And at RCP, "Paul, Once the Outsider, Gains GOP Support in Ky.":
Rand Paul has run his U.S. Senate campaign as the consummate outsider: a grassroots candidate drawing support from regular Joes and Janes. Now that his candidacy has gained momentum, he's beginning to pick up support from the Republican establishment.Charlie Cook's not quite so sure. See, "Is It Tea Time Everywhere?"
Once dismissed as an oddball and extremist with little chance of being elected to the Senate, Paul is now considered the man to beat in Kentucky. Paul — the son of former Republican presidential candidate and Texas congressman Ron Paul — tried to win favor among state GOP bigwigs Friday by offering his support to Republican congressional candidates in a "take back the House" rally in Lexington.
"With decisions about political support, a lot of people sit on the fence until they are pretty confident of who's going to win," said University of Kentucky political scientist Stephen Voss. "Paul has reached the threshold where a lot of people have decided he's a safe bet."
Paul and his chief rival, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, are running for their party's nomination to replace retiring Sen. Jim Bunning, a former major league pitcher enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Republican leaders urged Bunning, 78, not to seek a third term, fearing he had become so unpopular he couldn't win.
Grayson was the GOP establishment's early choice, quickly garnering some 65 GOP endorsements and benefiting from a campaign fundraiser in Washington attended by some 20 Republican U.S. senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Voss said Paul now is the clear front-runner heading into Kentucky's May 18 primary election, citing numerous polls that show he has amassed a sizable lead with his calls to rein in government spending, stop taxpayer bailouts of private companies and balance the federal budget.
Despite being a tea party favorite, if Rand Paul's foreign policy mimics his father's, I wouldn't vote for him. Not even a Sarah Palin endorsement can gloss over that kind of liability. Yet, according to the Houston Chronicle, Rand is no carbon-copy of Ron, especially on foreign policy. See, "Kentucky Clamor Has Texas Roots: Ron Paul's Son Leads in GOP Race Over Choice of the Establishment."
RELATED: From the campaign website, "Rand Paul: A Strong National Defense and a Pro-American Foreign Policy."