Politico's Mike Allen tells us today about Rand Paul's presidential campaign, and we're reminded that Paul is planning to insult his way past Hillary Clinton. Here's Paul portraying Clinton as a weakened old crone:
In a POLITICO interview, the 51-year-old senator talked unblinkingly about the possibility of a run, and sought to draw a sharp contrast between himself and Hillary Clinton -- none too subtly raising the issue of her age. At 67, she is 16 years older than he is.Really? This is how he wants to beat Hillary? Now, I know what he's thinking: In the last presidential election, 18-29-year-olds made up 19% of the electorate and people 65 and over made up only 16%. But 45-64-year-old voters made up 38% of the electorate. As someone in that age group, I find this kind of talk from a smirky, self-important boy-man insulting. I'm getting old, too, but I'm not dead.
"I think all the polls show if she does run, she'll win the Democrat nomination," he said. "But I don't think it's for certain. It's a very taxing undertaking to go through. It's a rigorous physical ordeal, I think, to be able to campaign for the presidency."
Allen also reminds us of this:
Sergio Gor, who heads Paul's communications team, is a social-media guru.... With help from Gor, Paul has cultivated a mischievous streak that Twitter and Facebook love: He taunted Michelle Obama last month from a Dunkin' Donuts in New Hampshire. And on the night of the midterms, Paul had the idea for a collage of Clinton campaigning with various Democrats who had gone down -- posted with the hashtag #HillarysLosers.
There's something offensively personal about this -- yes, Barack Obama ran in 2008 as the fresher, younger candidate, and yes, he took advantage of sexism and ageism, but he refrained from this sort of gleeful contempt. Obama did call Clinton "likable enough" in a debate, but that came at a cost -- Obama lost the New Hampshire primary to Clinton a few days later.
Paul seems to be forgetting the lesson of Rick Lazio's unsuccessful campaign against Clinton in the 2000 New York Senate race. Lazio paid dearly for this moment -- which actually seems less contemptuous than some of what Paul is doing. At least it doesn't seem adolescent.
And let's not forget Scott Brown's failed campaign against Elizabeth Warren, which features frattish campaign staffers mocking Warren's claims of Native American descent.
Not to mention this radio moment:
During the Massachusetts Senate debate earlier this week, Elizabeth Warren and the other Dem candidates were reminded by the debate moderator that Scott Brown had posed nude in college, and asked what they had done to pay for school. ”I kept my clothes on,” Warren joked, to laughter from the crowd.Brown lost that race by 8 points. He lost to Jeanne Shaheen this year by 3 points in a Republican wave year, after stirring up a crowd of actual frat boys in this way:
Today, Scott Brown was asked by a local Massachusetts radio show to comment on Warren’s joke, and he offered his own joke in response: “Thank God.”
In video posted by the New Hampshire Democratic Party, as Brown walked through the sea of tailgaters, there were shouts of "F**k Jeanne Shaheen!" and "Elizabeth Warren sucks!" referring to the Democrat from Massachusetts who unseated Brown from his Senate seat in that state in 2012.
The language became even more graphic at points, with one man shouting "F**k her right in the p***y" (00:04 in the video ...), although it wasn't clear if he was referring to Shaheen or Warren. At 01:07 in the video, a man also appears to refer to Shaheen as a c**t.
Are you really heading down this road, Rand?