BERKELEY, Calif. ““ Rand Paul’s swing through Berkeley is just the beginning of his foray into traditionally Democratic territory.
After his visit to this liberal stronghold, where he’s speaking to students about the NSA and privacy, the Kentucky senator will make stops at the National Urban League in July and at the NAACP in the coming months, if an informal invitation from the group is made official. He’s also plotting a trip to Chicago and Milwaukee, Paul said in an interview this week, where he plans to speak about education and “school choice.”
It’s all part of his effort to cast himself as the man who can broaden the appeal of the Republican Party ahead of a widely expected 2016 presidential run. Among the demographic groups that Paul is most furiously targeting are young voters and African-Americans.
“For the Republican Party to win again we need to go places we haven’t been going, and we need to attract people we haven’t been attracting. Part of that is the message, but part of that is also showing up,” Paul told National Journal. “I think we need to show up in challenging circumstances, so you don’t think of Berkeley as being a bastion of Republican politics and so I think it’s a good place to go.”
Paul, a fierce critic of the National Security Agency’s tactics, believes the issue of surveillance can — and has already started to — peel young voters away from President Obama and the Democratic Party.
“The youth vote went 3-to-1 for President Obama but recent polls, in the last six months, have shown his support dropping because, mostly because of the NSA scandal, I think,” Paul said.
Paul said he also wants to make a push into big cities where Republicans have been swamped in recent elections. “We have a trip planned to Chicago and Milwaukee to talk about school choice and to talk about education in the large cities and how we can do a better job than what we’re doing,” he said.
The senator has made a concerted effort to broaden his appeal to black voters, appearing at Howard University last year and another historically black college earlier this year.
He said he planned to speak to the National Urban League in July and that he would like to speak with the NAACP, whose president invited him via the media last month, as well. “I don’t know if we actually have an invitation but we’ll do that if we’re invited,” Paul said.
Paul’s political maneuverings are garnering increased attention as he has risen in the national polling for 2016. His appearance in Berkeley is expected to draw a full house and a bevy of both local and national reporters.
“If we’re just trying to get the message out about how we grow the Republican Party, I have a bigger microphone because people are seeing me as a contender,” he said.
What We're Following See More »
Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."