One might say that Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulDems blast Trump plans for deep spending cuts Trump team prepares dramatic cuts Paul, Lee call on Trump to work with Congress on foreign policy MORE (R-Ky.) was for the hate politics of the far right before he was against it. One day, with a smile, Paul gives a speech calling on Republicans to be positive, inclusive and offer a happy face to voters.
On another day, with a snarl, Paul launches gutter-level attacks against Bill ClintonBill ClintonTrump takes office in tough place, but approval ratings do change The new Washington elite schmoozes over lunch Trump: 'Very honored’ that Clinton attended inauguration MORE, the enormously popular former Democratic president.
Perhaps Paul read my column. He is now saying that Republicans need to be more positive. But he has not retracted his discredited smears against Clinton. The Republican disease is that certain spinmeisters convince politicians like Paul that they have to hate liberal Democrats to be nominated, while other spinmeisters convince politicians like Paul that they have to be positive to avoid being slaughtered by Democrats like the Clintons in general elections. Hence, the two faces of Rand Paul.
There is one thing we can all agree on. In polls galore, Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham Clinton'Fight Song' played at Trump inaugural ball Trump takes reins of divided nation When Trump says 'Make America Great Again,' he means it MORE would defeat every potential Republican opponent in 2016 by landslide margins. Based on every poll I know of, Clinton looks like Babe Ruth and Paul looks like the little league for the 2016 race.
Against Clinton, voters don't like either of the two faces of Paul. The net impact of the Benghazi attacks against Clinton: zero. The net impact of ObamaCare attacks against Clinton: zero. The net impact of Paul's cheap shots against Bill Clinton: great for the Clintons and disastrous for Paul.
My advice to Paul: He should lose one of his two faces. As Ted Nugent should apologize to Barack ObamaBarack ObamaObama's post-presidential vacation delayed by bad weather Trump redecorates Oval Office with gold drapes Trump puts Churchill bust back in the Oval Office MORE, Rand Paul should apologize to Bill Clinton.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.