Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Rand Is Out
Sen. Rand Paul has suspended his campaign. He was right to do so, and right to do so now. It's a three-way race, and he can be more influential by helping Marco Rubio at this point (which I hope he is inclined to do).
He is in good shape in Kentucky. He will get reelected -- and without huge infusions of cash from the NRSC, so they need to stop whining. Yes, Democrat Jim Gray can self fund, and has been a popular mayor. Nonetheless, he will not win. And not because he's gay. Kentuckians like Rand Paul and they like his message. His work is not done on behalf of Kentucky and on behalf of the cause of freedom.
Now that Rand is out, the Kentucky caucus will not pose the conflict many of us felt. I would have voted for Rand as our native son. But I would have felt that in so doing, I was missing an opportunity to help Marco Rubio. So I'm glad I don't have to worry about being loyal to the Kentuckian.
This is the first, maybe the last time Kentucky's primary actually matters in selecting our party's nominee. I therefore do not mind that I will have to drive a little farther to caucus. Those who are griping about the caucus now being unnecessary due to Rand dropping out are missing this point: we finally get a vote in selecting our party's presidential nominee, for the first time in the 20 years I have lived here.
I don't resent Rand for the caucus; I thank him for the opportunity it has given us. And I don't resent Rand for running for president. As I wrote in my last Courier-Journal column (reprinted below) I am sorry it did not work out for him, but I am still proud of him and appreciate the courage and sacrifice he made by running for president.