Senator Mitch McConnell rubbing shoulders with allies? Rand Paul facing flack from within his party for his stance on issues but then gaining support? That’s like saying it’s perfect weather in Los Angeles – it happens all of the time. What is interesting about Roger Alford’s article in The Huffington Post about the recent alliance between Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell is that it gives a perspective of both McConnell and Paul’s upcoming challenges with respect to their future political aspirations.
To cover his political flank, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has forged an alliance with tea party darling Rand Paul, picked up support from other national tea party leaders and brought in a campaign manager from the upper echelons of the tea party movement.
…The McConnell alliance also is a boon for Paul in other ways, such as providing leverage to push his political agenda. McConnell has even signed on to one of Paul’s and the tea party’s top political priorities, legalizing industrial hemp farming.
Regardless of any previous issues that Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell may have had with each other, it only seems fitting that these two Republicans are pairing up on certain issues. Although teaming up to legalize industrial hemp farming is an interesting place to start for McConnell. Hemp farming is tricky because of its close association with marijuana “even though hemp is not a drug and has no psychoactive potential. (via HuffPost)”. (Sorry folks, your hemp shirt does not serve dual purposes…) More and more key people are switching their stance on the use of marijuana, and the initiative to legalize hemp farming may indirectly push support in that direction too. Time will tell if it was a well-played issue to pair with Paul on.
…McConnell’s efforts to make inroads with the tea party movement have clearly paid off, virtually ensuring that no would-be challenger can get the kind of infusion of cash from tea party channels that allowed Paul to win in 2010.
Paul, who has presidential aspirations and is looking to run in 2016, needs McConnell’s connections to the wealthy donor base of the Republican establishment. Meanwhile, McConnell needs Paul’s tea party influence to keep potential primary challengers at bay and to energize his general election campaign against the likely Democratic nominee, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
…McConnell has appeal within the tea party movement, including some “who would lay their heads on a train track for him.”
And others who wouldn’t (like David Adams) McConnell’s efforts to get re-elected will have a lot at stake – say in the range of $30 million. Whew.
McConnell, who has served in the U.S. Senate since 1984, has never lost an election. He spent more than $20 million in 2008 to beat Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford, a wealthy Louisville businessman, by 6 percentage points.
Most think McConnell could spend as much as $30 million on the upcoming next race. Republican super PACs could spend an additional $30 million, making the race Kentucky’s most expensive ever.
And it will be especially important for McConnell to defeat the prospective Democratic candidate Grimes if he wants to be majority leader.
McConnell told GOP supporters in Kentucky that he’s bent on winning re-election with hopes that voters will elect enough additional Republicans to the Senate to allow him to move up to majority leader.
With all the deals, side initiatives, and all of the other day-to-day connections that must be made, it remains imperative for McConnell to keep being tactical with tea party leaders such as our Paul if he wants to improve his political chances of securing a return of Republican leadership at the highest level. But let’s see first if this alliance is as mutually beneficial as it should be. Read more about Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell forging an alliance on HuffPost.
Aside from that, there are some things that we as Republicans need to discuss. Can we for a few moments take down arms and unite as one party for the greater good? The political brass needs to shine, and for the Republican Machine to run at its peak, both tea partiers and mainstream Republicans alike need to take a page out of McConnell and Paul’s playbook – unite. In the spirit of the upcoming football season, hut hut hike.
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