Sen. Rand Paul wants to destroy the U.S. tax code—both legally and physically.
In a video released Monday night, Paul takes a chainsaw to the U.S. tax code like a modern-day Gunnar Hansen (or, alternately, a modern-day Peter Stomare in Fargo) accompanied by a Jimi Hendrix-at-Woodstock knockoff.
Is this the first stunt in which a presidential candidate uses both a wood-chipper and a chainsaw to make a point about fiscal policy? Perhaps. It's also a pretty transparent publicity stunt. (You win, Team Paul!)
In the pre-primary era this spring, media outlets were agog with Paul coverage. He was, after all, the most interesting man in politics! Today, he hasn't seen as much love from the national media, despite embarking on an 11-state tour this summer and speaking out on Planned Parenthood and the White House's Iran deal.
Paul's polling—perhaps partially as a result of the decrease in media attention—is middling among his Republican cohort. Still, he continues to poll more strongly than other GOP candidates when matched up against Hillary Clinton.
Doug Stafford, Paul's chief strategist, said the media's short attention span is to blame for Paul's recent dearth of national coverage.
"Y'all may be too busy covering the newest thing each week to have noticed,but we are running hard, running strong, and running all over the country," Stafford told CNN. "It's a marathon, not a sprint."
At least for now, the media circus has moved on from Paul in favor of wackier, clickier candidates like Donald Trump. In this cycle so far, even the "wacko birds" have to think up new publicity stunts to avoid becoming a sideshow.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.