By Nick Gillespie
Politco has a story touting the Ron-Rand Paul political "dynasty" as "the libertarian Kennedys":
Just as the Kennedys had their uber-loyal family retainers, the Pauls have [Jesse] Benton [who is married to Ron's grandaughter and Rand's niece] as their fixer-gatekeeper. He worked on Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in 2008 and then was dispatched to Kentucky last year to take over Rand’s Senate run when the candidate found himself under fire for remarks he made about the Civil Rights Act after winning the GOP primary. Interview requests to the House office of Ron and Senate office of Rand were routed to Benton. And when the Pauls each visited Iowa separately in successive weeks earlier this month, he accompanied them each time.
“It was like Tom Hagen or something,” said one Republican there, referring to the Corleone family consigliere played by Robert Duvall in “The Godfather.”
The Michael Corleone in this cooked-up story is Robert Paul, Ron's youngest son and a doctor in the Ft. Worth, Texas area, who doesn't want to be involved with the family business (for now). And Fredo sadly goes unnamed, although he's the most interesting character in most such family sagas.
While it's always great to see hardcore libertarian pols such as Paul pere et fils getting coverage that is not openly dismissive, the Politico story has got it all wrong on at least one major count: The Kennedy family saga is the ultimate bit of evidence for "stupid grandson theory," the Schumpeterian idea that family smarts, power, even looks runs downhill faster than water on pavement. By the time the Kennedys entered politics in a serious way, the family had peaked in terms of power, prestige, and promise. Indeed, when you survey the second or third generation of Kennedys, it's nothing but Fredos (and maybe Arnold Schwarzenegger as Moe Green). To the contrary, Rand Paul is not only in a higher office than his pa, he's showing every early sign of being his equal or superior in influence. None of this is to minimize Ron Paul and his contribution to changing the debate over the past 30 or so years. Indeed, it's meant to honor him for not just holding the line against government overreach but raising his kid right.
Matt Welch and I interviewed Rand Paul. Take a look: