This is a must read piece in the Wall Street Journal. Here are some excerpts:
Sen. Paul faces an "uphill climb" to become the Republican nominee, but "he's suddenly viewed as a serious player who will impact 2016," said Brian Jones, a senior adviser to the past three GOP presidential campaigns. "He has uncanny political instincts."
GOP strategist Scott Reed said Sen. Paul was "doing outreach unlike any other Republican, sticking it to the president and the Democrats, and on the front line of new ideas."
"We love you, Rand Paul!" yelled Lisa Gianardi, of Nicholasville, Ky., when the senator entered a recent lunch meeting of Women Republicans of Central Kentucky. "Rand Paul for president!"
Many of the women clutched his book "Government Bullies" and wore "I Stand with Rand" buttons. They applauded when he said the role of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—a potential 2016 rival—in the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi during her tenure "should preclude her from ever holding high office."
Sen. Paul said regardless of whether he stays in the Senate or runs for president, he would continue providing free eye operations to keep up his skills. "My goal is to make my country solvent and prosperous," he said, "or be an eye surgeon back in Bowling Green."
A day earlier, he had performed cataract surgery on Peggy Clark, 48, of Benton, Ky., who couldn't afford the $2,000 operation. "He's a wonderful eye doctor," she said. "But I can't vouch for him as a politician. Besides, I'm a lifelong Democrat."