Hoping to fall back on Plan B should his presidential aspirations fizzle, US Senator Rand Paul is seeking legislation that would allow him to run for reelection and for president simultaneously.
According to the Washington Times, Paul (R-Ky.) has asked Kentucky Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer to look into proposals that would ensure he can run for both offices at the same time.
“Yes, I am working on clarifying an ambiguous state law that Rand Paul believes is unconstitutional if it is interpreted to bar running for re-election to the Senate and for president at the same time,” Thayer said to the Times on Monday. “The purpose of the bill will be to make clear that Rand Paul or anyone in a similar situation in Kentucky can run for both offices in the same year.”
Paul has been floated as a possible Republican presidential candidate since the end of the 2012 election, and this news suggests the senator continues to explore the possibility of running. He has yet to commit himself to the idea, though just a few months ago he acknowledged he was “seriously thinking about it.”
"The thought has crossed my mind,” Paul said on “Fox News Sunday" in December. “I am seriously thinking about it, but I'm also very serious about family considerations … I'll just keep doing the things I want to do and, I think, what the people of Kentucky elected me to do. I just am not ready to make a decision yet.”
A law permitting Paul to run for two seats at the same time wouldn’t be completely out of the ordinary. As noted by the Times, politicians in multiple states have done so before, including current Vice President Joe Biden, who was a Democratic senator from Delaware before being elected alongside President Barack Obama.
Still, there’s no guarantee such a proposal would actually pass with support from Democrats, who control the state House of Representatives. State House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D) has reportedly said he would not allow such a measure to pass.
As for Paul, the first-term senator has made a name for himself since he first arrived on Capitol Hill as a Tea Party and libertarian favorite. A social and economic conservative, Paul as diverted from traditional Republican positions on defense and civil liberties, where he has criticized the use of drones overseas and the National Security Agency’s bulk surveillance program.