I feel like standards are getting lower and lower for what kind of behavior is disqualifying for a politician seeking election or reelection. Certainly, it used to be the case that getting caught as a serial plagiarist would preclude you from being a serious presidential candidate. Is that still the case? Is it even possible for Rand Paul to be taken seriously? Does he know that the jig is up? Is he just using his wife as a convenient excuse to explain why he won’t run for president in 2016?

After a speech at the Detroit Economic Club today, Paul, a Republican senator from Kentucky, was asked whether he plans to run in 2016, and he revealed his wife’s displeasure with the idea of a run for the White House.

“Where’s my cellphone? Can I call my wife?” Paul joked. “There’s two votes in my family. My wife has both of them, and both of them are ‘no’ votes right now.

“If I’m a very able politician, I’ll tell you in a year whether I’m able to persuade my wife. Right now, I don’t know yet, but I thank you for your interest,” he added.

He expanded on that today on Fox News Sunday, explaining that he worries about how his family would be treated if he ran for president. That’s all very convenient, but I think he realizes that his plagiarism has really damaged his prospects.

On the other hand, Vice-President Joe Biden was caught plagiarizing in 1988. But he had to wait 20 years before he was able to get on a national ticket. So, maybe Rand Paul should wait a while to run.

I think a 2036 candidacy sounds about right.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at ProgressPond.com