Friday, May 21, 2010
Rand Paul folds like a cheap umbrella: cancels Meet the Press
When a candidate wins their party's nomination for a major elective office there's always a brief moment of euphoria followed by a feeling of "what next?" One of the very best "what nexts" there can be for a candidate of any party is an invitation to go on NBC News' "Meet the Press." Meet the Press is easily the most sought after of the Sunday news shows. It still basks in the reflected brilliance of Tim Russert a year after his death.
Meet the Press gives its guests not just a national platform, but an international platform. The world watches Meet the Press and--even if David Gregory is not as ruthless an interviewer as Russert was--the world still notes the results carefully. When Rand Paul received the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate last Tuesday he received something of great value along with it: a golden ticket to appear on Meet the Press and speak with David Gregory. His opponent Democrat Jack Conway received no such invitation--this was a great opportunity for Rand Paul to leap out ahead of Jack Conway and establish himself firmly as the frontrunner.
Only it didn't work out quite that way--under some pressure for some remarks he'd made showing a lack of support for Civil Rights legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Fair Housing Act, Rand Paul folded like a cheap umbrella. Three days into the general election campaign for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky), the temperature got too hot in the kitchen and Rand Paul simply bailed out, citing "exhaustion." That doesn't bode well when you consider that Rand Paul faces more than five months on the campaign trail until election day. And if he wins, being a U.S. Senator isn't exactly the most stress-free job there is, not if you do it right.
Should Rand Paul just withdraw now before this race becomes too stressful?