After writing about Rand Paul’s self-directed gag order with respect to questions about his old man, I became fascinated with his more general dilemma of having to transcend the Crazy Town in which he was raised if he wants to become a serious presidential candidate.

So I devoted a TPMCafe column to going through the obstacles to a viable Rand Paul presidential candidacy, from the old man’s utterances, to the zany folk from the Ron Paul Revolution who are hanging around, to the Paulites’ testy relationship with other factions in the conservative movement and the Republican Party. I wound up concluding that the biggest obstacle to Paul ’16 would probably be the power of the military-industrial complex, which isn’t about to give up its base of support in the GOP without a big fight. I mean, can you imagine Dick Cheney doing a seconding speech for Rand Paul at the 2016 convention?

In any event, I offer some things to watch as Rand moves towards an open candidacy. 2016 could be a very wild ride.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.