rand paul

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

If you think there isn’t enough Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on your TV, then today is your lucky day. Paul has recently publicly said he is considering a 2016 Presidential run. From The Hill:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a star among Tea Party voters, said Wednesday that he is considering a presidential bid in 2016 and will decide next year.

“I want to be part of the national debate. Being considered is something that allows me to have a larger microphone,” Paul said of speculation that he will run to succeed President Obama.

Paul said he would continue to visit early Republican primary states and plans to visit South Carolina in the summer.

It is not really news that a senator is “considering” a presidential run. The old joke is every senator and governor with a pulse is considering a run, but Paul is right that publicly stating he is thinking about running will significantly raise his profile.

While right now Paul is just one of the most junior of 100 senators, the mere fact he may theoretically be president will give him a platform far larger than his current title would really justify. At the very least reporters will pay more attention to stories about him if he does run or win.

From a progressive perspective this is not a terrible thing. The nature of our politics guarantees that the media will spend a certain amount of time asking important elected Republicans what they think about issues. Having Paul take some other Republican’s place as the go-to Republican for a media response may actually be a small improvement. Unlike most Republicans, there are at least a few issues, such as drug policy reform and foreign intervention, where Paul’s positions have overlap with progressives.

Photo by Gage Skidmore released under Creative Commons License