By Aaron Blake
August 28 at 11:42 AM
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is really good at making news, and he did it again Wednesday night with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that, in part, attacked Hillary Clinton for being too hawkish on Syria.
A few things here:
1) The use of the i-word -- "interventionist" -- is what struck us most. This is a pretty clear indication that Paul intends to run in 2016, especially in a potential matchup with Clinton, on a more actively dovish foreign policy platform. It's also a pretty clear effort to differentiate her approach from his, which is often labeled "non-interventionist."
"Interventionist" is also used in the title of the column, and it doesn't strike us as having particularly positive connotations. Indeed, we're not aware of too many foreign policy hawks who use that word to describe themselves.
This might seem much ado about nothing, given that Paul is known to be less hawkish. He has also been critical of Rick Perry and Chris Christie on that count. But Paul has also long toed the line between the kind of non-interventionism championed by his father, Ron Paul, and a more middle-ground approach to foreign policy. And straying too far down the non-interventionist road risks folks invoking another i-word: "isolationism." It's a constant balancing act for Paul.