Some of us got up today with the single intention of pushing harder ahead of New Hampshire. And then we heard the news.
The announcement of Sen. Rand Paul’s exit from the GOP race came early Wednesday morning. Paul was officially suspending his presidential campaign and returning his focus to being a leader in the Senate.
Initially, it looked like the campaign would stay strong and push on. Those from Paul’s New Hampshire office noted that despite low polling numbers, “No one left Rand.”
“Paul had endorsements from 29 state reps, and two state senators, which said a lot about their commitment to Rand,” said strategist Michael Biundo.
“He had more legislative endorsements than anyone else,” said state political director David Chesley. (WaPo)
However, senior adviser Steve Munisteri rang the final bell during a Tuesday morning call with the senator and said that it was time for Rand Paul’s exit.
This isn’t just another candidate stepping out of a fiercely fought race to be the leader of our country. We’ve lost an important voice in the presidential race, writes David Boaz in USA Today:
With Paul gone from the presidential race, so is the voice for realism and prudence in foreign policy. So is a passionate voice on criminal justice reform and overcriminalization.
Will the remaining candidates defend our rights to privacy? Will they fight against mass surveillance? Not a chance, remarks Tom Risen in the USNews. Who will speak up for criminal justice reform? Rand has outdone both parties when it comes to the latter. I’m not holding my breath for Trump or Rubio.
Paul doesn’t seem optimistic either. He won’t endorse any other candidates until the Republican Party makes a final decision, according to his strategist, Doug Stafford.
It feels like the 2016 election season is already over with Rand Paul’s exit. However, Nick Gillespie over at Reason reminds us that:
Paul’s still at the start of a career that, along with other newish colleagues, may well transform not just the GOP but the country as a whole.
Written by Sadako
(Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)
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