"Um ... I'm here in Texas today to endorse Don Huffines," he said.And no, that lack of enthusiasm wasn't because Paul hadn't heard the question, because when Beck pressed for an answer, Paul continued:
"Uhh, because he asked me," Paul said. "He asked me when there was nobody else in the race. And I said yes."Well there you have it. Rand Paul says he's for Mitch McConnell because Mitch McConnell is better than nothing.
Paul's unenthusiastic answer is reminiscent of how his top political aide Jesse Benton explained his decision to manage McConnell's reelection campaign:
Between you an me, I'm sorta holdin' my nose for two years. What we're doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand in '16.And just as happened back then, Paul was forced to quickly clarify that he's actually super-duper excited to support McConnell:
"Mitch McConnell is an important ally and a conservative voice in Washington for the people of Kentucky," Paul said. "The commonwealth is stronger because of his service and I look forward to continuing to work with him."So Rand Paul is endorsing Mitch McConnell because he looks forward to continuing to work with McConnell. A bit tautological, perhaps, but compared to what he said earlier, that's sort of a ringing endorsement.
Of course, what this all really shows is that despite McConnell's tough talk about cracking down on the tea party, he's the weak one. Most people wouldn't take to kindly to having their campaign manager say he's "holding his nose" while working for you, or to have a senator of the same party from their home state give such a lackluster endorsement, but McConnell can't complain about it, because he needs them more than they need him.