The Rand Paul Enigma
I'm not sure what to think of Rand Paul. He seems a principled defender of liberty one moment, then a waffler the next. Most will agree he's looking at a presidential run in the near future. Should libertarians support him?
I don't know. Especially after he threw principle to the wind and endorsed Mitt Romney for president last time around. If he's willing to do something like that, what might he do next in the name of pragmatism?
I'm also not sure about him saying one thing to one audience and slightly different thing to the next, although I understand that can be consistent with winning hearts and minds. You don't win over people by giving a message they don't want to hear. You try finding common ground and then move them toward your side.
Nick Gillespie has a nice piece at the The Daily Beast about Rand that really hits the nail on the head. He points out that Rand's apparent inconsistency could come back to haunt him: "It’s far more likely that if Paul continues to send significantly different messages to different audiences, he will end up alienating all his possible supporters." And It would be ironic indeed "... if Rand Paul turns out to be one of the few people left in America not fully comfortable with his own message.".
It will be interesting to see if his message ends up being one many, including libertarians, will support. I don't think I'll have to worry about having to decide whether vote for him. I wrote elsewhere we could do worse than have Rand Paul for President, but he'll more than likely be given the same treatment by the Republicans as Ron Paul and Gary Johnson did. I can't imagine him winning the nomination.