U of L expert says Rand Paul candidacy would be serious endeavor - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U of L expert says Rand Paul candidacy would be serious endeavor, not political stunt

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- U.S. Senator Rand Paul is expected to become just the fourth Kentuckian, and the first since Abraham Lincoln, to launch a campaign for president.

If he does run, he's expected to easily stand out among what could be a very crowded Republican primary field.

Rand Paul running for president became even more of a sure thing Monday, as he released a video on his YouTube page, promising a different kind of Republican leader.

"It's time for a new way, a new set of ideas, a new leader, one you can trust, one who works for you, and above all it's time for a new president," Paul said in the video. .

University of Louisville political science associate professor Laurie Rhodebeck says Paul wouldn't jump into the race as some kind of strategy, she says she believes he wants the White House.

"It is exciting for the state," Rhodebeck said. "He has some strong ideas about what he could offer in terms of policies, political leadership, and I don't think this is a stunt at all. I think he would like to be president."

The Tea Party favorite from Bowling Green hasn't been shy about making his positions clear in his short time in the Senate. Paul has regularly blasted the Obama administration on a number of issues, and Rhodebeck says his style will set him apart from other Republican candidates.

"He has some pretty firm positions on issues, and I don't think he's going to be tailoiring them to appeal more one way to voters in one state, a different way to voters in a another state and, yet a different way if he were to receive the nomination," said Rhodebeck. "I think he'll be fairly steady."

One way Paul has distinguished himself is by trying to reach out to the black community, which has historically aligned itself with the Democratic Party.

"One policy that jumps to mind has been his discussion of felons' rights," Rhodebeck explained. "There are many more felons of color than white felons and one right for people who are released from prison would be voting rights. And Senator Paul has come out very strongly in support of these voting rights."

Paul is expected to make an announcement Tuesday in the main ballroom of the Galt House.

He'll then spend the next four days in four key early voting states: New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada.

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