Rand Paul Endorses Susan Collins For Re-Election

In a move that is sure to bewilder his supporters as much as his endorsement of Mitch McConnell over Tea Pary favorite Matt Bevin, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has endorsed Maine’s Susan Collins for re-election:

Q: You’re going to join U.S. Sen. Susan Collins for a state party fundraiser today.She’s defended National Security Agency spying programs you oppose, and she’s also running against a Democrat, Shenna Bellows, who comes pretty close tosharing your views on that and other privacy issues. Do you support her, despite disagreement on many of those issues?

A: I wholeheartedly endorse Senator Collins for re-election. I think she’s doing a great job for Maine and for the country. … I don’t really know, exactly, what her position is on the NSA; you’d have to ask her about that.

I just know my position, but I think we’re a big political party. There’s room for not-entire agreement on every issue.

The NSA isn’t the only issue on which Collins and Paul likely disagree, so it might seem odd for Paul to step in to endorse her. However, it’s worth noting that Collins has no opposition in the GOP Primary, so it’s not as if Paul is endorsing her over a Tea Party candidate like he did in his home state with Mitch McConnell. So, this is really a General Election endorsement. In that sense, you can see this as another example of Paul trying to reach out to other parts of the GOP other than just the Tea Party/libertarian wing that he comes out of. If he is going to run for President in 2016, this is the kind of thing he’d need to do.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Ron Beasley says:

    Rand Paul is certainly trying very hard to look sane.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    Two possible explanations:

    (1) Maybe this is a sign, a symbol, if you will, of the possibility that the Ted Cruz wing of the Republican Party has run it’s course?

    Or … (2) Maybe it’s a sign that guys like Rand Paul want to be sure that the 2014 mid-terms go as they hope and fervently desire, and once ensconced as a majority party in Senate they’ll get back to the idiocy.

    I’m going with (2).

  3. CSK says:

    This will have the Tea Party incoherent with rage. And to think he was their darling back in 2010.

  4. dazedandconfused says:

    A working theory on Rand is he is sane, just a victim of home-schooling and ideological indoctrination.

    In a certain way his absolute confidence in that ideology has been helpful. Being comically unaware that his programming is simplistic (at best) and should not be taken literally but having have absolute confidence of the opposite results in stepping very hard on a whole lotta very instructive rakes. Being absolutely confident he should be President of the United States has made most of these lessons painfully public, and what instructs better than pain?

    He’s like a newly-hatched chick, observing the real world for the first time. It will be a long, slow, and awkward process. Like holding-a-filibuster-against-drones-being-used-on-Americans-and-saying-it- would-be-OK-to-use-them-on-Americans-a-week-later kind of awkward, but he means well. He really does.