As admirable as an old-fashioned filibuster is, how can that alone be enough to propel Rand Paul’s name to the top-tier of potential GOP candidates for 2016? Until this last election, Rand Paul was an afterthought in the senate. No one seriously believed he would be chosen as Mitt’s Vice President. He’s unorthodox, out of step with the GOP base, and his platform is very similar to his father’s.
Now, all of these are not bad things. People like him because he is unorthodox, the GOP base is shifting, and his father’s platform is appealing to independents, fringe democrats, and libertarians. The problem is that Rand Paul is not Ron Paul, and not enough political analysts have come to terms with this very simple fact.
All it took for the libertarian faithful to discard Rand Paul was when he endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012. His father wouldn’t on principle. To the hardcore libertarians, Rand Paul is just another sellout. The same kind of sellout that Ron despises.
Certainly, Rand Paul has not completely alienating all the hopeful libertarians, but he is leagues away from uniting the party and exciting the party like his Dad did.
The only way Rand Paul has a smidgen of a chance in 2016 is if the GOP recognizes the libertarian platform as a viable way to compete with the Democrats. The GOP platform need’s a makeover. It needs to either be more progressive, or more like the platform Ron Paul ran on in 2008 and 2012. Even in 2012, some GOP candidates began espousing ideas that Ron Paul was marginalized for in the past. They recognized the appeal that his views have to the American people.
Rand Paul will not be a success on his own. He will either be the benefactor of a increasingly libertarian platform, or the guy who tries to re-excite the Libertarian party after the disappointing election of 2012.