In an announcement that surprised no one, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told reporters Wednesday morning that he is “considering” throwing his hat in the ring for the 2016 presidential race.
During a breakfast put on by “The Christian Science Monitor,” the freshman finally confessed that a presidential campaign wasn’t out of the question.
“I want to be part of the national debate. Whether I run or not, being considered is something that allows me to have, I think, a larger microphone,” Paul said during the breakfast.
“We’re considering it. We won’t make a decision before 2014,” he added.
The Kentucky Senator has long been the expected to follow in the footsteps of his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Paul the elder ran for president three times before retiring from public office last year (once as a Libertarian in 1988, and twice as a Republican in 2008 and 2012). Unlike his father, whose candidacy was never taken seriously by establishment Republicans, Rand Paul is considered one of the Republican frontrunners, along with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and 2012 vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Paul solidified his popularity within the party and established himself as force to be reckoned with last month after he filibustered the constitutionality of Obama’s drone policy for 13 hours. The following week he won the Conservative Political Action Conference’s 2013 straw poll.
Only time will tell if his popularity will hold out through 2016, but given the passion of his father’s supporters, the excitement over a Rand Paul candidacy is unlikely to fade.