On the ground in the Bluegrass state, Republicans are excited by the prospects of the Rand Paul candidacy -- they say he can bring fresh blood and fresh enthusiasm to the party and that can help up and down the ballot. But they remain wary of his unique views -- and the possibility of more days like Thursday ahead.Yeah, sure. Kentucky voters are more concerned about the Euro then they are Rand Paul saying that businesses should be allowed to discriminate, that coal companies should be allowed to continue to operate with little to no oversight or regulation, and that Obama's being too hard on poor BP.
On Saturday, Paul and one-time establishment favorite Trey Grayson will come together for a staged rally with all the key players -- from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on down -- telling their voters to come together for the sake of winning the general election in November. TPMDC spoke today with several Kentucky Republicans who insisted they will be able to forge the right kind of agreement to beat Democratic nominee Jack Conway. But privately, they admit it might not be so easy.
That's one reason the GOP seems to have settled on a talking point - Paul was set up by the liberal media, who pushed him into a trap that earned him 24 hours of negative press.
"This was just an old type of ploy to get him to slip up on something. It was more of a media gotcha and not any big event," said state Republican Party member and former county chairman Richard Granna. He told TPMDC in an interview that Kentucky voters are more concerned with the European financial crisis than "hashing up something from 1964 that's already been settled."
The fact that nationally the GOP will have to come out across the board in favor of Paul's crackpot notions all but guarantees they're going to have real trouble come November. Every GOP candidate needs to be asked if he or she agrees with Rand Paul's ideas. And the idea that Paul was set up when the interview in question was last month...that's just laughable.
I'm noticing the same excuses to cover Rand Paul's ass that I did for Sarah Palin in late 2008...and we all know how that one turned out for the GOP.