And Iowa claims another. On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) announced he is abandoning his bid to become the 45th president of the United States.
“Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of Liberty,” he said in a campaign statement.
Paul is a member of the 2010 Congressional class in both the House of Representatives and the Senate that rode into Washington on the wave of fear and resentment of the Obama Administration and congressional Democrats who insisted on shoving a very unpopular socialist agenda down the collective throats of the nation. He is known for his libertarian viewpoints that emphasize personal liberty and downplays any world police role the United States plays on the world stage. He has been accused of being soft on national defense.
On the campaign trail, Rand Paul was not always the most agreeable and did not toe the line of conventional wisdom on hot button topics such as vaccinations, a subject he, as a physician, has had reason to study. Paul also skipped a debate, and was known to correct reporters when they talked over him and would not let him answer questions. This endeared him to many who would like to see challenges to the tightly controlled messages coming from the mainstream media, but invited scorn from reporters, pundits and other candidates.
Paul had been dropping in the polls after an initial popular bounce following his announcement of a campaign. His unorthodox style and true non-establishment pedigree did give him a fan base, but it was not enough to keep up with his colleagues Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and certainly not enough to compete with Donald Trump. Rand Paul did keep things interesting and did provide an alternative viewpoint, but it was very clear that his efforts were futile against such formidable competition.
Dr. Paul now returns to the Senate where he is a consistent conservative vote, and still an eye surgeon doing volunteer work during breaks. (Now maybe we’ll quit hearing about his hair.)