Hot off of a big weekend event with his father in Louisville Rand Paul followed that boost in the press with the announced endorsement of Sarah Palin. Ahead in the polls, raising money in surprising amounts, Paul headed into February looking like he was about to once and for all cast off any doubts about the legitimacy of his candidacy.
But in an instant, it seems, he has become besieged with criticisms. First, many of the TEA party organizers bristled at a national interview Paul gave in which he reportedly claimed to be that groups candidate. One organizer of that movement very forcefully denounced Paul's claims and dismissed him from consideration for her vote.
Then Governor Palin's endorsement brought both her, and Paul under fire. ABC News caught wind of Bill Kristol's concerns over Rand Paul's stance on various issues and put some heat on Sarah. Alan Keyes who has endorsed long shot candidate Bill Johnson in the race, said that Palin's endorsement confirms that she's pro-choice.
While the Grayson camp has been quiet, they've gotten their message out through surrogates telling voters that Paul favors legalizing marijuana, favors closing Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility and favors releasing detainees back to the battlefields in Afghanistan.
Paul is now on the defensive. And even though several days have gone by since the author of a book on Mitch McConnell, journalist John David Dyche, published a list of questions for Rand Paul to answer, so far they have not addressed these things directly, or fully, thus leaving an open wound in their campaign which has the very real potential to bleed away support.
Then today Joe Arnold, who has been writing very favorable accounts of Paul's success, as have I and many others, got Paul's campaign manager, David Adams to confirm that Paul was "not welcome" in republican rich Pulaski county for its annual Lincoln dinner this past weekend. As it turns out, Paul had made some comments about how Congressmen behave which didn't sit too well with Hal Rogers, whose popularity in the 5th District makes his support virtually indispensable to anyone looking to win a GOP primary there.
This recent report by Joe puts Rand Paul at odds with any Kentucky congressman who might think Paul was talking about him when he railed against incumbent Congressmen who he described as "people (who) trade their votes to get pork barrel projects for their district.".
While Paul may very well have echoed a national sentiment brewing within the TEA party movement, Paul's words may have picked a fight with elected officials who generally enjoy high favorables in their own districts.
Paul recently appeared on CNN and said that he doesn't need Kentucky's GOP establishment to win which might explain why he seems to be comfortable taking on Kentucky's entire Congressional delegation in this way.
His confidence in this strategy of winning without the support of the "GOP establishment" fits perfectly into his self proclaimed "outsider" status and why he has been cultivating a connection with those who openly express discontent with the status quo. Yet when it comes to examining those with whom he does stand, some in the new media have raised questions about that as well.
One blogger seems to have more than just opinions about Paul, he has gone to the trouble to link to Paul's own website, his appearances on Youtube and the radio to make the case that many of Paul's ideas might be out of step with the party whose nomination he seeks.
Debbie Schlussel, blogger, columnist and radio talk show host has joined the chorus of opinion writers who have started calling Rand Paul by unflattering names, questioning his policy positions and in particular his loyalty to our ally, Israel.
While the likelihood that Grayson will ever take this approach is next to nil, the way things look he won't have to. While quietly sitting back and waiting patiently he is allowing an entire universe of bad press to rain down on Rand Paul, much of it unanswered.
Rand Paul has had an phenomenal run in the media. He has had the midas touch when it comes to attracting attention. But, as they say, live by the press, die by the press. If you jump up and down shouting "look at me, look at me" when you are doing what you want people to see, don't be surprised if the media delights in tearing you to shreds when the opportunity lands in their laps. It's part of playing in the big leagues.
There's time to fix these problems but it appears that Rand Paul's campaign has started out this week looking a little frayed around the edges.
Repairs are needed quickly before the whole thing starts to come unraveled.