Good Test of Rand Paul’s Media Environment

Boy, that was fast: the day after Rand Paul’s presidential announcement, he goes on the Today show and “Randsplains” to Savannah Guthrie how she should conduct her interview after she visibly annoyed him by asking about foreign policy flip-flops.

You have to figure this was planned, since Guthrie’s question was eminently predictable (though I guess he didn’t anticipate she’d string three “flip-flops” together in one question). So is he simply trying to dictate the “narrative” about his candidacy? Or is he trying to counter the conservative taunt that he’s a liberal media darling by baiting an interviewer into some unpleasantness?

If it’s the latter, you have to wonder if it was the best idea to do this on Today, a show whose audience isn’t quite the same as the people who stomped and cheered every time Newt Gingrich chewed out a debate panelist in 2012.

In any event, we may see how Paul’s rivals are going to play this contest by looking at how many of them pile onto the “Randsplaining” critique and the flip-flop charge.

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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.