Though not as forward as his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, Senator Rand Paul has carved out a reputation all his own. He surged into the United States Senate several years ago riding the Tea Party wave with a boost from his father’s libertarian base. In the years since, he has sought to accommodate the Republican establishment and ease his way into the party mainstream.
It has been with mixed results. But one end result is in establishing his own commanding presence that Republicans across ideological divides listen to.
The trend among partisan politics in America politics shows parties cowering when their own party abuses power while sounding the alarm when the other side does it. The recently re-elected Kentucky Senator has signaled he will not be backing down, even with a Republican in control of the White House.
The Secretary of State debate has been one that Senator Paul has been vocal about. He has previously slammed two possible picks, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and former United Nations ambassador John Bolton. His issue with them was their unrepentant support of the Iraq War, a Republican-led conflict that destabilized the region and made the terrorist threat worse for America.
Now Senator Paul is aiming his criticism at another name being considered and speaking out against his colleagues who support that candidate, David Patraeus.
Patraeus had a career in military and intelligence, serving for almost forty years in the United States Army and later becoming Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Given his credentials in both fields, he was widely respected by many.
Everything changed when Patraeus would have an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, with whom he would be sharing classified information. After the affair was exposed and investigated, it was uncovered that Broadwell had classified information on her laptop and in her home.
After everything was said and done, he would plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information.
To a degree, everything feels to a degree too close to Hillary Clinton’s ongoing e-mail saga and the accusations she mishandled classified information. Senator Paul noted that his own party should have difficulty supporting and confirming Patraeus with a straight face, given how they’ve long reacted to the former Democratic presidential nominee’s actions.
Is it truly hypocritical for Republican critics of Hillary Clinton to support David Patraeus?
It may or may not be, but there are certainly parallels. This is Senator Rand Paul’s point. While the circumstances are different, both Patraeus and Hillary Clinton have been found to mishandle classified information. The only difference between the two is that one got caught and faced the law while another escaped it.
Even this point aside, there are more qualified and better suited individuals who can be a capable Secretary of State. Why distract from the job and Administration with unnecessary drama and controversy?
America can do better than Clinton for President and did. Now when it comes to Secretary of State and representing our nation abroad, America can do better than David Patraeus.