Commentary Magazine


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Rand Paul Is a Star

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, one of the Republican surprises in the wave election of 2010, made his national debut just now at the Republican convention with what can only be described as a humdinger. He simply began his speech in the middle. “When I heard about the Supreme Court’s decision upholding Obamacare,” he started, “I thought, ‘But it’s unconstitutional.’” He went on to connect his view with the views of the Federalists about limited government, connected them cleverly to the convention’s “you didn’t build that” theme, and offered a brilliantly succinct explanation of the problem with centralized populist attacks on business: “When you seek to punish Mr. Exxon Mobil, you punish the secretary who owns Exxon Mobil stock.”

Having established his bona fides as a mainstream Republican, he then dipped into his father Ron Paul’s kit bag—calling for defense cuts and offering a libertarian attack on homeland security. These were done with an artful lightness of touch his father has never displayed. “You, the individual, are the engine of America’s greatness,” he concluded.

An undeniable triumph.