Patterico's Pontifications

4/9/2015

Rand Paul’s Savannah Guthrie Moment and Other Thinking Out Loud

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:45 pm



So Rand Paul had a tense moment with some reporter named Savannah Guthrie. It illustrated what I like about Paul, as well as misgivings I have about him. You can go watch the clip if you want. I like for him to bite back a little. I think that’s good. But then I think he goes on too long. These women got where they are in TV by being attractive faces with phony smiles, and when he goes on and on about the unfairness I personally think he comes off a bit grumpy. My reaction would be: bite back, but just don’t dwell on it so much.

But I like Rand Paul. I think he and I see a lot of things the same way. I even like his reluctance to be bellicose in foreign affairs, which is supposedly his big drawback with Republicans. (That’s one area where I’d like to see a Paul/Cruz Goldilocks “just right” sort of medium between tough talk all the time and a worry that maybe we’re being too naive about certain dangers.)

But I personally would rather see Rand Paul emphasize less of the lifestyle libertarianism that young irresponsible people love but old people don’t (like drugs and scaling back criminal laws), and see him talk more about, say, the free market. That said, he probably knows a lot more about being a retail politician than I do, and I think his instincts on the free market are just fine.

Getting back to dealing with the media, I think Ted Cruz handles criticism better. Here’s a decent and recent example.

But I like the two people in the race right now a lot.

16 Responses to “Rand Paul’s Savannah Guthrie Moment and Other Thinking Out Loud”

  1. I love how he directly calls them out for their partisan narrative tactics, and points out how they are doing so.

    JD (c90ab3)

  2. I love that too. I’m hoping he can hone his communication skills so he can spend 1/2 the time making the point and look less grumpy while he does it. But it’s good that he does it. I do like it.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  3. I just think Ted Cruz does it too, and does it better.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  4. I take back one of that bad things I said about Rand Paul. But just one.

    nk (dbc370)

  5. There is a tendency among conservatives to overanalyze and knit-pick the behavior of our own. We reflexively make the perfect the enemy of the good. This is not something liberals do and it is a mistake for us to do it. The probability that you, or I, or anyone else reading this blog will not find some fault with even our most favored candidate approaches zero. Whining about such shortcomings makes about as much sense as telling our wives of the minutia of their behavior that others find annoying. We’ve got to stop doing it.

    When Democrats accuse Republicans of being the party of old White men, it is hard to argue. Most Republican pols are too gracious and mealy mouthed to ever appeal to anyone but other members of their own demographic cohort. That’s not a feature; it is a bug. I may not be in perfect agreement with Paul on his pitches to non-traditional Republican groups – again, what Republican pol am I in perfect agreement with anyway – but he comes closer to getting this right than any Republican I can think of. Conservatism has more to offer these groups than anything a Democrat has thought up in the last 100 years, yet no Republican pol I can think of has made the effort to reach out to these groups. Finally, a Republican is making that pitch. Finally!

    All I have to say is “Attaboy, Rand, attaboy!”

    ThOR (a52560)

  6. I like Rand Paul, but I think he’s a little weak on foreign relations. I disagree with him on foreign aid, mainly because that is the way that the US gets influence in the world. What is “small change” for the USA is major change for other countries. I think Cruz understands this and Rand Paul struggles with it.

    We project the American message of individualism this way.

    I think my ideal ticket would be Ted Cruz for President with Rand Paul as a VP.

    Dejectedhead (83e1bc)

  7. Your only mistake is calling Savannah Guthrie a “reporter.” Never has been and never will be. She’s just a pretty face for the morning show.

    Gene (7de75d)

  8. She’s not all that pretty.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. I wonder how many of these interviews are really just auditions for political jobs?

    crazy (cde091)

  10. The guy who does this right is Rudy Giuliani. He was being grilled by Soledad O’Brien and had a sharp reposte when she tried to pull a Candy Crowley on him. That’s why good trial lawyers are good debaters and many politicians aren’t. Trey Gowdy shares that background.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  11. Savannah surely is steeped in the marinade of east-coast establishment liberalism, but she’s no dope.

    She’s got a Georgetown law degree–and she worked as a reporter before, during, and after her law school tenure.

    I interviewed her about a dozen years ago when she applied to the well-regarded law firm at which I then worked as an associate. I thought she would be a star, even in a distinguished pool. Looks like I was right, but obviously not in the way I expected.

    In DC (a1b898)

  12. It’s not a problem for Rand to put the biased media in their places. His problem is his record and positions.

    He’s not just “reluctan[t] to be bellicose in foreign affairs,” that’s far too generous. He has been a long-time isolationist who repeated his agreement with his father’s positions over and over and over. He can pretend otherwise, and his fanboys will, too, but that doesn’t change anything.

    And even being contentious may not be a sufficient response when he is asked about the two national campaigns he ran for his father which accepted significant funds from white supremacists and The Spotlight mailing list.

    Estragon (ada867)

  13. I don’t discount his “reluctance”, but I would think better of him if I could see just a spark of “Jackson” in him.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  14. We reflexively make the perfect the enemy of the good.

    ThOR, that is more a problem with Libertarians than conservatives.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  15. 3- Yes, he does.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  16. O/T, but….
    Will Marie Harf ever graduate from high school?

    askeptic (efcf22)


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