Commentary: Rand Paul's missteps come quickly

The Lexington Herald-LeaderMay 25, 2010 

This and that, the random election notes edition:

Wow! That didn't take long.

Just about 24 hours into his victory lap, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul went on national TV and one "Oops!" later got tagged as a guy who really does have some strange ideas.

Ideas that evoke images of, well, let's not even describe those images because they're best left back in the 1950s.

Then, Paul went on national TV again Friday and voiced the strange notion that it is "un-American" of President Barack Obama to criticize BP for a little old oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Never mind all the jobs, aquatic life and beaches that will get slimed by the little old oil spill.

This is the guy who pummeled Secretary of State Trey Grayson, the party's erstwhile rising star who had the endorsement of Kentucky's longtime Republican godfather, in the Senate primary?

This is the guy who embarrassed said godfather, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, by proving his hold on the party has weakened to the point he can't control the outcome of an important primary race?

And within three days of pulling off those feats, he goes and shoots himself in both of his own feet?

Wow! This is going to be a fun campaign to watch.

Tuesday's outcome in the Republican primary will be touted as a victory for the Tea Party movement, which Paul embraces. And the anger and frustration given voice by that movement were major factors in Paul's victory.

But rarely in politics are things as simple as they seem. So, you have to wonder how much Tuesday's results were influenced by McConnell's habit of throwing colleagues such as former Gov. Ernie Fletcher and outgoing Sen. Jim Bunning under the bus, thereby alienating various factions of the party.

Paul's victory speech was as weird as any I've ever heard, and not just because it was so lacking in passion it sounded robotic.

To read the complete column, visit www.kentucky.com.

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