Growing more and more inevitable by the day, it appears that Rand Paul’s candidacy is all-but certain following a gathering this week with his closest advisers in Washington, DC. Reports indicate that Paul is targeting sometime around April of next year as the launch date.

Report from Politico:

Over steak and ravioli at The Liaison hotel on Capitol Hill on Wednesday night, about 50 aides, advisers and supporters of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) got pumped up for a presidential campaign they now believe is a 95 percent certainty. The senator introduced his wife, Kelley, and we’re told a final check-in with his family is his last hoop before settling on a presidential campaign. Paul is still saying he’ll decide this spring, with April the target for a fly-around announcement in the early states. [Emphasis added]

Doug Stafford, RAND PAC executive director and architect of the national campaign, was emcee. Stafford sketched a mix of new ideas, blended with best practices from past successful campaigns. Planning is so far advanced that top aides are discussing a counterpart to George W. Bush’s Mavericks/Pioneers/Rangers program for bundlers and fundraisers. Paul gave optimistic remarks that left little doubt about his intentions. Expect a spurt of hiring after the first of the year.

In the politics of now, April is a little late. The Clinton folks seem to be thinking late January or early February for an announcement based on the rumors. Then again, Paul has the issue of the Kentucky Senate run to deal with so timing may be crucial in pulling off both campaigns at the same time.