Where Did Rand Paul Go? (2)

Last week we pondered the disappearance of Rand Paul. Once again, Power Line was on top of the curve. Today, Politico has a long feature on Paul’s “downward spiral.”

Interviews with more than a dozen sources close to the Kentucky senator, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity, painted a picture of an underfunded and understaffed campaign beaten down by low morale.

They described an operation that pitted a cerebral chief strategist against an intense campaign manager who once got into a physical altercation with the candidate’s bodyguard. And they portrayed an undisciplined politician who wasn’t willing to do what it took to win — a man who obsessed over trivial matters like flight times, peppered aides with demands for more time off from campaigning, and once chose to go on a spring-break jaunt rather than woo a powerful donor. . .

Those tasked with crafting Paul’s schedule say the process is like playing a game of three-dimensional chess. Rather than letting his campaign team determine his travel schedule, as is customary for busy presidential candidates, Paul often demands sign-off on minute details, going so far as to request detailed lists of possible flight schedules and routes. Paul — who has complained that running for president is “not really a lot of fun” — can be prone to asking for time off the campaign trail, and can be prickly about the most mundane of commitments. Shortly before attending an event in Monterey, California, last month, he griped about having to do a photo-line with supporters even though it had been on his schedule for weeks.

I’ve expected this would happen eventually, as Paul represents the core defects of the libertarian disposition toward actual political life, which is a lot messier than seminars about the glory of the spontaneous order. People who disdain the relentless small things necessary to succeed in national politics, like doing photo lines, won’t make it very far. It’s too bad, as Paul does have some good things to offer the GOP field.

P.S. By the way, Rand, being president isn’t a lot of fun much of the time either.