Even before his April 7 announcement, there was speculation as to whether Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul would inherit his father’s supporters for his 2016 bid for the White House. The hardcore rEVOLution-ers were probably hoping that Paul family backyard pick-up games included lessons on the perfect spiral and the systematic destruction of authoritarian power. No such luck. The younger Paul has made it clear that his views fall way short of Ron’s libertarianism.
But the two share things other than their last name - including loving liberty and hating drones. But they also both believe that same-sex marriage should be left up to the states and are both anti-abortion.
They also have notable policy differences. Rand favors immigration reform, but stops short of granting paths to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Ron, on the other hand, has continually called for tighter border security and banning illegal immigrants from public schools.
Still, the biggest difference is in the two Pauls' appeal. Pandering definitely wasn’t a part of Ron Paul’s platform. Throughout his political career, which included three presidential campaigns, he built a reputation as decidedly isolationist. His worldview is steeped in libertarianism despite his current registration with the GOP, and that has put a cap on his career.
Rand’s measured distance from extremism has allowed him to be a more successful candidate thus far. He snagged a Senate seat on his first run, something his dad never managed to do. And time will tell, but he might have a viable shot at the Republican presidential nomination, which, let’s face it, was another thing Ron never managed.
Ronnie Paul, Rand’s older brother, recently told podcaster Israel Anderson that Rand and Ron have the same goals, but differ in their implementation. That remains to be seen, but there are undeniable similarities between the two.