6 Ways Rand Paul Is Like Sarah Palin

From media hostility to "artless honesty"

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After watching Rand Paul's sweeping victory in the Kentucky GOP senate primary followed by his disastrous week in the national media, Sarah Palin says she was reminded of herself. "One thing that we can learn in this lesson that I have learned and Rand Paul is learning now is don't assume that you can engage in a hypothetical discussion about constitutional impacts with a reporter or a media personality who has an agenda, who may be prejudiced before they even get into the interview in regards to what your answer may be -- and then the opportunity that they seize to get you," she said on Fox News Sunday. What else do the two political figures have in common?

  • Troubled 'Great White Hopes' of Hard Right  Gawker's Ravi Somaiya explains, "Both emerged from nowhere, became darlings of the right and proceeded to go on devastating media tours which revealed exactly how extreme their views were, and how unprepared they both seemed for national office. But the similarities don't stop there."
  • Hostile to Media  Conservative blogger Allahpundit sighs, "I guess he’ll follow the Palin playbook going forward, avoiding hostile media on grounds that they’ll never give him a fair shake. But Palin at least has the good sense to avoid the terrible optics of scheduling a big interview and then pulling the plug after a rough couple of days. Not Paul."
  • Their 'Artless Honesty'  A reader fumes at The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan, who has been sympathetic to Paul. "Artless honesty?!? That's a great euphemism for ignorance. Or maybe for zealotry. Two things you deplore in Sarah Palin. But you accept them in any American political figure with the last name of Paul."
  • Use 'Dog Whistle' Politics  Gawker's Ravi Somaiya adds, "Sarah Palin cannot directly call her supporters to arms, and encourage them to commit violence. But she has hit upon various dog-whistle tactics that hint at her approval for such measures. Her new catchphrase is 'don't retreat — RELOAD!' She has said that it is 'a call for political activism, not violence,' and that the 'Lamestream media' is twisting her words. Paul, meanwhile, has said that he would not want the government to enforce civil rights legislation that prevents business owners discriminating on the grounds of race."

  • Call Obama 'Un-American'  Another Andrew Sullivan reader asks, "Will you condemn Paul the way you condemn others like Sarah Palin who call the president 'un-American?' Because that's precisely what he did, saying, 'What I don't like from the president's administration is this sort of 'I'll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.' I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business.'"
  • Both Get Made Fun of a Lot  Bill Maher quips, "Have you heard about this guy? Dr. Rand Paul. He's the new folk hero of America, the son of Ron Paul. How to describe Rand Paul? I mean, he's a doctor. It's as if Sarah Palin somehow made it through medical school." Andy Borowitz jokes, "In a sign of his increasing prominence in the so-called Tea Party movement, a new poll shows Kentucky senatorial candidate Rand Paul topping former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin among voters who describe themselves as morons. ... if Palin is going to stay competitive with Paul, she's going to have to start dumbing down her message."
  • Dissent: How They're Different  Moderate Voice's Robert Stein writes, "unlike Sarah Palin, Rand Paul’s problem is not that he is clueless about issues but quite the opposite–he clearly has strong views on every subject. His recent mots about the 1964 Civil Rights Act infringing the rights of restaurants and the Obama White House picking on poor BP could be only the tip of an iceberg of Libertarian outcries over government suppression of freedom."
He has maintained that he thinks it’s best
To ban abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

Paul's been willing to announce across the nation
That he'd like to get rid of the Department of Education.

The way that he’s now currently running
Makes him seem crazier than crazy Jim Bunning.

Speakinginthismonotone, Rand Paul rarely thrills;
He’s Sarah Palin without her beauty pageant skills.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.