Wow, what a get.
The Vermont Republican Party today announced that U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul will keynote a fundraiser on Monday, August 31, 2015.
Well, well. Acqua Buddha himself will grace our verdant land. Gosh, I hope he brings his chainsaw.
The VTGOP press release strangely promises “more details on the event… in the coming weeks.” Hey guys, you’ve got less than three weeks ’til go-time. Found a banquet hall yet?
Party Chair David Sunderland praised Senator Paul for coming to Vermont “even though we are not an early primary state.” Which, yeah, but that’s less about Paul’s graciousness and more about his desperation. After entering 2015 as a solid contender, the good Senator has faded badly. RealClearPolitics’ national polling average gives Paul less than six percent support. He’s not disappearing like Rick Perry, but he’s stuck in limbo behind Tea Party-oriented candidates like Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and of course Donald Trump.
“It’s just gone kinda quiet,” said Jamie Burnett, a longtime GOP strategist in New Hampshire, referring to chatter about Paul in the state. “It’s just odd but people aren’t talking about Rand Paul — or Ted Cruz — right now.”
Can’t get a sniff in New Hampshire? I guess he’ll settle for Vermont and and hope he gets some cross-border publicity out of it.
Which might come true, if only the VTGOP would end its self-defeating policy of barring the media from high-profile Republican speeches. Their last three big-name guests — Chris Christie, Paul LePage, and Peter King — got quite a bit less coverage than they could have, thanks to the VTGOP’s media-unfriendliness. (Well, except for that embarrassing LePage/Gestapo stuff. Hmm, maybe there’s wisdom in barring the media.)
Which is oddly counterproductive; you’d think the Vermont Republicans would welcome all the free media they can get.
On the other hand, Rand Paul’s brand of oddball LiberPublicanism isn’t much of a draw in Vermont. He’d get some gun-rights support, I’m sure; but otherwise, a small-government flat-tax platform has fringe appeal at best. It’s not exactly Phil Scott’s style. Of course, considering that Politico characterizes the Paul campaign as “struggling with deep fundraising and organizational problems,” I suppose he’s a natural fit for the financially and organizationally challenged VTGOP.