On the irony. People are finally listening to Sen. Rand Paul — but only to hear that he is suspending his White House bid for president and will be moving back in with his father. Nah, just kidding. Unable to capture the attention of the hard-line Republican voters within the conservative wing, Paul has called it quits to concentrate now on the 2016 race to keep United States Senate seat in Kentucky.
“It’s been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign for the White House,” Paul said in an email statement. “Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of Liberty.”
Come on, it was inevitable that Paul would never make the long haul. The days when his Libertarian father Ron Paul worked his magic at the grassroots level are just a memory. Today the Libertarian heir-apparent simply couldn’t muster up enthusiasm for isolationism at grass-roots or any other level. Not when this peculiar campaign has been eclipsed by the absurd emergence of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz’s dedicated, but obnoxious appeal to socially conservative libertarians. While Paul droned on in the debates about leaving the world alone, his uber-hawkish front-runners were promising to wipe out ISIS by carpet-bombing Iran (Cruz) and killing all their relatives (Trump).
In the Republican alternate universe, war is good and peace is bad and you either join the fight club or you quit. As I said, inevitable.
In addition to his unwillingness to go to war, Paul’s campaign experienced a number of stumbles along the way, as well. Fundraising had become extraordinarily difficult and he was known to bristle when criticized, which always seemed to turn into displays of his thin-skinned personality. After qualifying for five prime-time debates, Paul complained when he was dropped from the sixth and went whining to the media about the poll numbers. His credibility as a doctor was also questioned, Without any medical research to support his opinion, Paul had said he heard of tragic cases where children who got vaccines ended up with mental disorders, and when the Ebola crisis was all the rage, he suggested the CDC was treating it like AIDS. All this combined would lead Paul to a disappointing fifth place in Monday’s Iowa caucuses behind rivals Cruz, Trump, Rubio, and Ben Carson, registering just 4.5% of the vote.
With Rand Paul out of the White House race, 10 Republican candidates are left to beat each other up. That is, until another one bites the dust. Has anyone seen Carly?
Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.
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