Rand Paul for Senate: New, improved, boring

by Dave Weigel

Evan McMorris-Santoro finds great meaning in former Rand Paul campaign manager David Adams waving farewell to the Senate race:

Back in May, after the string of disastrous national press appearances that resulted in Paul's high-profile cancellation of an appearance on Meet The Press, campaign manager David Adams was shifted to the role of campaign chairman. Jesse Benton, a longtime Paul family ally and a veteran of Rep. Ron Paul's (R-TX) presidential campaigns (sic*), took the reins as Rand Paul's campaign manager.

Look: Rand Paul isn't running this campaign in order to make good copy for people like me. He, like many Americans who aren't named "Evan Bayh," wants to be a senator. But the reason his campaign was so exciting, and able to draw in hardline libertarians who were disgruntled about Paul's stances on war and drugs, was that he seemed to promise an ideological debate of the variety we don't really get in this country, if we ever did. He was going to challenge the premise of the Great Society! He was going to call for whole government agencies to be abolished! He had "a message from the tea party!"

Paul was surprised by the new, harsh reaction he got from liberals after winning the Kentucky primary, because they were no longer interested in seeking common ground with him, and newly interested in nailing him on whether his views would destroy America. You know what? Tough. Rand Paul should be out there, winning that argument, not just engaging in mutual head-nodding contests on Fox News. Nothing is more irritating about President Obama than his unwillingness to hold press conferences and spar with reporters. It's less impactful, but just as irritating, when the Voice of the Tea Party makes a run for the rose garden.

*Benton only worked for Paul's 2008 bid.