The first Fox News Republican presidential nominee debate turned out to be a good-ole-boy Republican love fest. Every candidate received his accolades while Trump reveled in the role of “bad boy” and pace setter for the evening. Every news outlet, every pundit, every Huffington Post wannabe based all of their predictions for the event around Donald Trump and his anticipated antics. And true to form, Trump delivered. Trump even received praise from his rival siblings as former Ohio Governor John Kasich stated that the Trumpster had his finger on the “nerve of America”. The eruption of applause that followed confirmed that Kasich was on target with Trump’s being on target.
Enter Rand Paul. Rand took a jab at Trump early on, probably in an attempt to steal some of Trump’s momentum, as well as to establish himself as a frontrunner. However, Rand’s campaign has some serious issues that require overhauling if he is to be given any serious credibility. First and foremost, Rand’s campaign is being run by the same geek squad that couldn’t get his father elected, even though Ron Paul was arguably the person most responsible for educating the American public on politics in the last 20 years. Gone is the “grass roots” momentum that the Ron Paul camp enjoyed, which allowed his father to raise $6 million overnight. In fact, Rand’s marketing team could teach Publisher’s Clearing House a few things about donation requests and manipulation tactics. Just one of the many factors that have alienated some of his father’s supporters.Truth be told, Rand needs a professional makeover and he needs it fast.
In the Fox News debate, Rand came across as stiff, robotic, and mono-toned. While he is wise to keep his Libertarian views close to the vest, he has yet to find his niche, his delivery system if you will. Yet, there is Trump, full dead center; being just as “different” as anyone could get with his finger right on America’s nerve… or at least a large segment of it and still gaining in momentum. Rand cannot be a Trump: but, what he can, and should do, is pay close attention and take a few notes. The young pup would do well to learn a few tricks from the old dog. Rand is on the ropes and no amount of posturing ,arguing, or deflecting is going to erase that perception.
Rand’s current strategy appears to be to remain “low key” on the Libertarian issues, “brag” about his accomplishments and economic ideas, and take jabs at his opponents like Christie, which backfired on him. All of these tactics make Rand look like the nerdy kid in class who has to get attention by being aggravating and obnoxious. The very image that Rand tries so desperately to portray has become the opposite of how he is perceived, and that is authentic.
The truth is, Rand has an excellent grasp of what is frustrating the majority of Americans. The latest riots, civil unrest, law enforcement going too far, immigration nonsense, corporate nonsense, government nonsense are all issues that the public wants resolved. Most Americans are just tired! We are tired of hearing about kids shooting kids, police abusing power, the government forcing one thing and not enforcing another. We just want someone to step up with some common sense and simplify things. And even though this is what Rand claims to be doing, he takes an awful long-ass road in trying to explain it all.
Like Trump, Rand needs to adopt a far more laissez-faire attitude and even throw in some self-deprecating humor once in a while. Unlike his father, Rand is lacking in the humility department and he needs to learn to take a joke as well as joke about himself. Rand appears to be trying so hard to tone down his Libertarianism, establish himself as a genuine Republican and prove that he can hang with the big boys, that he is forgetting to simply be himself. He’s wanting so bad to be taken seriously that nobody takes him seriously. Maybe he should stop trying so hard to be “Rand” and be more of an average Joe.