A must read piece on Rand Paul and his political strategy:
"He can be a serious presidential candidate because he represents a segment of Republicanism that hasn't had a voice," said Steve Schmidt, who ran John McCain's 2008 campaign, speaking of Paul's libertarian views. "But he can't just be a neater package of his dad — that won't work. He needs to convey his own domestic and foreign vision, and continue to overcome the kook factor, which he inherited."
Rand has tried to maintain this delicate balance by latching onto hot issues at strategic times — like drones, immigration and gun control — that at once thrust him onto the national stage and also appeal to libertarians. "He's either remarkably lucky or he instinctively knows how to effectively drive a media story," said Brian Jones, a Republican political and communications strategist.
Many Republican strategists have indeed been impressed with Rand's natural communication and political skills as he skillfully maneuvered himself into the center of a number of high-profile battles — including his successful filibuster of U.S. drone policy that attracted copious media attention and bipartisan support.