Thursday, December 10, 2009
Rand Paul Campaign Stop
with the author
The temperature outside was frigid but there was a warm blanket of political activity inside "Rookie's Sports Bar" in downtown Henderson, Kentucky where U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul met with over 50 of his supporters, including the author of this blog.
Largely an informal event, the senate candidate feared and loathed by the establishment was all smiles as he got to meet with a diverse cast of his supporters. Young and old, black and white, people came out to hear the doctor from Bowling Green talk about balanced budgets, lowering taxes, term limits, and the value of the dollar. As another attendee remarked to me, we didn't hear a single worn-out Republican catchphrase. Rather, the candidate pointed out that President Obama is easy to target and that the real challenge is to get the Republican Party back in shape. It doesn't matter if we harass the president for being reckless with the nation's finances when Republicans do no better themselves.
In a sight inconceivable two years ago when Rand Paul’s father was running for president, the would-be senator is actually a viable candidate and has reason to be upbeat. The last poll conducted in November had Rand within the margin of error against the one-time presumptive candidate, Trey Grayson. The primary is still six months away and despite the rantings of cranky party chairmen, Rand Paul is not too kooky for a lot of folks in Kentucky.
The candidate, before and after his speech, took time to engage with nearly every attendee. In an act that didn't go unnoticed, the candidate was not "fashionably late" or any other euphemism to justify why his time is more important than that of his supporters, but was actually at the venue before the scheduled time. In that same vein, when the candidate departed, it was not flanked by highly-paid suits, but by carrying the boxes of his campaign materials himself.
If the bright mood of the candidate, the money he continues to rake in, and discontent among the ruling party are any indications, then the eye surgeon from Bowling Green will be doing a lot of smiling in 2010.
As anyone in attendance on Thursday Night knew, he has already left a significant imprint in the lives of many of his fellow Kentuckians.