Rand Paul’s Spring Break

It’s not clear if the rationale is supposed to be Holy Week (a bit dubious since he is a Presbyterian, not among the most liturgical of faith communities), or just “time with the family” before he announces his presidential candidacy next week and presumably sacrifices that sort of thing. But at a time when other Republican presidential candidates are risking gaffes or mispositioning over “religious liberty” laws and an Iran nuclear deal, Rand Paul, who might be expected to offer slightly unconventional perspectives on both issues, is instead on an extended spring break from politics, refusing to say anything before April 7. And it apples to his spox, too: Team Rand is on total lockdown.

But hey, some subjects are so critical even a strict rule of sequestration must be broken (per Scott Conroy):

Despite the Paul camp’s avowal of reticence in the week leading up to his announcement, in a story published in Politico on Wednesday afternoon, an anonymous Paul aide was quoted affirming the senator’s support for a bill backed by the ethanol industry — an influential lobbying bloc in Iowa.

Holy Iowa, all hail thee!

In any event, if the next words we hear from Rand Paul are his announcement speech, as seems likely, it will help him talk about issues like Iran and Indiana from 30,000 feet, which is probably about where he wants to keep them. He certainly doesn’t want to give reporters an opportunity to quote back to him some of the stuff the old man said about Iran in 2012–you know, the bit about the Iranians rightly hating and fearing us because of the CIA’s involvement in a coup that toppled their president in the 1950s. Better to bury that whole issue in a long disquisition about the revival of constitutional government.

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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.