Rand Paul at a campaign stop in Waterloo, Iowa for his father, ahead of the Ames Straw Poll.
The first rule of dodging ultra-religious, ultra-conservative voters is that you can't let them find out you're dodging them:
An Iowa evangelical Christian leader stood on stage and told the 1,200 conservatives in the audience and the dozens of reporters that U.S. Sen. Rand Paul had told him he couldn't be at the event Saturday because of a "family commitment."

Then the New York Post's "Page Six" published the news that Paul was in the Hamptons on Saturday with Alec Baldwin. Paul was "among the intellectual elite" at a fundraiser for a library in East Hampton that Baldwin co-sponsored, the column says.

Hey, Paul never said the commitment with was his family. And Alec Baldwin seems like the sort of guy who'd be related to Rand Paul, right? Still, some people are a bit miffed:
"From my perspective, there are always choices to be made of where do you want to be and what message do you want to send," [Bob Vander Plaats] said. "If you want to be at a fundraiser in the Hamptons with the rich and famous, you probably ought to tell people you want to be at a fundraiser in the Hamptons with the rich and famous."
In his defense, Paul's campaign is saying that no, there really was a family commitment, the fundraiser with Alec Baldwin was just an extra event that they added on to break the dull monotony of hanging around each other.

Still, there might be something to be read into Rand Paul's decision to bow out of a personal appearance at the Family Leadership Summit while still making time for tooling around in the Hamptons. If you're trying to build a reputation as a moderate and sensible person, dodging Bob Vander Plaats is a necessity.

Originally posted to Hunter on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 10:04 AM PDT.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos and Daily Kos.

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