There’s no doubt that Paul’s presidential campaign is on life support. What started out so promisingly as an unstoppable drive to the White House got a flat tire before it even left the parking lot. In February, Paul won the presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for the third year running, cruising past Scott Walker (remember him?) and positively crushing Donald Trump by over 20 points. As recently as June, Paul was topping polls of Republican contenders! And yet just a couple of weeks ago, Paul was reduced to special pleading to even get on the main stage of the latest Republican debate. He’s now scraping by with Pataki-like numbers, even as his fellow senators, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, duke it out for what might come if and when Trump hits the skids.
What happened to Rand Paul? He has run a bad campaign, especially from an ideological perspective....The guy who counseled—at the war-crazy Heritage Foundation, no less—that the U.S. should give peace a chance overseas was suddenly talking about bombing the Middle East and waging war against ISIS...
After this summer’s shooting in Chattanooga, he called for the sort of profiling program he had once rejected as intrusive and ineffective.
The result was that Paul went from being what Time called “the most interesting man in politics” to sounding like most of the other windbags running for the GOP nomination. He abandoned exactly what had brought him attention at exactly the wrong time. And by fixating on the 2016 presidential race, he may well be undercutting the long fight he needs to wage within the Republican Party to win hearts and minds to the cause of smaller government across the board.