Rand Paul road tests campaign themes in CA

Rand Paul road tests campaign themes in CA

Rand PaulIn the early search for an edge in 2016, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has trained his sights on California.

Doubling down on a strategy that saw Paul make waves with a well-received speech at the University of California, Berkeley in March, the presidential hopeful just took a big step toward using the Golden State as a touchstone of his reformist approach. In a one-two punch, Paul used last weekend’s California GOP Convention to road test tones and themes of his presumptive campaign for president, then confirmed his plans for a new office in the overwhelmingly Democratic city of San Francisco.

Seizing an opportunity

Paul’s address to the state party convention took advantage of a political opening that is wider in California than many other states. The Republican agenda in Midwest or Mid-Atlantic states such as Wisconsin or New Jersey has been dominated by classic 20th century industrial issues like jobs and energy. Meanwhile, the personalities of popular but divisive governors such as Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and New Jersey’s Chris Christie have left little limelight to spare for other leadership figures on national tour.

The same is true of Texas, the other focal point of national Republican momentum. There, Gov. Rick Perry has consistently touted his state’s record on jobs and energy. Plus his own likely presidential ambitions have made the state inhospitable for competing contenders such as Paul.

What’s more, Perry’s own political strategy has availed itself of California in its own way — as a constant point of negative comparison. By pitting Texas against California, Perry has impressed many Republicans with the idea that the GOP can prove its mettle as a party capable of guiding large, diverse states toward broad-based prosperity.

For Paul, a quiet urgency has permeated his recurring, high-profile trips to California. In accordance with one of the simplest rules of presidential politics, Paul had to find and build a base of support — not just ideological, but cultural and financial. Despite his success in weaving his insurgent brand of libertarian conservatism into the fabric of the Kentucky political establishment, Paul had to set out across the country in search of a constituency large and powerful enough to leverage a presidential campaign.

That was where California came in. Unlike the libertarian-leaning Mountain West and Southwest, California includes large, wealthy and cosmopolitan areas where political influence is increasingly up for grabs. Although Paul used his convention appearance to publicly endorse gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari, Paul has clearly defined himself as a reform Republican with a pedigree and an agenda that differ from Kashkari’s.

Unlike Paul, Kashkari’s East Coast ties and Wall Street affinities have long run deep. Also unlike Paul, Kashkari has had little reason to emphasize the foreign policy and national security issues that catapulted Paul to national prominence.

At the same time, however, both Kashkari and Paul represent factions of the GOP that have quickly come to covet Silicon Valley support. Especially in recent years, the area’s tech titans have become increasingly disillusioned with Democratic leadership, whether at the state or national level. That has widely been seen as an opportunity for Republicans.

Importantly, influential Silicon Valley denizens have begun to split markedly on their own interests in political reform. While some seek to support corporate-friendly, status-quo Republicans, others prefer more free-market libertarian conservatives. Kashkari has set out to cultivate support in the former group, while Paul has focused on the latter.

Deep in blue territory

A key part of that strategy has required Paul to establish a physical presence within easy reach of Silicon Valley power brokers and potential donors. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle conducted immediately after his keynote address, Paul described his acquisition of a San Francisco office as “in the process.”

He also took the opportunity to play up his friendship with web entrepeneur Peter Thiel, teasing a possible announcement concerning Thiel’s political support. “There’s a lot of smart people in Silicon Valley,” he said, “and we want to use their brains to figure out how to win.”

In another conversation with Breitbart News, Paul confirmed that a formal announcement about his presidential candidacy would likely come as early as Spring 2015.


Write a comment
  1. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 24 September, 2014, 16:33

    We will never accept the Libertarian ideology. Most of us want to lead normal lives, with protections from the government that will keep us and our children safe.

    Reply this comment
    • bob
      bob 24 September, 2014, 23:01

      What a wuss. You expect a criminal gummit to keep you safe? Just what the victims of Katrina thought.

      Reply this comment
      • SeeSaw
        SeeSaw 25 September, 2014, 00:27

        Well, I would expect you to be an adult. I am not a baby. So cut the baby talk!

        Reply this comment
  2. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 24 September, 2014, 18:39

    The desperate ‘libertarian conservatives’ who place their bets on Rand Paul to save the nation are as dumb as the liberals who believed in Obama’s ‘hope and change’ BS. How many times do you people have to get fooled before they finally catch on? Rand Paul is neither a ‘conservative’ nor a ‘libertarian’ when you strip away the outer facade. Just like Obama is no ‘liberal’. Remember Ron Paul? He claimed to be an enemy of Wall Street thugs. Yet during his last couple years in office he was holding hands with them.

    Come on, people. Smarten up. Super liberals and anti-war activists Nancy Pelosi and Babs Boxer both voted to fund the Syrian airstikes and to arm the terrists…er….I mean Syrian Rebels. heh. Both are former flower wearing anti-war hippies!

    It’s like walking through a house of mirrors at the carnival. Nothing is as it appears. Yet most of you believe and trust the image you see anyway. Oh well.

    Keep voting and rooting for your favorite party. Like Lennon used to tell us “Whatever gets you though the night”.


    Had Lennon been knighted by the Queen with Paul my guess is that he’d become a bootlicker for the ruling class, just like all the rest. Both McCartney and Bob Dylan performed at the WH in front of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama! hah. When it comes to war Obama is Bush on steroids! He took out Libya and now Syria without any international legal authority. While Nancy and Babs give standing O’s! Remember how they trash talked Bush??? lol. I do.

    It’s all about the love of money and power, friends.

    I’ve lost faith in just about everybody with the exception of Snowden. Now that man walked his talk.

    Reply this comment
  3. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 24 September, 2014, 20:11

    Snowden is a criminal and a traitor.

    Reply this comment
    • Bill Gore
      Bill Gore 24 September, 2014, 21:27

      Snowden is a HERO and a PATRIOT!

      Reply this comment
      • SeeSaw
        SeeSaw 25 September, 2014, 00:28

        Why don’t you join him in exile then!

        Reply this comment
        • Bill Gore
          Bill Gore 25 September, 2014, 09:38

          You suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, my friend. Perhaps you are financially plugged
          into the Military Industrial Complex (Eisenhower’s phrase). Snowden will return as a hero….Tempus fugit…..

          Reply this comment
        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 25 September, 2014, 10:48

          Do you want to live in a society that is under 24/7 domestic surveillance by your government, you old fool? Do you want to live in a society reminiscent of the Krushchev regime that ruled the old Soviet Union? Or in a society that mimics North Korea?

          God almighty. You’ll say or do anything to defend fascism in government, as long at that sacred pension check is direct deposited, won’t you?

          It’s attitudes like yours that are destroying what’s left of a once beautiful nation.

          Snowden is a patriot and a man of great integrity. He was willing to sacrifice his personal gain for the betterment of our nation. There is no greater courage than that. He should be awarded the Medal of Honor.

          Reply this comment
  4. T Mind of your Ted Godhead System
    T Mind of your Ted Godhead System 25 September, 2014, 06:47

    Snowden is a traitor straight up— only way he’s ever coming back is in cuffs…………..

    Back to this thread—- Honestly– Randy Paul reminds me of Pat Paulson…..lmao

    Doomer boy whack job snowdon loving anti American dull-normal optometrist wanna be possible Roswell Alien Child ™

    Reply this comment
  5. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 25 September, 2014, 09:42

    smelly pony-tailed progtard bitter clinger, sitting in your mansion starving on your vegan diet…

    Reply this comment
  6. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 25 September, 2014, 14:44

    BG and LIC: We are under more surveillance from companies who sell products and services than we are from the government–in the technical age it is hard to prevent. As far as the government surveillance is concerned, I think it is fitting for it to keep data bases of phone calls so that trends sticking out from the norm are spotted. They are looking for people who want to do to us what was done on 9/11. I don’t believe for one minute, that they are listening in on every boring conversation that we have. If Snowden were so concerned, he could have just taken his concerns to the government, and I am sure that there would have been some congress members that would have been glad to give him a hearing. Instead he chose to leak classified documents–a criminal offense! And you think I have Stockholm Syndrome–I don’t, but there is no condition I have that would ever pose the slightest danger to you! No so, with what Snowden did–if he thinks he had a right to do what he did, he needs to come back to the U.S. and face the music. I’m sure there will be plenty people like you who will demonstrate for him.

    If you think our country is such a dangerous place for citizens like you, how come you haven’t staked out UTOPIA and moved there? Or perhaps you could go to Russia and get apartments to keep your idol, Snowden, company.

    Reply this comment
    • Bill Gore
      Bill Gore 25 September, 2014, 15:11

      I have staked out utopia and moved there. It’s called OREGON, and california authoritarian-worshipping proto-fascists are welcome to avoid the state line and go to Vegas instead. There you WILL be monitored 24/7, so I’m sure all you pathetic little ‘Safety Sallies’ won’t pee in your panties knowing Big Brother is tucking you in every night at the Bellagio….

      Reply this comment
  7. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 25 September, 2014, 14:52

    LIC: No, I do not want to live in that type of society–that is why I am staying in the U.S. of American!

    Reply this comment
  8. a frequent reader
    a frequent reader 25 September, 2014, 16:37

    Snowden dang sure doesn’t deserve a medal of honor, he doesn’t fit in any class of our military, but I admire his “patriotism” in exposing the illegalities of our government spying under the auspices of keeping our nation secure from the threat of terrorism. Which, by the way, I’m 100% for in keeping our nation safe, but not at the expense of having every facet of our lives intruded upon, which is highly debatable at the least. After reading your posts LIC, do you believe government has any roll in our lives? A strong military, a reasonable tax rate, live under our Constitution, enforce the laws of our land and leave us the hell alone is what I say.

    Reply this comment
  9. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 25 September, 2014, 17:03

    If you feel you are in heaven by being in Oregon, how come you aren’t enjoying life then, instead of being so agitated about what goes on elsewhere. I have traveled in Oregon and think it beautiful–it has much in common with CA–drought and politically blue. I choose CA.

    Reply this comment
    • Bill Gore
      Bill Gore 26 September, 2014, 08:07

      I am enjoying my life tremendously, here in red state central Oregon (where there is no drought-it just rained for 2 days). But as a former californian I still feel residual concern for the former golden state.

      Now, I hope your sitting down, but Eric Holder just quit his job, so you may not be completely safe. I know you crave safety, so it could be a rough ride until our Lord and Saviour Obama (who really is black)finds a new AG to command the burly men who keep us safe….

      Reply this comment

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