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Rand Paul in NYT Mag

Today’s New York Times Magazine carries an interview with Rand Paul, [1] in which Deborah Solomon expresses shock that someone who hasn’t held a government job before might run for the Senate. “You haven’t even served in government for five minutes,” she says. “I don’t think it’s necessarily a prerequisite. I’ve been active in politics for a group called Kentucky Taxpayers United for 15 to 20 years,” Paul replies.

Would Solomon ask the same question of, say, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who’s running for the Republican Senate nomination in California? Career politicians and corporate leaders belong in the Senate; ophthalmologists and anti-tax organizers do not. Except the tea parties, and I suspect Kentucky voters in general, don’t agree, which is why Rand Paul will win.

The hard-hitting interview then moves to the pressing issue of — war in Afghanistan? Guantanamo detainees? The Federal Reserve? Think bigger:

[W]here are you on an issue like seat belts? Federal legislation requiring people to wear seat belts could obviously save lives.
I think the federal government shouldn’t be involved. I don’t want to live in a nanny state where people are telling me where I can go and what I can do.

You shouldn’t trivialize issues of health and safety by calling them nanny issues.
The question is, do you want to live in a nanny state where the government tells you what you can eat, where you can smoke, where you can live, what you can do, or would you rather have some freedom, and freedom means that things aren’t perfect?

Somewhere between the archly lightweight and the actually vapid is a line the New York Times dares to cross.

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#1 Comment By Jeremiah Whitmoore On April 4, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

I know second graders who pursue a deeper line of questioning than Deborah Solomon.

#2 Comment By SteveM On April 4, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

Amazing. The same New York Times that was ready to anoint Caroline Kennedy for a Senate seat, even though she hadn’t even proven that she wasn’t a nitwit.

But given the numskull cabal of Friedman, Dowd, Herbert and Collins smearing the NY Times Op-Ed page with mindless illogic, why does that not surprise me?

#3 Comment By Barney Rebble On April 4, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

People who are NOT liars, like Rand Paul, don’t need to go constantly back and “revise and extend their remarks”.

Rand Paul was DEAD ON in may of 2009 when he said what needed to be done to health care:


Try accusing Dr Paul of being a “neocon” who doesn’t want health care for the elderly or the poor… But try listening to him first…

#4 Pingback By Right-Wing Links (April 5, 2010) On April 5, 2010 @ 10:32 am

[…] Rand Paul in NYT Mag […]

#5 Comment By Sean Scallon On April 5, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

My lord how horrible this interview was and what a waste of time. Does Ms. Solomon work in the Times “Style” section?

#6 Comment By SteveM On April 5, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

Re: Sean Scallon – “Does Ms. Solomon work in the Times ‘Style’ section?”

No, I believe mediocrity is concentrated on the Op-Ed page…

#7 Comment By MattSwartz On April 6, 2010 @ 9:09 am

This interview, patronizing and superficial though it is, will end up helping Rand more than a puff piece would have. Think about it; a Kentuckian who has worked hard, a grass-roots guy, an outsider, a “man of the people” or what-have-you, gets smacked down by a smug >i>NYT reporter who implies that he isn’t ready to sit at the grown-ups table yet.

I imagine that in the eyes of Kentuckians, that puts Rand on the side of every person who has ever squirmed or scowled at a “Kentuckians as hicks” joke that New York City television beamed into their living rooms.

If they keep it coming, Rand will have the Senate seat he deserves…

#8 Comment By daddysteve On April 7, 2010 @ 1:22 am

His daddy would have immediately said seatbelts are a state government issue.

#9 Comment By Bob D On April 8, 2010 @ 9:22 pm

I voted for Ron Paul and hope Rand Paul wins his Kentucky race. But Rand does avoid talking specifically about the issue of getting out of Iraq and bringing our troops home from around the world. I don’t think you can put the entire blame on his interviewers. He is certainly no Ron Paul. I actually found Obama’s views when he was a candidate more antiwar than Rand’s. And we can all see how that turned out.