The Pink Flamingo thought this might be fun to see what some of the pundits said about the Rand Paul victory. I have repeatedly said Rand Paul will blow a good GOP Senate seat. I continue to say that he will lose. The GOP needs to pull the plug on him.
David Frum wrote:
“..Rand Paul’s victory in the Kentucky Republican primary is obviously a depressing event for those who support strong national defense and rational conservative politics. In another year, such a victory would be a prelude to a Republican defeat in the general election….”
John Marshall at TMP hit on the nose:
“…It is quite an understatement to say that I am not Rand Paul’s target audience. Still, I couldn’t help notice something about his brief acceptance speech and I’m curious to hear whether any of you had a similar take. I don’t think I’d ever seen Paul speak at any length. Or if I did I don’t have a clear recollection of it. And he came off to me as arrogant, bellicose and even a little messianic in his demeanor. To put it baldly, he sounded like a jerk.…Now does any of that matter? Not necessarily, I guess. And when I mentioned this in the newsroom this evening a couple members of our team pointed out, rightly, that that sort of attitude is part and parcel of the Tea Party movement and really any anti-establishment movement for that matter. But even in a conservative state like Kentucky some measure of pivoting is necessary in a general election. And I wondered after seeing Paul whether he’s constitutionally capable of it….”
He also wrote:
“...But I am getting the impression that Paul — aside from just being very unlikeable in personal terms — may be a much more divisive figure than one might from any Tea Party candidate who snatches away a nomination from an establishment party figure. …”
“…The likely Rand Paul victory in the Kentucky Republican primary today should give Democrats a very good chance of winning in the fall because supporters of Trey Grayson, Paul’s main opponent, really don’t like him.
Some primaries play out in such a way that party loyalists view several of the candidates favorably and just choose the one they like best. That was very much the case with the recent Democratic contest in North Carolina. But in Kentucky we find that Paul’s supporters hate Grayson, and that even more Grayson’s supporters hate Paul.
53% of likely Grayson voters for today have an unfavorable opinion of Paul to only 23% with a positive opinion of him. More importantly though just 40% of Grayson voters say they’ll support Paul in the general election if he wins the Republican nomination with 43% explicitly saying they will not….”
Did you know that the son of a long-time inside the Beltway, long-term Congressman, who has POTUS aspirations is NOT a political insider?
If we were talking anyone else, Rand Paul would be described as a 2nd generation political insider. He has been hitting the white supremacist, libertarian nutjob talk show circuit long enough to be an “insider”.
His power base is rather wealthy.
“…The results of last night’s Kentucky GOP Senate primary suggest that Rand Paul had a stronger appeal among affluent voters then low income voters. Despite running a better campaign then Trey Grayson, (even winning Grayson’s home county) the fact that Paul did not perform as well in poorer counties raises questions of just where Paul’s “Tea Party” and anti-incumbent appeal lies….”
From the From Forum, Dam Siegel wrote that Paul was the more establishment candidate:
“…Throughout Rand Paul’s victorious Republican primary campaign against Trey Grayson, Paul, the Tea Party’s candidate of choice, repeatedly criticized his opponent for being part of the establishment. “We have run an election where I have never run for office before,” Paul boasted at one point to Neil Cavuto, “and yet the handpicked establishment candidate is now trailing us by over 10 points.” Paul hit voters over the head with this trope throughout the campaign, and it seems to have resonated. Grayson, the Kentucky Secretary of State supported by Dick Cheney and Sen. Mitch McConnell, crumbled before the Rand Paul Revolution.
Paul’s primary victory could lead observers to believe that the Tea Party wave has crashed down upon mainstream, “establishment” Republicans. It’s possible that assumption is correct. But, by observing the other Republican primaries in the area, and by looking at Kentucky Republicans’ attitudes toward their representatives, it’s perhaps more likely that Paul and his followers have it exactly backwards: Trey Grayson lost not because he was part of the “establishment,” but because he wasn’t enough of an entrenched member of the establishment….”
Joe Klein wrote:
“...If the Republicans play their cards right, they will step away from the brink and recognize that a certain don’t-tread-on-me libertarian spirit has always been close to the heart of the American dream, but that libertarian extremism has always been a loser--and that even Ronald Reagan found that he couldn’t put a dent in the liberal social safety net because it was too popular. Most extremist moments in American politics are passing fevers. Glenn Beck’s ratings are down; his paranoid act is wearing thin. Balance will eventually be restored–which, in this case, will probably mean fewer Democrats in Congress (because their 2010 levels were unnaturally high, given past history), but it will also mean that more Republicans will understand the downside of demagogic extremism….”