It's never too early in the world of politics for presidential election speculation. One name often thrown out by Republicans as a potential 2016 contender is Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Political insiders have prognosticated that libertarian icon and retiring Rep. Ron Paul had recently toned down his fiery criticism of the Republican Party as part of an attempt to smooth the path for his son to run for President as a serious Republican Party candidate in 2016. If that was his plan though, it went completely out the window yesterday after the Congressman went into a lengthy attack on the Republican Party establishment, all but calling state party leaders liars and cheats.
But four years can heal a lot of wounds, and Rand Paul has become popular with conservatives and tea partiers in his own right, focusing on more relatable issues than his father, such as the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) unlawful and overly aggressive airport searches.
Would the Ron Paul Revolution get behind Rand Paul if he ran, though?
During the last legs of the 2012 GOP primary Paul supporters didn't seem convinced, yet, that Rand Paul was the rightful heir to his father's mass movement of young libertarians.
However, at a tribute to Ron Paul's legacy Sunday after in Tampa, Ron Paul supporters made it known that Rand was their guy.
Just before Rand's speech, the crowd began chanting in unison"Paul 16."
Rand would certainly be a leading candidate in 2016 should Mitt Romney lose the 2012 election, but Rand would have stiff competition from a slate of equally qualified candidates, including Romney running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ).