When Rand Paul woke up this morning the 24 hour news cycle was already spinning out of control. Had the darling of the TEA party movement REALLY said that he wanted to repeal the 1964 Civil Rights Act? Had he really said that Martin Luther King Jr. could be denied a seat at a lunch counter if he'd had his way. No.

He neither said those things nor did he believe them. But that didn't stop MSNBC from trying to improve its dismal ratings by helping to make such wild allegations go viral.

And go viral they did. By the time that CNN booked Rand Paul on the Wolf Blitzer show many of us who have been watching Paul's incredible rise in politics felt that his day of being ravaged by the press meant that Saturday in Frankfort might be a much more tense, and potentially much more lonely "Unity Rally" than the advance billing might suggest.

But then Rand went one on one in the Wolf's den. He not only survived, but more deftly than expected shooed away the shrill fears of detractors and supporters alike. You watch, and then decide for yourself.

Historians say that Ronald Reagan had a "Teflon" coating, that somehow, despite the vile and vicious attacks leveled against him that his manner had a calming effect on people.

Reagan was able to communicate great and complicated yet sometimes forgotten American principles to a new generation of voters who gathered in great numbers to give him landslide mandates.

Republicans will mostly agree that Reagan was able to restore our confidence and our national greatness after a period of malaise and to share his vision of liberty with millions of Americans for whom its light had seemed to be permanently shaded.

Rand Paul's experience today is reminiscent of the attacks on Ronald Reagan. And his appearance on CNN tonight was reminiscent of Reagan's calm, steady confidence.

No wonder those in power fear him.

Reagan may have enjoyed a coating of Teflon in the 80's. Rand Paul has the benefit of a 21st century Space Shuttle heat shield.

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