Of course Paul received some praise from the left and from members of the Daily Kos community. Well remember when last week I wrote how you shouldn't applaud Rand Paul's filibuster? I wrote about why you shouldn't here:Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joined fellow Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster of John Brennan's nomination for CIA director, praising Paul for his "tenacity" and "conviction."
As Paul's filibuster, which began on Wednesday morning, neared the 12 hour mark, McConnell made an appearance on the Senate floor to voice his support for his colleague's efforts.
"I think it's entirely appropriate that the senator from Kentucky engage in an extended debate with the support of his colleagues," McConnell said.
McConnell added that he would oppose Brennan's nomination if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) invoked cloture to end the filibuster. - Huffington Post, 3/6/13
Then Jed Lewison justified my distrust for Paul's filibuster:
Well look who else is fundraising off of Paul's filibuster:
Yep, Paul's filibuster was also a ploy to help McConnell out with getting the Tea Party base behind McConnell so he wouldn't have to face a Tea Party primary challenger in his 2014 re-election bidSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) joined Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster about 12 hours into the marathon, 13-hour speech. Now he’s using the speech as an opportunity to raise funds for his own reelection.
In an e-mail, McConnell asks his supporters to sign a petition declaring, “I stand WITH Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell. They are shining examples of Republican leadership.”
He says he wants his fellow Kentucky Republican to be “overwhelmed with support and thanks for the battles he is fighting.” He also warns that ”President Obama has put a huge target on my back and will no doubt soon start eyeing Rand as well.”
Along with the petition, the e-mail encourages readers to donate to or volunteer for McConnell’s reelection campaign. - Washington Post, 3/11/13
With McConnell's lousy approval numbers back in Kentucky, especially among Republican voters, he is going to need all the help he can get. The Tea Party may have found their ideal candidate to challenge McConnell but he has some skeletons in his closet:It was a masterful coordination that put the Obama administration's drone policy in the national spotlight, and put Senate Democrats on their heels.
But what Team Mitch was apparently unaware of was Paul's intention to actually perform a "talking" filibuster rather a "cloture." The reaction amongst McConnell surrogates has been a mix of admiration ("he's savvy") and apprehension ("it was shrewd").
"Of course Sen. Paul did not tell our team about his plans for a talking filibuster," Benton told WFPL. "He could not. Rand's plan relied on total surprise or else (Senate Democratic Leader) Harry Reid would never have allowed him to take control of the floor."
Much has been written about the level of cooperation between Paul and McConnell as tension between their respective bases in the GOP remains.
Paul is a relatively new rising star and heir to a liberty movement that has been re-incarnated under the Tea Party mantle in recent years. McConnell is a 30-year "creature of Washington" who over time has adapted to the changing political winds and mastered the levers of the Senate.
The two are a contrast, but have coordinated when necessary. - WFPL News 89.3, 3/11/13
But even if McConnell survives the primary, he'll may still have to face her:Matt Bevin, who may challenge Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), is distancing himself from improper activities that took place at an investment company where he worked a decade ago.
Bevin, a New Hampshire native, was virtually unknown in Kentucky political circles until a few weeks ago when he began reaching out to Tea Party leaders to explore a race against McConnell in the 2014 Republican primary.
Some of the initial reviews of Bevin among conservative activists have been positive, but as they begin to dig into his record Bevin will have to address his role at a company that was penalized hundreds of millions of dollars for its role in a market-timing scheme from 2001 to 2003.
If Bevin pulls the trigger, he will face a bruising race against McConnell, who has stockpiled $7 million in his campaign war chest. McConnell has a history of making races about his opponent. He first won election to Congress by highlighting then-Democratic Sen. Dee Huddleston’s spotty attendance record. - The Hill, 3/11/13
Hopefully we'll be hearing more about that soon.It’s official—almost.
Actress Ashley Judd, who has reportedly been exploring a Senate run since last December, will announce her candidacy in the spring, MSNBC’s Howard Fineman reported Sunday. Her candidacy would pit her against Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell.
The 44-year-old star of “Double Jeopardy” also has a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University and has been a women’s rights activist for years. She had met with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to talk about women running for office more than a year ago, Fineman reported.
In a statement to The Huffington Post, Judd denied that she was planning on making announcements any time soon.
“I am not sure who is saying this stuff, but it is not I!” Judd said to the website. “I’d prefer as a fan of your journalism that you stay accurate and credible. We told everyone who called us yesterday these stories are fabrications.” - MSNBC, 3/11/13