Rand Paul Aides Meet To Plot Possible Presidential Campaign

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Rand Paul’s closest political advisers gathered with the senator at a Washington, D.C. hotel on Wednesday to plot the year ahead for the Kentucky Republican, who is mulling whether to run for president in 2016.

“Although a decision on a presidential run won’t occur until the spring, Senator Paul made clear he will be running for re-election to the U.S. Senate,” one attendee said.

Paul participated in most of the meetings, the person said, including a group dinner on Wednesday evening. Most of the day was spent talking about fundraising, grassroots engagement, communications and outreach.

The summit was led by Doug Stafford, Paul’s top political aide and executive director, who discussed with the aides what RandPAC has done over the last year. He also outlined a roadmap for the next year.

It’s widely assumed the libertarian-leaning Republican will decide to run for president. He has repeatedly said, though, that the decision is up to his wife, Kelley.

Paul routinely leads national presidential preference polls of likely Republican candidates for president.

The Real Clear Politics polling average has him leading at 11.8 percent, ahead of Jeb Bush’s 11.6 percent, Mike Huckabee’s 11.3 percent, Chris Christie’s 10.6 percent, Paul Ryan’s 10 percent, Rick Perry’s 7.8 percent, Marco Rubio’s 7 percent, Ted Cruz’s 6.6 percent, Scott Walker’s 4.4 percent, Santorum’s 3 percent and Bobby Jindal’s 2.8 percent.

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Alex Pappas