I wrote about Rand Paul's chances in Kentucky last month. He's pulled ahead of Republican primary opponent Trey Grayson, the current Kentucky Secretary of State, and polls better than Democrats, according to Public Policy Polling. Despite a few minor HR setbacks, it appears as though the Paul campaign is on the path to victory.
In the last post I gave four bits of advice the Paul campaign must heed to be successful:
- Dump any and all dead weight. Several days ago, it was revealed that former campaign spokesman and jack-of-all-trades Chris Hightower said some pretty unsettling things on his MySpace page in reference to the Ku Klux Klan. This is a serious campaign. It takes only a few moments to “Google” the people who work for you. Do it. Now. Anyone with anything remotely controversial or questionable should be asked to move along quietly.
- Distance the campaign from the “crazies.” I’m as libertarian as the next guy, but Rand Paul is running for U.S. Senate as a Republican. Sure, most of his political beliefs line up with his father’s, but some ardent supporters of Ron Paul have expressed doubts about Rand for several of his foreign policy positions. Do not make the perfect the enemy of the good. In this race you have two options, Rand Paul or that other guy. Are either of them perfect? Probably not. But Rand Paul is the best man for the job. Those destructive types who seek some distant ideological purity over electoral victory should be thanked for their support and shown the door.
- Raise money like it’s going out of style. Paul now clearly leads in the polls, and he’s received the endorsement of the largest women’s political organization in the country. Why haven’t I received a direct mail letter about that yet? Get in touch with Mike Rothfeld or Richard Viguerie in Northern Virginia. You have money. Stop sitting on it and spend some to raise more. As more Kentuckians realize that Rand will win the primary, then they will start to contribute money to his campaign, even the ones who may have supported Grayson. You have to create a win psychology.
- Put that Youth Coordinator on the payroll. Lance has worked his tail off for Rand Paul, and it’s about time he gets recognized for it. He’s charismatic and a hard worker. College students in Kentucky are looking for a young leader who can get them involved, and it’s Lance. He’s worked tirelessly for months building a coalition of youth voters, and his hard work should not go unrewarded.
Whether or not they read my post is anybody's guess, but they have followed my advice. The Paul campaign has shed itself of political liability andhired their Youth Coordinator full-time.
Last week, they launched one over the bow at Trey Grayson, calling on him to step aside as chief election officer for the state of Kentucky in order to ensure an ethical process for the primary. From the article:
"I really feel like if you're in the election, you shouldn't count the votes," Paul told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "I think he shouldn't have access to any computers counting or tabulating the votes."
Grayson spokesman Les Fugate called the request absurd. Fugate said Grayson won't recuse himself.
"It is an insult to the judgment of Kentuckians that Mr. Paul suggest Secretary Grayson stop doing the job that they elected him to do," Fugate said. "Secretary Grayson is a national leader in elections reform who has received broad, bipartisan support for his commonsense ideas that make our elections more secure, more accessible, and more honest. This political request is absurd and blatantly self-serving."
Paul noted a "clear conflict" existed. A spokesman for Grayson, whose campaign is in a political freefall, called Paul's request "absurd" and "ridiculous."
One man's "blatantly self-serving" is another man's headline in politics. While this clearly is an important issue for this election, it certainly doesn't hurt for Rand to publicly admonish Trey this way. If Rand continues to effectively maneuver within the state media with stories like this, he will maintain his lead over Grayson and come out of the primary as the GOP nominee.
Matthew Hurtt received his Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Middle Tennessee State University. He works at the Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia as a Campus Services Coordinator. He can be reached at [email protected].