— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) July 28, 2015
Dave Weigel and Ben Terris, in the Washington Post, say “‘The most interesting man in politics’ isn’t drawing much interest in New Hampshire“:
… “[It] depends on which polls you look at, you know,” Paul said when asked by the Boston Globe’s James Pindell about his sliding standing in the state. When asked about why he had fallen behind so many of his Republican opponents, Paul dodged.
“We actually have many polls where we actually lead Hillary Clinton,” he said. “So I think actually that some of our polling news is actually pretty good.”…
Last fall, Time magazine dubbed Paul “the most interesting man in politics.” But it has been a year since he led a national poll and months since he led in New Hampshire, a state where his father made strong stands in two presidential campaigns. According to the data firm Crimson Hexagon, roughly a third of all Republican-primary news articles in May were about Paul. In July, it’s been closer to 1 in 10.
Paul entered the presidential race on an unusually robust cloud of hype. When he is swarmed by autograph seekers, he is occasionally asked to sign the Time magazine cover. That cover appeared in October. This summer, the Wall Street Journal has dubbed him “no longer a first-tier candidate”; the Atlantic has politely described him as “struggling.”
The press sees a candidate slipping out of the conversation….
— McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) July 28, 2015
Politico‘s Alex Isenstadt, “Inside Rand Paul’s downward spiral“:
Rand Paul, once seen as a top-tier contender, finds his presidential hopes fading fast as he grapples with deep fundraising and organizational problems that have left his campaign badly hobbled.
Interviews with more than a dozen sources close to the Kentucky senator, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity, painted a picture of an underfunded and understaffed campaign beaten down by low morale.
They described an operation that pitted a cerebral chief strategist against an intense campaign manager who once got into a physical altercation with the candidate’s bodyguard. And they portrayed an undisciplined politician who wasn’t willing to do what it took to win — a man who obsessed over trivial matters like flight times, peppered aides with demands for more time off from campaigning and once chose to go on a spring-break jaunt rather than woo a powerful donor…
I think we’ve all known middle managers who drove the entire division crazy by quibbling over every supply request and sending out blast emails about the shameful waste of copier paper. The inherent response of an “executive” who’s reached his Peter Principle level is an obsessive attention to those minutiae he can control…
… They sketched a portrait of a candidate who, as he fell further behind in polls, no longer seemed able to break through. Paul, lionized as “the most interesting man in politics” in a Time magazine cover story last year, was supposed to reinvent the Republican Party with his message of free-market libertarianism, his vision of a restrained foreign policy and his outreach to minorities.
Instead, he has been overshadowed by louder voices like Donald Trump’s and better-funded figures like Jeb Bush. His theory of the 2016 primary — that Republican voters would reward a candidate who promised fresh ideas and an unconventional approach — has not been borne out in reality…
Those close to Paul say there’s a simple reason for his lack of success: He’s simply not willing to do the stroking and courting that powerful donors expect. He’s downright allergic, they say, to the idea of forging relationships with the goal of pumping people for dough. And while he’s had no shortage of opportunities to mix and mingle with some of the Republican Party’s wealthiest figures, Paul has expressed frustration that donors want so much face time…
Those tasked with crafting Paul’s schedule say the process is like playing a game of three-dimensional chess. Rather than letting his campaign team determine his travel schedule, as is customary for busy presidential candidates, Paul often demands sign-off on minute details, going so far as to request detailed lists of possible flight schedules and routes. Paul — who has complained that running for president is “not really a lot of fun” — can be prone to asking for time off the campaign trail and can be prickly about the most mundane commitments. Shortly before attending an event in Monterey, California, last month, he griped about having to do a photo line with supporters even though it had been on his schedule for weeks…
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) July 27, 2015
He’s Prince Rand. Why does he have to waste his beautiful mind grin’n’gripping with every loser in Iowa, New Hampshire, and the floating press corps?
Said it before, will no doubt say it again: This is a man who mistook being the heir apparent to his old man’s fringe fiefdom for charisma.
@igorbobic Rand's main problem is that he doesn't exactly relish talking to real people either.
— Scott Conroy (@ScottFConroy) July 28, 2015