Along with a lot of Kentuckians, I’ve generally been impressed with Rand Paul’s purely political skills. During his initial campaign, there was grudging acknowledgment that he could probably win in circumstances favorable to insurgent Republicans, but that he had not displayed much in the way of political acumen, and was unlikely to make much of a splash beyond being the Senate’s resident curiosity. I think that’s largely been proven wrong, as Paul has taken advantage of his platform to increase his visibility without reducing his viability.
I do wonder about this, however:
Blame is also owed to the media, in [Paul’s] way of looking at it. “I think really the media seems to have given President Clinton a pass on this,” said Paul, adding: “He took advantage of a girl that was 20-years-old and an intern in his office. There is no excuse for that and that is predatory behavior.”
Excuse me while I choke on my coffee. Those eager to dredge up the past, would be wise to dredge accurately. The suggestion that the media gave Clinton a “pass” suggests that at the time this was happening, the libertarian ophthalmologist was perhaps too busy to read what was in the newspapers.
Half the voting public may now be too young to recall the details, but as a card-carrying member of the media then and now, I can say that my workplace at the time, the Washington Post, was so transfixed by poor Monica Lewinsky that you could hardly go to the water cooler or the cafeteria or the pens-and-notebooks cupboard without being presented by a colleague with some new detail of what might or might not have transpired between the president and his beret-wearing intern. This was true at every other newspaper or magazine. The story consumed every sentient being in the nation’s capital, including dogs, cats, members of Congress and anybody remotely aware of the Starr report and its salacious footnotes, which people read out loud to one another at the breakfast table.
I could be terribly wrong, and revisiting Monica Lewinsky might indeed prove a political winner in 2016 in a way that it did not in, say, 1998. I’d be pretty goddamned surprised if that were the case, however.