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Posted at 2:15 PM ET, 02/17/2011

Rand Paul on Sarah Palin, Dostoevsky and dad

By Stephen Lowman

randpaul.jpg(Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Rand Paul may still be green to the ways of the U.S. Senate (he only assumed office in January) but he’s got a lot to say about the political state of the country. Most of his new book, “The Tea Party Goes to Washington,” is a defense of the movement from what he sees as unfair attacks by liberals, the Republican establishment and the mainstream media. He does, however, devote a few pages to his campaign, his childhood and his literary influences.

On Sarah Palin: “Jaws dropped” when Rand Paul’s team heard that Sarah Palin would be endorsing him. “Palin’s endorsement gave us a boost that energized supporters, brought in new ones and, of course, annoyed my opponent [Trey Grayson] and his Republican bosses to no end,” Paul writes. Shortly after the endorsement, Palin made a Saturday morning phone call to Paul’s house. He recalls talking about two issues.

“She wanted to know my position on Israel. I said that Israel was an important ally, the only democracy in the Middle East and that I would not condemn Israel for defending herself.”

Next was the issue of abortion.

“In talking to Palin, one of the primary things I wanted to do was allay any fears about social issues, telling her, ‘My opponents call me a libertarian but I want to assure you that I am pro-life.’ Palin responded, ‘Oh, we all have a little libertarian in us.’”

randbook.jpgOn Dostoevsky: The 19th-century Russian writer known for his dense novels about human suffering is responsible for Paul finding the greatest happiness in his life. He met his future wife Kelley at an oyster roast held a friend’s house in Atlanta. At the time, Paul was 25 but looked like a teenager.

“Kelly, an English major in college, overheard me discussing Dostoevsky with some friends, decided maybe I wasn’t as young as I looked and we struck up a conversation,” Paul writes.

He calls “The Brothers Karamazov” and “Crime and Punishment” “two of the greatest novels of all time.”

In a bit of literary criticism, Paul writes:

In “Crime and Punishment,” Dostoyevsky puts to the narrative the common nineteenth-century belief that if there were no God, all would be permissible. Dostoyevsky’s protagonist Raskolnikov acts out on that premise by killing a woman yet justifying it in his mind. He convinces himself that he will do some good with the ill-gotten proceeds and that the end justifies the means. The greatness of the book is that you can see and feel his fear leading up to the act, and you see and feel the relentless gnaw of his conscience eat away at him as he discovers that theory cannot ultimately trump conscience.

On his father, Rep. Ron Paul: “Being Ron Paul’s son means being your own man, independent and unique-minded. If I blindly followed Dad with no questions or differences of opinion I would be less my father’s son, not more….I don’t think I could have become a US Senator without him but, for most of my life and certainly my political life, I have never been dependent on my dad — and he wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Rand writes that there was no allowance in the Paul household and that kids “were always taught the value of a dollar.” The family always shopped at Sears or JC Penney, and Rand mowed lawns to earn extra money.

“My first job in high school was working at a miniature golf course, which was great because I got to stay out late since my parents didn’t really know what time mini golf closed.”

By Stephen Lowman  | February 17, 2011; 2:15 PM ET
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Next: BOOK WORLD, February 20, 2011


Dear Rand Paul,

Sarah would make a good Vice President. Keep talking Sarah Palin. We love you. Keep on speaking. Do not be silent.

Thomas Chi

Posted by: ThomasChi | February 17, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Meh. I only read as far as the *Palin endorsement.* That's all I need to know to have grave doubts about the politics/character of the endorsed.

Hey, Randy baby: As a doctor and as one who thinks about the human condition and its suffering, what do you think about human beings who kill doctors because of their consciences? What do you think about pregnant women who are suicidal in thought and action because of that pregnancy?

I've got a few years on you, sir, and all I can hope is that some day you grow up.

Posted by: hsubyma | February 17, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh -- an artistic point here: A moody, broody photograph does not a great politician make (although you get points for *trying*). Keep it up, and you'll become as big a laughingstock as Palin/Bachmann/Beck/Limbaugh etc., etc., etc.

Posted by: hsubyma | February 17, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

sure...Ayn Rand Paul

all I could think of while reading this drivel was P.T. Barnum and his famous quote..."There's a sucker born everyday"

Posted by: curtrock | February 17, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I hope his English major wife will help him straighten out his Dostoevsky novels. He appears to be talking about The Brothers Karamazov with the "God does not exist" comment.

Posted by: thoroughbred21 | February 17, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow, there sure is a lot of hate in the comments for the only guy who objected in the Senate and kept the Patriot Act from being extended for three years by unanimous consent.

Party over principles with some, clearly.

Posted by: sailingaway1 | February 17, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Wow, one of the only Republican senators to be anti-bailout and corporate welfare. One of the only to advocate an end to the wars (icluding the drug war), and elimination of foreign aid to the mideast. And the lone person willing to stand against the patriot act extension being rushed through the Senate.

Yet because Sarah Palin endorsed him (something he has no control over), he's just like the neo-cons?

Short of actually being a Democrat, can posters perhaps give him a *little* credit for what he's trying to do? There's more about this guy for progressives to get behind than not.

Posted by: hayekfavon | February 17, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I cannot and will not *get behind* ANY politician who does not believe in women's rights. I am dubbed a *single-issue* voter because of this. That's unfortunate, because women's rights should never have been MADE an issue. Ever. I believe this VERY deeply. To paraphrase my most excellent president in his book "Audacity of Hope": People on the right have to understand that my personal freedom, as a woman, is as important and sacred to me as their right to worship.

Posted by: hsubyma | February 18, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I guess I could be clearer -- women's reproductive freedom, their right to abortion.

Posted by: hsubyma | February 18, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I seriously doubt Rand Paul had any say in which file photo the editor chose to post along with this story.

I think it's doubtful that even Mr. Levingston was consulted.

Posted by: MDLaxer | February 18, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

What a difference a day makes and Sarah has hit rock bottom. With Aqua Buddha Paul now want Sarah's endorsement. As for Rand's Daddy well he is staying with his Dad in DC. As for being his own man well his Dad got him in medical school after he was asked to leave college because of the little incident. Daddy gave Rand to money to start his doctor certification company to give himself an MD license. Rand need money for his campaign and Daddy had some rich friends from Texas donate. Let's see what has Rand really done for himself. Yes write a book for profit and give stupid speeches on the House Floor. As Rand back tracked on his support for discrimination before the election, Daddy told him don't say what you really mean, lie to the people and secretly get the South to rise again and repeal Civil Rights. Just smile as say your hero is Dr. King people believe it.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | February 18, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

The GOP will soon realize, if they don't already know, that Rand Paul is a "loose cannon" who will be an embarassment to the GOP, the Senate, and The Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Just two examples of proof that he is an extreme "wingnut".

1. He be advocates a $2000 dudctible before medicare would kick in ( in spite of the fact that he made a living as an eye doctor before being elected to the Senate and received thousands of dollars from Medicare)

2. He stated in a national TV interview that had he been in the Senate when the Civil Rights Act was passed he would have voted against it.

Anyone who thinks Palin and Bachmann are "wingnuts" just keep your eye on this guy. He will make them look like flaming liberals.

Posted by: WESHS49 | February 19, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul is a racist that wants to appeal the Civil Rights Act. He and Sarah Palin are legends in their own little Tea Party minds.

Posted by: lroy2000_2001 | February 21, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

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