Washington Post political columnist Chris Cillizza has written an interesting column saying that the Republican Party must choose between two different paths, as represented by two likely presidential candidates: the moderate pragmatism of New Jersey governor Chris Christie; or the purist small-government principles of Kentucky senator Rand Paul.
Mr. Cillizza casts the Rand option in terms of being more conservative. In doing so, I think he completely misses what Rand Paul represents. He is a libertarian, appealing strongly to young people and the politically-disaffected. But he is also pro-life. He is also the peace candidate, stealing that issue from the left.
Someone who can attract the internet crowd and pro-lifers and free market business types and evangelicals and peaceniks and the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Streeters has the makings of a paradigm-breaking and very formidable candidate.
(1) Do you think I’m right that he misses the point about Rand Paul?
(2) What would the Rand Paul path mean for Republicans overall?
(3) Can the Republicans win with Paul’s ideology?
(4) Can the Republicans win with Christie’s lack of ideology?