Rand Paul and Howard University

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
Font Size:

Sen. Rand Paul took twenty minutes of unscreened questions today at Howard University. No one can remember the last Republican officeholder to do that.

Yes, there were a few protesters — but they probably garnered more attention than deserved. The crowd was respectful, and one gets the sense that Paul made a few inroads today. He received a very positive response on his objection to mandatory sentencing laws, and that’s something to work with.

Paul may be an unlikely figure to lead the Republican Party’s outreach to the African-American community, but he deserves praise for embracing the call.

This was a first date, and first dates always have some awkward moments. But you don’t get to marriage without some first dates.

It will take a lot of days like today before the GOP begins to win back the trust of African-Americans. It’ll be a long slog. But you’ve got to start somewhere, and one gets the sense that we might later look back at today as the start of something special.