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Rand Paul, back in the day: 'Crazy in a good way'

By Alec MacGillis
To grasp just how rapid has been the rise of Rand Paul, it's worth thinking back to less than 2 1/2 years ago, when the Kentucky opthalmologist was, along with his other siblings, campaigning for his father, Ron Paul, in his long-shot but high-energy presidential bid.

This reporter happened to sit down with Rand Paul on a swing he made through Concord, N.H., in December 2007, when no one recognized him and when he was more ironic in discussing the libertarian foot soldiers fueling his father's campaign than he now is in talking about his own supporters, who include many of his father's followers.

In the 2007 interview, Rand marveled at the movement that had sprung up around his father's campaign, particularly in New Hampshire. "It's sort of organized chaos. These people are crazy," he said, before adding quickly, "Crazy in a good way."

Paul said his travels on the campaign trail were getting nothing like the wild reaction his dad did, but he said he hoped that would change at the Boston Tea Party celebration that was being held a few days later, when he was scheduled to be the only Paul family member in attendance. "I've always wanted to be a rock star," he said. "I'm trying to get them to play that Kiss song, 'Calling Dr. Love.' I'd love to have the band there do it as 'Calling Dr. No,' " the nickname given his father for his lonely libertarian stands in Congress.

Well, the younger Paul has now achieved star status in his own right. In the 2007 interview, he hinted at one possible explanation for his father's success in passing his politics on to his children: a lack of exposure to popular culture. Paul said his dad, despite leading a raucous movement focused on individual liberty, is actually about "as square and conservative a person you'll ever meet."

When Ron Paul went on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and met Tom Cruise backstage ("Go! Go! Go!" Cruise told Paul), he later admitted that he could not recall what movies Cruise had appeared in. "I think the last movie he saw was when he took us to 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,' " said his son.

By Alec MacGillis  |  May 19, 2010; 10:10 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election , 44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Am I supposed to be impressed with Rand Paul - or his father, Ron Paul, after reading this?? It's the opposite - bleh, I'm disgusted even more.

Posted by: Liztalk | May 23, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul on BP, "accidents happen".
True, but they happen a lot more when people are careless, are cutting corners to save money, and are in too much of a hurry to take the time to do a job right.

Rand Paul is an opthimologist. I'm glad he's not mine.

Posted by: rooster54 | May 23, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Tonisongbird34:
Like you, we try to always tune into Rachel Maddow's show each night.
We learn so much from her.
(My other favorite on that channel is Dylan Ratigan -- he is informative, also.)
Everwatchful's snarky character assassination attempt on Rachel fell so flat; he doesn't know her at all.
It's evident he doesn't have a clue about the whole scene and his motivation is typical mean-spirited partisanship.
What these poor little Paul geeks can't admit is that Rand Paul is not ready to step up to the plate at this level.
He can't (or won't) answer simple straight-forward questions.
Instead, Paul got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and calls President Obama "unamerican" for criticizing BP for its failure to be prepared for this disastrous leak which is destroying the coastline and eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Paul's comments today are a dodge meant to deflect to fickle press away from his very basic libertarian views which Rachel Maddow uncovered in her excellent interview day before yesterday.
And if you live down here along the Gulf Coast, Paul's "unamerican" comment is a rank insult throwing salt on a raw wound still festering.
Kentuckians need to consider -- this is what he would want to do to his own state, if they have a disaster, especially one caused by lack of responsibility by some private industry.
Do they really want to hand the reins of senate leadership to a candidate who is so patently irresponsible to service to his own state, much less the rest of the nation?
I hope not.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | May 21, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

roark1948 writes
Rachel ask Rand if he would have voted for the Civil Rights Bill. HE WAS ONE YEAR OLD. Then the "Gifted, Brilliant, interviewer" ask him if he was in the senate would he have voted for the Civil Rights Bill. YOU HAVE TO BE 35 YEARS OLD TO BE IN THE SENATE. HE WAS ONE YEAR OLD. I for one, am ashamed to have to share my America with you fools.

-----

You are probably one of those folks who blame Katie Couric and John Gibson for Sarah Palin seeming to be very stupid during her interviews.

Don't worry I'm sure he'll have a series of interviews on FoxNews with Hannity, Beck, O'Reilly where the questions will be pre-screened and targeted for him to look good.

He'll respond with answers formulated by some Strategist in an attempt to gloss over this matter as something trivial..

But this guy is a NUT; whose ideas came directly from his father who has stated

"
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty.....
"
src: http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul188.html

Posted by: SkiPete | May 21, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Rachel ask Rand if he would have voted for the Civil Rights Bill. HE WAS ONE YEAR OLD. Then the "Gifted, Brilliant, interviewer" ask him if he was in the senate would he have voted for the Civil Rights Bill. YOU HAVE TO BE 35 YEARS OLD TO BE IN THE SENATE. HE WAS ONE YEAR OLD. I for one, am ashamed to have to share my America with you fools.

Posted by: roark1948 | May 20, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Last night I really listened to Rand Paul on Rachel Maddow's show (which I watch every night along with Keith Olbermann).
That man goes on and on - never answering a direct question Rachel asked him. To be a politician it's a must to evade questions. By golly never tell it straight and certainly don't tell the truth.
Very Frustrating

Posted by: Tonisongbird34 | May 20, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps most of you don't watch Maddow on a regular basis. She is one of the most humorous members of MSNBC, often bringing out the most hilarious takes on many people and subject matter. I think she is a gifted, brilliant interviewer, and was
impressed with her give and take with Paul.
However, he was pretty short on the "take"
part. He IS scary, and if he is an actual example of the Tea Party Candidate, we are in for an interesting fall campaign season.

Posted by: patriotgmalou | May 20, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Since when do you have to have a sense of humor when you realize how many men and women died in order for the Civil Rights Bill to become law.

This guy is scary...listening to him on the Rachel Maddow Show opine on the Constitution of the United States and the public accommodation section of the Civil Rights Act. Look likes he yearns for the "good old days"

Posted by: akirk9 | May 20, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"When watching Maddow, one wonders who licked the red off her candy and if she has any sense of humor at all, or has ever known any real joy..."

Ironic. She seemed to have much for fun with the interview than paul. He looked like a rabbit caught in head lights.

"But pestering candidates with abstract questions about the Civil Rights Bill is a little bit like asking Paul if he would have approved of the right for women to vote...or the Crucifixtion of Jesus..."

You make absolute no sense, and you need to look the word abstract up in a dictionary. The question was specific and easily answered. Paul came off as a typical politician, and despite being asked a simple yes/no question, couldn't do it.

What a sad man paul is.

Posted by: gs3369 | May 20, 2010 3:43 AM | Report abuse

Comment Posted by: Everwatchful | May 20, 2010 1:35 AM => Well Articulated.

When The Earth Was "Flat", Those Who Believed It Was "Round" Were Crazy. Change Is Always Resisted.

Rand Makes Reasoned Decisions From The Principled Stand Of A Constitutionalist.

The Ron Paul "Taxed Enough Already" Party Is The Core And Spearhead Of The Resurgence Of American Spirit Within Politics.

Viva Liberty.

Posted by: PainfullyAware | May 20, 2010 2:54 AM | Report abuse

"Abstract questions"? Are you serious? She asked Paul point blank: would you have opposed the "public accomodations" provisions of the Civil Rights Act, ending the the prerogative of restaurants, hotels & the like to refuse to serve black folks. She asked him about 10 different ways, and devoted about 15 minutes toward trying to get a direct answer, which he refused to provide, even when she asked for a straight "yes or no".

There's nothing abstract about it, and revealed a lot about his notion of "limited government".

Posted by: Kentuckian911 | May 20, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse

Paul has been criticized for never fully answering a question by MSNBC'S Rachel Maddow, that was never fully ask about civil rights. Maddow appears to be a mean spirited individual who will stop at nothing to alienate voters from anyone who does not support her far from mainstream viewpoint on politics and life in general...

When watching Maddow, one wonders who licked the red off her candy and if she has any sense of humor at all, or has ever known any real joy...

Ya gotta feel sorry for her, in a way...Perhaps if she would offer for office some day and show us how it is done, it would cheer her up...

But pestering candidates with abstract questions about the Civil Rights Bill is a little bit like asking Paul if he would have approved of the right for women to vote...or the Crucifixtion of Jesus...

What he plans to do now, now what he might have done, is what she should be reporting...

Posted by: Everwatchful | May 20, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

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