Rand Paul expected to tout 'electability' in his announcement

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul will announce his candidacy for the Repuiblican nomination for president today at the historic Gail House Hotel in downtown Louisville. He refers to himself as a "different kind of Republican" which is accurate as far as it goes. Actually, Paul has moved noticably away from some of his libertarian positions to embrace some conservative views. But he is correct in claiming that his brand of outreach to minorities and the libertarian right sets him apart from the rest of the field.

The Hill:

Whereas Cruz’s launch was laser-focused on rallying evangelical Christians, Paul is gearing up to make the argument that he has cross-party appeal. 

He intends to focus heavily on young voters and minority outreach, and will make the pitch to Republican primary voters that his efforts to expand the party make him the candidate with the best chance to defeat Hillary Clinton in the general election.

Hitting the trail

Following the announcement, Paul will hit the road for rallies in the critical carve-out states.

The “Stand With Rand” tour will take Paul to Milford, N.H., on Wednesday, Yorktown, S.C., on Thursday, Iowa City, Iowa, on Friday, and Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday.

These states will be especially important for Paul as he tries to chart a White House run separate from his father’s failed bids. 

Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) had a history of entering primaries and caucuses with considerable buzz among grassroots supporters, but he could never close the deal by delivering a victory in an early-voting state.

Republican strategists say the younger Rand has as much range of any of the potential GOP candidates and is well-positioned to win at least one early-voting state, or at least build momentum through a series of strong finishes.

In Iowa, Paul can build on his father’s established base of support and barnstorm the dozens of campuses in the state for student support. In New Hampshire, he could capitalize on the state’s open primary and strong independent streak. South Carolina is likely to be kind to a candidate from the South, and the caucuses in Nevada could be a wildcard.

Of course, if Paul falls flat in these states, it could reinforce the notion that, like his father, his appeal is limited. 

Those who supported his father for president will be crucial in those early states, as they will give the campaign a lot of energy. But it is the base of the Republican party that Paul will need if he is to compete with the likes of Ted Cruz and possibly Rick Santorum.

Paul's positions on some issues have been evolving in recent months, most notably on defense spending and culture issues. "Electability" is a nice theme to start off the campaign with, but eventually, he is going to have to convince conservatives that he stands with them on a host of issues. How wedded is Paul to the right's social agenda? Can he convince people there is a difference between "non-interventionism" and "isolationism"? Can he bring conservatives along on issues like criminal justice reform? 

Where Paul's libertarianism rubs conservatism the wrong way, he will have problems. But there are many reasons why a voter will support a candidate and not always because he agrees with everything the candidate stands for. Paul certainly has the smarts, a proven ability to lead, and some new ideas that will make him an attractive candidate for many.

Paul also appears to have some innovative ideas on how to use social medai. In short, Paul will have as good a shot at the nomination as any other major candidate in the field. 

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul will announce his candidacy for the Repuiblican nomination for president today at the historic Gail House Hotel in downtown Louisville. He refers to himself as a "different kind of Republican" which is accurate as far as it goes. Actually, Paul has moved noticably away from some of his libertarian positions to embrace some conservative views. But he is correct in claiming that his brand of outreach to minorities and the libertarian right sets him apart from the rest of the field.

The Hill:

Whereas Cruz’s launch was laser-focused on rallying evangelical Christians, Paul is gearing up to make the argument that he has cross-party appeal. 

He intends to focus heavily on young voters and minority outreach, and will make the pitch to Republican primary voters that his efforts to expand the party make him the candidate with the best chance to defeat Hillary Clinton in the general election.

Hitting the trail

Following the announcement, Paul will hit the road for rallies in the critical carve-out states.

The “Stand With Rand” tour will take Paul to Milford, N.H., on Wednesday, Yorktown, S.C., on Thursday, Iowa City, Iowa, on Friday, and Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday.

These states will be especially important for Paul as he tries to chart a White House run separate from his father’s failed bids. 

Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) had a history of entering primaries and caucuses with considerable buzz among grassroots supporters, but he could never close the deal by delivering a victory in an early-voting state.

Republican strategists say the younger Rand has as much range of any of the potential GOP candidates and is well-positioned to win at least one early-voting state, or at least build momentum through a series of strong finishes.

In Iowa, Paul can build on his father’s established base of support and barnstorm the dozens of campuses in the state for student support. In New Hampshire, he could capitalize on the state’s open primary and strong independent streak. South Carolina is likely to be kind to a candidate from the South, and the caucuses in Nevada could be a wildcard.

Of course, if Paul falls flat in these states, it could reinforce the notion that, like his father, his appeal is limited. 

Those who supported his father for president will be crucial in those early states, as they will give the campaign a lot of energy. But it is the base of the Republican party that Paul will need if he is to compete with the likes of Ted Cruz and possibly Rick Santorum.

Paul's positions on some issues have been evolving in recent months, most notably on defense spending and culture issues. "Electability" is a nice theme to start off the campaign with, but eventually, he is going to have to convince conservatives that he stands with them on a host of issues. How wedded is Paul to the right's social agenda? Can he convince people there is a difference between "non-interventionism" and "isolationism"? Can he bring conservatives along on issues like criminal justice reform? 

Where Paul's libertarianism rubs conservatism the wrong way, he will have problems. But there are many reasons why a voter will support a candidate and not always because he agrees with everything the candidate stands for. Paul certainly has the smarts, a proven ability to lead, and some new ideas that will make him an attractive candidate for many.

Paul also appears to have some innovative ideas on how to use social medai. In short, Paul will have as good a shot at the nomination as any other major candidate in the field.