Recently there have been several new faces vying for the representation of the Republican Party. The thing that is most enticing about these new individuals, besides just being a fresh face, is the ability they possess to stand out from other party members while still being able to navigate within party lines. Possibly the two most notable individuals on the rise in recent months are Ted Cruz and this site’s namesake, Rand Paul.
Now many liken them to one another because of the similar routes they each took to reach their position. Also, many people believe both have the potential to represent the Republican Party in the 2016 presidential election. The Washington Examiner writer, Rebecca Berg, highlights some of the glaring similarities and noticeable differences between the two possible future nominees.
“He’s a freshman senator elected with heavy Tea Party support who went on to national prominence by taking the Senate chamber hostage in a filibuster he insisted on waging despite long odds of success. He’s an unabashed conservative who seems to relish bucking his Republican Party leaders and now is thinking about running for president in 2016.
Rand Paul? Ted Cruz? Trick question. It’s both of them.”
Both senators have noticeably separated themselves from their counterparts within the Republican Party. Cruz has decidedly taken a much more unabashed stance which has left an unpleasant vibe with many of his peers. Many have not taken Cruz in a welcoming fashion due to some of the tactics he utilizes.
Rand on the other hand, like a savvy veteran politician, has found ways to express his position on many issues while not disconcerting the core Republican base. This ability to stand out but not appear overwhelming will be essential for Rand to continue his efforts in revamping the face of the Republican Party. This will also be a beneficial asset if Rand decides to include himself in the 2016 race. The Washington Examiner notes:
“Paul has taken a more nuanced approach.”
“Unlike Cruz, Paul is not only playing the outside game, but he seems to understand the importance of working with his Senate colleagues — not blowing them up,” said a Senate Republican aide. “This collegial approach could certainly help Paul in the long run beyond the Senate. Paul seems to value the benefits and importance of not dividing the party, generally.”
Other senators disapprove of some of the tactics that Ted Cruz employs, while believing that Rand Paul has positioned himself in a better light if he should decide to make a run in 2016. Many believe that Cruz is creating a bigger rift in the party with some of the methods that he utilizes, and while it may give a bigger boost in popularity now, it’s destined for failure in the long term. Paul has arranged himself within the party in a manner that appears to be consistent in the short term and for the long haul.
“I have no particular reason to believe that Senator Cruz talking to House members is a unique thing to happen, but it’s usually not very well received,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., a former House leader.
Cruz and Paul’s exertions have, for now, pumped up their fundraising, but the long-term impact on their 2016 presidential ambitions remains a matter of speculation.
“Cruz’s grandstanding will cost him long-term[.] Smarter Rand Paul silent,” media magnate Rupert Murdoch offered on Twitter.
Although many people see Paul and Cruz in a similar perspective at the current time, a more detailed look at the actions in which they have engaged seem to favor Rand Paul’s position for long-term success. While Cruz is willing to make a name for himself by distancing himself from certain prominent members of the Republican Party, Paul is willing to work and find common ground to put the party in the best position for success.
So maybe they are not quite as similar as some people may think.
Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore, via Flickr Creative Commons
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