Rand Paul’s Mixed Inheritance
By SAM TANENHAUS and JIM RUTENBERGJAN. 25, 2014
The libertarian faithful — antitax activists and war protesters, John Birch Society members and a smattering of “truthers” who suspect the government’s hand in the 2001 terrorist attacks — gathered last September, eager to see the rising star of their movement.
With top billing on the opening night of the Liberty Political Action Conference, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky told the audience at a Marriott in Virginia that a viable Republican Party must reach out to young people and minorities.
But not long after the applause died down, Mr. Paul was out the door. He skipped an address by his father, former Representative Ron Paul, as well as closing remarks by his own former Senate aide, an ex-radio host who had once celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and extolled white pride.
The senator was off to an exclusive resort on Mackinac Island, Mich., where he again talked about the future of the party. But this time he was in the company of Karl Rove and other power brokers, and his audience was of Republican stalwarts who were sizing up possible presidential candidates.