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Frank Rich on Rand Paul — New York Magazine


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In the Labor Day weekend scramble set off by President Obama’s zero-hour about-face on Syria, the one seen politician in Washington who knew simply what he needed to say and mentioned it was the junior senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul. Appearing after John Kerry on ­Meet the Press that Sunday, Paul reminded viewers of Kerry’s well-known Vietnam-era locution, then mentioned he wish to ask him a query of his personal: “How are you able to ask a person to be the first one to die for a mistake?”

There had been no surprises in Paul’s adamant opposition to a navy strike. But after a chaotic week of White House feints and fumbles accompanied by vamping and vacillation amongst leaders in each events, the odd duck from Kentucky emerged as an anchor of precept, the sign amid the noise. Paul’s fidelity was significantly conspicuous in distinction to his presumed Republican presidential rivals in 2016, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, and Ted Cruz. Though every of them had waxed hawkish about Syria previously—in Rubio’s case, simply the week earlier than—they held their fireplace over Labor Day weekend, caught their fingers to the pollsters’ wind, after which kind of fell in with Paul’s noninterventionist backside line as soon as they emerged. It’s not the primary time that Paul had proved the chief of the pack during which he was regarded as the joker.

This has been fairly a 12 months for Paul. Not way back, he was primarily referred to as the son of the (now retired) gadfly Texas congressman Ron Paul, the perennial presidential loser who usually appeared to have wandered into GOP-primary debates instantly from an SNL sketch. Like his father, Rand Paul has been dismissed by most Democrats as a tea-party kook and by many grandees in his personal get together as a libertarian kook; the Republican Establishment in his personal state branded him “too kooky for Kentucky” in his first bid for public workplace. Now BuzzFeed has anointed him “the de facto foreign policy spokesman for the GOP”—a stature confirmed when he followed Obama’s prime-time speech on the Syrian standoff with a televised mini-address of his own.



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