Rand Paul barnstorming the country for GOP candidates
The most requested Republican politician at campaign events around the country is not Mitt Romney, Chris Christie, or Jeb Bush. It's not even Ted Cruz.
Rand Paul has emerged as the go-to Republican in the campaign, making appearances for House and Senate candidates all over the country. The Kentucky Senator plans to have hit 32 states before election day next month.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has become the top Republican “get” of the 2014 midterm elections, appearing in over two dozen states this year alone to endorse House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates and helping to raise millions for GOP campaigns.
The likely 2016 presidential candidate has visited a third of the nation, some 32 states, to promote candidates and his “pro-liberty, pro-Constitution” message, making him one of the most-traveled political surrogates.
Just this week, for example, his political action committee, RandPAC announced nine more trips over 21 days to key battleground states, including Iowa, New Hampshire and Kansas.
And next week, he will travel to Richmond, Va., to rally support for Republican senatorial candidate Ed Gillespie and Dave Brat, the conservative who knocked off former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary.
"From day one of this election cycle, Senator Paul has been tireless in his efforts to not only help Republicans win back a Senate majority but to also help grow the Republican Party broadly. His work on behalf of Republican candidates across the country hasn't gone unnoticed, nor should it,” said Brian Walsh, a former top aide with the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
For Paul, helping Senate candidates gives him a chance to help remake the U.S. Senate and put it in GOP hands — all while making key political allies who might help him out in 2016.
“Senator Paul is eager to support candidates from coast to coast. October is a final push for our party to win control of the Senate,” said RandPAC communications director Sergio Gor.
“With upcoming trips to Kansas, New Hampshire, Virginia, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky and Michigan, Senator Paul is doing his part to make the Republican party bigger, bolder and better,” added Gor.
It’s also proof of his popularity around the nation and gives him a chance to set the stage for his 2016 presidential bid, already in action as evidenced in his recent speeches on foreign policy and economics and his outreach to minorities.
Paul is building up an impressive pile of chits that he will almost certainly cash in when the primary season begins next year. It brings to mind the path taken by Barack Obama in 2006 when he ran virtually unopposed for the Illinois Senate. Obama took advantage of his huge lead over the hapless Alan Keyes - a carpetbagger that a desperate Illinois GOP brought in because no one else wanted to run after the original candidate was forced to withdraw - to barnstorm the country for Democratic candidates. Obama was able to garner key endorsements from his efforts and Paul may be setting himself up with the same successful strategy.
Paul's success as a surrogate will bolster his image as a GOP front runner Everybody likes a winner, and Paul is making his mark on the mid terms. If the GOP wins the Senate, he can rightly claim some of the credit.