Former Rand Paul (R,Ky) opponent in the GOP Senate primary in Kentucky in 2010, Trey Grayson, says that he believes that Paul has a good shot at winning the GOP Presidential nomination in 2016, according to ABC News on Friday. Grayson, who now serves as Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard, bases his prediction on his belief that Paul is a very talented politician whose message resonates with mainstream Republicans. Grayson also expressed his feeling that Paul brings younger voters to the forefront and is responsive to their issues.
Grayson explained that Paul is continuing to advocate for the same issues that he brought forth in his successful 2010 race against him and that this effort also will be successful in the 2016 GOP Presidential primary.
Grayson also predicted that Senator Mitch McConnell (R,Ky), will be successful in his GOP primary campaign against Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin. McConnell supported Grayson in his 2010 GOP primary campaign against Paul. However, Grayson makes it clear that he bases his prediction on the facts:
“The only question in that race is the margin. I think Sen. McConnell will be fine, but I think just the question is the margin. I felt that for a long time and there’s nothing to make me think that there’s going to be any kind of surprises.”
Grayson highlighted the fact that attendance at the Kentucky Derby is an explicit "must" for any and all politicians running for office in Kentucky, as is the photo op with coaches John Calipari and Rick Pitino. Grayson describes Calipari and Pitino as being very similar to politicians:
"They’re public figures and they’re kind of politicians. Their supporters of their programs, their donors are there. People think it’s cool to get their picture taken with them — I got my picture taken with them that day. So it’s important for them to get around.”
One thing for sure is that both races are going to be uphill battles for Paul and McConnell. Attaining the nomination of one's political party for any major office is a Herculean task and not to be diminished or taken lightly.
Paul has been a longtime opponent of the Federal Reserve Act, deficit spending, and loans to foreign nations by the Export Bank of the United States. He supports the ''free market," including alternative sources of energy, such as solar and wind power. He opposes the USA Patriot Act which allows wiretapping of U.S. citizens. He also opposes the "extrajudicial" killing of U.S. citizens who are charged with terrorism abroad.
Despite all of this, Grayson still believes that Paul has a good chance of attaining the GOP nomination in 2016. It remains to be seen whether or not Paul's views really do resonate with those of mainstream Republicans.