I had an opportunity to catch up with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) at the White House Correspondents Dinner
Amid the throngs of celebrities and politicians and media elites that frequent the annual gala, Paul stood apart, cutting himself from the herd of dinner jackets and gowns and plastic smiles and decorated talking heads, willing to tackle the grim numbers that have come to assemble the American economic vacuum - a sum colored in red ink and in ignorance and in sad neglect and a sum that has been described openly and with admirable candor by his father, Libertarian-leaning Republican presidential contender Ron Paul
We spoke of his father, and I shared my affinity for the elder Paul, conjuring, with a tone that I suspect the senator has experienced often, my deep respect for the endurance and for the straight talk of his father, a presidential candidate of immense cerebral stature - a position and a man that is oddly indigestible to most Republican primary voters. Paul and I agreed that his father's brand of Libertarianism was just beyond the grasp of the general electorate: a fierce adherence to the U.S. Constitution
, a necessary roll-back of American militarism and the over-stretched and under-appreciated American empire, an open understanding of the modern American social landscape that operates in stark contrast to the 9th century embodiment found in the Social Conservative base dogging the current Republican Party.
The senator offered me a natural and unrehearsed warmth and appeared to enjoy the topic of his father as I had introduced it to him, coated, as I leveled it, in respect and in the deepest agreement. He asked me about my profession and how long I had been employed in this manner, and I gave him the answers and shared with him the concerns found in the narrative of the American economy. And we talked numbers and figures and prospects and positions.
And the rest of the dinner guests hummed in the buzz of the well-dressed and the elated and the thrum of the inebriated.