Friday, May 23, 2014

“The Tea Party message is not a radical message. It’s not an extreme message... What is extreme is a $2 trillion deficit"

Rand Paul bets his future on redefining the political center - Washington Examiner

As Paul now looks toward a potential bid for president in 2016, he is still struggling to shake the notion, held by many powerful Republicans and average Americans, that he is outside the political mainstream. The word “transformative” is thrown around regularly by Paul's allies as they envision what shape his presidential bid could take: Paul doesn't have to change, the subtext reads; it is the Republican Party that must evolve and expand to accommodate his vision.

Indeed, Paul’s policies seem to cater to a yet-emerging idea of the American political center, which was outlined in great detail in an Esquire-NBC News survey last year. The poll was remarkable because, rather than relying on party identification to classify voters, it assigned them to one of eight groups of like-minded Americans across the political spectrum based on policy preferences, with four of the eight groups comprising the center.

The poll showed that most Americans identify most closely with Democrats on some important policy preferences, such as social issues, but simultaneously gravitate toward some Republican economic policies. They want the U.S. to be a strong international superpower, but largely disengaged. And yes, they support term limits.