Rand Paul, son of Ron, scourge of government overreach and champion of that species of liberty which flows naturally from being somebody’s kid, has announced his candidacy for president. He joins Ted Cruz in challenging that guy who is the son of one president and the brother of another for the nomination to run against the wife of yet another former president. The tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with blood of the same type as whoever watered it before. But although his father has drawn a paycheck as a US Representative since he was 14, “Rand Paul has been fighting big government his entire adult life.” So says his announcement page, which mentions his father exactly once. He’s his own man. All his father gave him was a ready-made constituency, a bunch of contacts in Washington—which he despises as his sworn enemy, of course—and a famous name.
Ted Cruz has formally entered the 2016 presidential race, announcing his candidacy this morning at Liberty University. And what better analogue for his brand of conservatism than a college founded by a televangelist? As the Telegraph reminds us, Liberty University teaches that the Earth is 6000 years old and notes the “strong possibility that horses, zebras and donkeys are all descended from an original pair of horses that were on Noah’s Ark.” That’s only a possibility, though; we shouldn’t assume anything until we can do more research. Cruz is a Baptist, but he didn’t go to Liberty University. He went to Princeton. That, dear reader, is the senator from Texas in a nutshell.
I follow three people on Twitter: Ben Fowlkes, Iowa legislator/general nutjob Kim Lehman, and Sarah Palin. Yesterday, SarahPalinUSA directed me to Facebook for a “statement on 2012 decision.” The statement is that she isn’t running. She cites the same reasons that have been drifting through her various word-clouds for the last month: that she wants to help other conservatives get elected, that she doesn’t need a title to “restore” America, that no one who owns a TV or has heard of America would even briefly consider putting her in charge of it. That last one is implied, I guess, but the upshot is that even Sarah Palin knows Sarah Palin can’t be President. Most of her announcement is what you’d expect, except for the first paragraph. That’s actually a work of considerable nuance, or at least insinuation, and it’s the subject of today’s Close Reading. Primary source after the jump.