The possibility of Rand Paul running for President in 2016 has been mooted ever since he won his senate spot. From hope, to speculation, to an item of faith, his name has been present in the calculations.
His request to be on the ballot in Kentucky twice and its approval seems to seal the deal:
The Courier-Journal reports that Kentucky Senate committee voted Wednesday to allow Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to place his name on the 2016 ballot twice, once for his reelection as a senator and once for president of the United States.
Paul made the request because Kentucky’s state law states that he would have to leave the Senate if he wanted his name on the Kentucky GOP presidential primary ballot. The Senate State & Local Government Committee voted 8-2, with the two nay votes being Democrats.
Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer said there would likely be a floor vote on the issue next week. GOP supporters said that the U.S. Constitution does not allow states to decide who can run in federal elections.
The original bill, written by Thayer, stated that anyone running for federal office could appear twice on a state ballot, but during the committee’s meeting, he changed the wording so that only a presidential or vice-presidential candidate could take advantage of the opportunity. Thayer noted that Sen. Morgan McGarvey, a Democrat from Louisville, voted for the bill; Thayer said, “It gives me a bipartisan bill.” …
One of the concerns about his standing for the top job has been the risk of losing his presence in politics, were he to lose in the race. This move goes close to ensuring he continues as a senator in that case.
Although popular, he is far from a shoe-in owing to disunity within the Republicans, some of whom can be expected to throw a hissy fit and stay home if their preferred nominee fails to get up.
There is also the problem of his being a one-term senator. Recent experience of the disastrous results from the last time a such a person was elected will still be front and centre during the election and may put people off voting for him.