Matt Lewis

Rand Paul’s ‘Palinesque’ (not Shermanesque) veep answer

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

One thing that has been lost amid the speculation over whether or not Rep. Ron Paul’s symbiotic relationship with former Gov. Mitt Romney involves some sort of corrupt bargain is simply the candor with which Sen. Rand Paul actually answered the veep question.

Ask Sen. Marco Rubio if he will be the running mate, and you’re likely to get some version of this: “I am not going to be the vice presidential nominee … The answer is going to be no.”

That might fall short of Gen. Sherman’s: “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected” — but it’s certainly not campaigning for the job, either.

When it comes to garnering the veep nod, most candidates — even those who secretly long for the position — prefer to play coy. Sure, they may hint that they’d like to be considered, thus sending signals that an offer would not be rebuffed. But generally, potential running mates tend to deny interest. After all, it might be seen as unseemly to advertise such ambition. (And in courtship, after all, half the fun is often in being chased.)

That wasn’t the case, however, for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. When asked if she would consider being John McCain’s running mate, Palin openly confessed: “…Yes, I would. Somehow being able to be in a position to help our nation. How absolutely amazing an opportunity would that be? So yeah, I’m interested in that.”

Her candor and direct approach might have been unorthodox, but it obviously worked.

Fast forward four years: When asked by a local Kentucky media outlet if he would accept the offer from Romney, Rand Paul seemed to channel Palin, saying, “it would be an honor to be considered.”

The question remains: Is it better to be frank and admit to being interested, or to play hard to get?