

          A zygote (from Greek ??????? zyg?tos “joined” or “yoked”, from ?????? zygoun “to join” or “to yoke”),[1] is the initial cell formed when two gamete cells are joined by means of sexual reproduction. In multicellular organisms, it is the earliest developmental stage of the embryo. In single-celled organisms, the zygote divides to produce offspring, usually through Mitosis, the process of cell division.

          A zygote is always synthesized from the union of two gametes, and constitutes the first stage in a unique organism’s development. Zygotes are usually produced by a fertilization event between two haploid cells—an ovum (female gamete) and a sperm cell (male gamete)—which combine to form the single diploid cell. Such zygotes contain DNA derived from both parents, and this provides all the genetic information necessary to form a new individual. In land plants, the zygote is formed within a chamber called the archegonium. In seedless plants, the archegonium is usually flask-shaped, with a long hollow neck through which the sperm cell enters. As the zygote divides and grows, it does so inside the archegonium. With onset of the first cellular divisions, an animal zygote transforms into a morula, or a mass of cells.

          A human zygote exists as a single cell before undergoing cleavage, forming blastomeres,[5] and becomes a blastocyst on the fifth day.[6]
          ————————————–
          Neville – whatever % percentage of the abortions whose brain synapses haven’t started development (17 – 28 weeks) don’t know they are a “people”, and it’s said that the soul doesn’t coalesce with the fetus till sometime in the second trimester, and if aborted, it was probably pre-planned or if done by free will choice, then that soul will simply write a new contract with a new mother and father. If you don’t believe in eternal life the it is just plain evolution. Only the Shadow knows, for sure.

          • @Neville: “50 million dead people, if they could come back, would gladly support [Rand Paul].”

            Neville, did you realize that gazillions of living, swimming sperm are MURDERED every night in little rubber concentration camps? Like the sacred song book says, “God will make them pay for each sperm that can’t be found.” http://www.metrolyrics.com/every-sperm-is-sacred-lyrics-monty-python.html

            @samreusser: “…it’s said that the soul doesn’t coalesce with the fetus till sometime in the second trimester…”

            Sam, the Roman Catholic Church hasn’t believed that since 1869. Now zygotes get a passport and can start sinning at conception.

            • Godfrey…. The matter of abortion has been debated for centuries, without much practical impact on the
              policy of the Catholic Church. Abortion was always prohibited for the same reason birth control was prohibited — it interfered with a natural process. But prior to ensoulment abortion wasn’t homicide. When the embroyo is implanted in the uterine wall, the commencement of brain activity begins. Same as a person is dead when brain activity ceases. English common law, followed in line with the Aristotelian idea that the fetus didn’t become a person till the 40th day (for males) or 80th day (for females) after conception. Aristotle’s conclusion was embraced by Thomas Aquinas, and was Catholic belief, though not dogma, till the time of Pius IX. In 1869, Pope Pius IX decreed abortion was punishable by excommunication. This put abortion in the same group punishment as divorce or marriage outside the church. As time pasted, the Church’s attitude on abortion hardened, especially under Pope Benedict. And now, we have Pope Francis, who is telling the Cardinals, the Bishops, and the Priests, to let go of this narrow thinking and to dwell on mercy, forgiveness, and love. Pope Francis is probably our first truly infallible.

            • Tess – earlier in this thread (Jan 25) i opined from reading about fetal development in Wikipedia – that the Genus human zygote is formed after intercourse when Male sperm penetrates into Female egg component – but their exists nothing but a single cell with combined DNA. the brain doesn’t form and divide until week 3 -> 4 & synapses develop between 17 -> 28 weeks. Even then the fetus doesn’t know even what Genus it is.

              I am not Catholic or any other sect of any religion – I am a Theist and believe that God does not intervene but we as novices and highly evolved Lords and Masters (angels or guides, if you will) while in the pure energy state (5th Dimension) through thought help humans define the events on this dimension – a favorite paraphrase of Jesus is: (John 8:23) ” I am from above …” which has been construed by most spiritualists to be ‘We are not of this world, but we are in this world’. Or our energy as Souls comes down to this 3rd dimension to learn about physical emotion and love.
              But it doesn’t make sense to coalesce or merge with the human until they both can think, interact, adjust to being as one but yet each remain unique. The literature i study says the soul enters the embryo sometime between the middle of the second trimester and birth. We may make a temporary visit anytime “to check things out” and may even take off and visit others before our Soul memories are blocked by a veil(?) between dimensions.

              The reason i explained my opine was when it would make sense for the soul to enter the fetus, but regardless, the souls involved in the whole scenario will have to explain themselves with their councils and guides when returning to the pure energy dimension. there is no right or wrong. did we plan this as a lesson? did we make a free will choice? did we learn anything? did we evolve with respect to Unconditional Love (most important)??

              Even further, no matter our feelings, thoughts, or beliefs, – I am glad that i never had to make any decisions about it. – it is none of our frackin’ business!!! Only the Souls involved.

  9. While I appreciate Rand’s pro-life convictions and his willingness to stand against the drones as well as his standing by Ted during the 21+hour fillibuster of the socialized medicine bill, it is Ted Cruz who should be nominated for the presidency in 2016, the destined to become the first American President of Hispanic descent and one who has proven himself the kind of patriot who valiantly stands to reflect and protect the expressed will of We the People. Cruz for President to the rescuing of the American way of life!

    • Ted Cruz’s other problem is that he is a grabber of coat-tails. He was one of several who stepped in and appeared to try to grab some spotlight from Rand Paul during his (Paul’s) filibuster over drone and assassination policy. Cruz’s later filibuster re. Obamacare was grandstanding, to be sure, but it was okay. The issue needed to be kept front and center and he accomplished that, even if the eventual parliamentary outcome was written in black and white (Congressional Rules of Order) from the outset. I supported Cruz, have been to 2 private affairs where he spoke, some of my politically active children have had discussions with him. But Senator Cruz has turned out to be a disappointment to me, compared to Candidate Cruz. As for Cruz in 2016, what a sad thing it is to see people in the GOP, the supposedly conservative party, so willing to trample the Constitution for political gain.

    • While Senator Cruz has many aspects that appeal to the right I fear he has made his bed by burning an image in the minds of independent Americans of being an extremist during his “close the government” stance in October. Unfortunately this will come back to hurt him as much as help him in the long term if he decided to run.

      • Bob – If the Americans were truly Independent they would understand that it was Harry Reid and Pope Obama who actually shut down the Government over their pure political stubbornness and selfishness. Cruz was trying to save the American public a bunch of heartache, divisiveness, and money by de-funding a law that was not properly written, has many mistakes, and has already cost the taxpayer billions of $ with 0 R.O.I. – or at least delay it a year to further validate it’s reason for existence.

        Once more the MSM reigns political supreme to promote it’s Leftist agenda and protection of the Democrats party.

        p.s. not a Cruz fan.

        • Sam;

          You are absolutely right in your assessment of Sen. Cruz and the government closure. I was speaking in the tense of how it is perceived by America public not how I perceived his actions.

          P.S. As I mentioned somewhere in one of these threads I don’t have any favorite in the 2016 race. I was merely throwing out an observation.

          • Bob – I can certainly agree with you as to a lot of what America perceived about Cruz and the result of it hurting the GOP chances.

            Cruz lost my support with his immigration stance. An illegal is an illegal – when apprehended given two choices, 1) the same law will apply to them as their home country law for illegals are or 2) deported and apply for legal immigration. To that end, if an illegal doesn’t like their country, change it. the immigration allotment for Mexicans should be unfairly balanced for a greater % of Mexicans to immigrate and assimilate.

            Paul lost my support when he was ok with the military and VA retired losing benefits and military funding cuts and not cuts for illegals or some other subsidies or even foreign support.

            • Sam:

              One last thought on this.

              Are we more informed, more cynical or has the quality of leadership sunk that far? Over the last 25 years we haven’t had a president that was worth a bucket of spit nor do I see any worth a damn in the immediate future.

  10. Rand Paul wears a coat of many colors. He claims the US Congress has the power to define when human life begins. Physicians cannot agree on this subject so is Rand Paul saying Congress has a Divine connection the rest of us don’t know about. Since a fetus (by Law) is not considered a human being until birth, Rand Paul has introduced “Life at Conception Act” which would declare human life begins at conception, providing the fetus with the same legal status as an already born person. In this manner, Rand Paul’s so-called “fetal personhood” legislation would completely outlaw abortion in the United States, nullifying RoevsWade. The War on Women is a very popular agenda right now, particularly in the Republican Camp. The Reverend Mike Huckabee made it quite clear when he said: “the Democrats’ message to women is that they are — I’m reading from the report here — they are helpless without “Uncle Sugar” coming and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government”. Offensive and degrading to all women. It takes two “libido’s” (one male) to tango.

    Rand Paul deserves credit for his Libertarian leanings on drugs and prison sentences. He argues that citizens in their teens and twenties make a lot of mistakes, including drug usage, and that a poor decision shouldn’t ruin their lives. His bill will allow Judges to sentence a person below the mandatory minimum sentence if it is too lengthy, unjust or unreasonable, or doesn’t fit the offender or the crime and that voting rights should not be taken away for any length of time from a freed prisoner. Paul stated in an interview that kids who smoke marijuana should not be sent to jail.

    If you really want to know Rand Paul’s views on Gay Marriage….just read (or listen) to his interview with Glenn Beck.
    discussing the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. The host (Beck) suggested the ruling could lead to polygamy. This is Paul”s reply: “I think this is the conundrum and gets back to what you were saying in the opening — whether or not churches should decide this. But it is difficult because if we have no laws on this, people take it to one extension further. Does it have to be humans?” If you really believe Rand Paul understands the
    Gay Marriage Movement—stand up and whistle!

  11. As often happens, political’s and media will often misinterpret or misconstrue or even purposeably rewrite facts to meet the intention. Note the last sentence of 1.0 – a true Libertarian will follow the party platform not their personal beliefs while upholding the Constitution and Declaration and other appropriate Founding Documents during their terms in Government. Note again – it is the Party Platform for the Gov to stay out of people’s personal liberties..

    1.0 Personal Liberty http://www.lp.org/platform
    Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. Our support of an individual’s right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices.

    1.3 Personal Relationships
    Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.

    1.4 Abortion
    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

    1.5 Crime and Justice
    Government exists to protect the rights of every individual including life, liberty and property. Criminal laws should be limited to violation of the rights of others through force or fraud, or deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. Individuals retain the right to voluntarily assume risk of harm to themselves. We support restitution to the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer. We oppose reduction of constitutional safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused. The rights of due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, and the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, must not be denied. We assert the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.

    1.6 Self-Defense
    The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights — life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. We oppose all laws at any level of government requiring registration of, or restricting, the ownership, manufacture, or transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition.
    ————————————————————————————————————————————-
    http://www.teaparty.org/about-us/ 15 Non-negotiable Core Beliefs
    ————————————————————————————————————————————
    Rand Paul is closest to a Tea Party than a Libertarian – Notice that Tea Party doesn’t even mention abortion or 1st Amendment with it’s CORE beliefs. Paul is trying to assert that from the embryonic first cell-first day thru gestation it is a human genus Homo and should be protected. In reality, it is not his or the government’s business. Only the creators of the embryo are the decision makers and the female has veto power.

  12. @Tess Trueheart: “Abortion was always prohibited for the same reason birth control was prohibited — it interfered with a natural process.”

    Tess, I wish it were true. Nothing interferes more with the natural process of real human lives more than wars, yet the bible is chock-full of god-ordained genocide such as against the Midianites (but save the virgins! Numbers 31:17-18), and the Roman Catholic Church has never taken a strong position against wars or capital punishment. I doubt that we will see any change with Francis.

    • Godfrey….I view the Old Testament as history…perhaps a lesson in what not to do. The Virgins were saved but their fate was much worse than death. I do believe the Catholic Popes have spoken out against war more than any other church but their followers are all for the ‘just wars’ version in the catechism. Anyone who truly believes that we are obligated to live by the Ten Commandants cannot condone capital punishment or unjust wars. Give Pope Francis a chance…I believe he’s onto something…it’s called love and mercy.

  13. Tess, does the RCC recognize the old testament as just offering bad examples? That it offers unreliable moral advice? That we shouldn’t take it seriously? Does the RCC offer a “just abortion” version in their moral teachings? Even though abortion is not specifically condemned anywhere in the bible, and certainly not by Jesus? I can assure you they don’t. I do like Francis’ focus on caring for people and not being so anal and judgmental, but he will not overturn hundreds of years of Catholic apologetics. He doesn’t have the power. Changing the emphasis is the best he can do.

    • Godfrey…what I wrote was simply my opinion I am not on my soapbox to defend or condemn any religion.

      • Isn’t that what we’re all doing Tess? Posting our opinions?

        BTW, Seventh-day Adventists, Christadelphians, Quakers, Mennonites and to some extent the Jehovah’s Witnesses are all much more anti-war than the RCC, although there are subgroups of many religions, including the RCC (Pax Christi) which are organized around opposing war.

      • Tess – I hope you realize that when i come after you – it is simply my opines and MY unique spirituality / belief. Though we look at things much differently, i do respect your opinion and often gives me cause to go do research. Plus being a Dependent certainly gives you all rights and often better knowledge.

  14. @Sam Reusser: “whatever % percentage of the abortions whose brain synapses haven’t started development (17 – 28 weeks) don’t know they are a “people”, and it’s said that the soul doesn’t coalesce with the fetus till sometime in the second trimester, and if aborted, it was probably pre-planned or if done by free will choice, then that soul will simply write a new contract with a new mother and father.”

    Mother’s AND fathers write contracts with souls??? I seem to have forgotten all about it! Twice.

    And what happens if the parents are poor, live in some horrible hell-hole, and the unsouled first trimester fetus is horribly deformed? What soul would want to sign a contract with them? What would then happen to the fetus if carried to term? Would it be a soulless zombie? Inquiring minds want to know!

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