Former head of the RNC, Michael Steele, was on MSNBC analyzing the recent Presidential announcement speech from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) when he said something that was probably music to the ears of Paul’s handlers. Steele said that he thought Rand Paul had done a masterful job with his announcement and that he had come across like “a Hawk with common sense” on foreign policy. This is important because most analysts believe that Paul’s greatest weakness will indeed be his stance on foreign policy and the perception that, as a libertarian, he may be too dovish for the American public.
I have to be honest I thought this was a masterful job. I thought this was a very, very well done launch for him. The speech was very heavy on vision.
And it really connected some very interesting pieces out there. The conservative elements within the party, the libertarians, in a way that I think will be very interesting to see how they are played on that stage in the fall. When he is standing there with Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush. And how they talk and interact with him. He is fearless, and I think he put a lot of that out on the table. When he talked about foreign policy, the one thing that struck me about it was [he came off as] a hawk with common sense.
This idea, this notion that he is a pushover, that he is going to shy away from military engagements, I think he is starting –at least attempting– to put that to rest.
Whether or not people accept it, how he handles the challenge, remains to be seen, but as a launch he walked out of the gate very strongly.