Rand Paul has a problem he cant seem to hook a billionaire donor. Most of the other GOP presidential candidates have one, but according to an article in Politico Friday, rand doesn’t seem to have one. So far every single one of the campaign Santas are giving the Kentucky Senator nothing but a lump of coal in his fundraising stocking.
It’s led to considerable frustration in his campaign, which, amid rising concerns that it will not be able to compete financially, finds itself leaning heavily on the network of small donors who powered his father’s insurgent White House bids.
It hasn’t been for lack of trying. In recent months, Paul has sought to woo a string of powerful Republican megadonors — from Silicon Valley executives to a Kentucky coal mogul to the billionaire Koch brothers — who, it was believed, would be philosophically aligned with his free-market views. In each case, he met disappointment.
He is even being ignored by some of his father’s sugar-daddys:
At the top of the list was Peter Thiel, the eccentric Northern California venture capitalist who funneled $2.6 million to Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. But Thiel is being far less generous this time around, leaving Paul’s crestfallen advisers with the distinct impression that he won’t give them a dime. They’ve been left guessing as to why. One speculated that Thiel, who didn’t respond to requests for comment, was unhappy with the rollout of Paul’s policy platform. Another surmised he was skeptical of Paul’s 2016 prospects or that he’d become tired of political giving and would sit out 2016 entirely.
There was Sean Parker, the flashy Napster co-founder who was portrayed by Justin Timberlake in the hit 2010 movie “The Social Network.” But Parker, who has known Paul for several years and has met with him to discuss 2016, isn’t expected to endorse Paul — or any Republican candidate, for that matter. Those familiar with Parker’s thinking say he’s most likely to provide financial support to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
There was Larry Ellison, the former Oracle CEO known for his penchant for megayachts. In October, Ellison hosted a Silicon Valley fundraiser for Senate Republicans that Paul attended — an event that led to speculation that Ellison, whose net worth is said to hover around $54 billion, would get behind the Kentucky Republican. But he’s instead thrown his support to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and will host a fundraiser for him on June 9.
Rubio, Bush, Cruz, heck even Rick Santorum has a billionaire backer and he only has about 14 potential voters in the entire country.
The lack of money man is one of the reasons Paul is fighting the patriot act so hard. He is hoping to replace a sugar-daddy with hundreds of thousands of small donations and he is hoping his fight against the patriot act will inspire those donation–and who knows he just might.
Paul’s inability to hook a big donor has little to do with his message, its his target. Along with campaigning against Clinton and Obama, Rand Paul is targeting other Republicans. The big money donors have their favorite candidates, but in the end if their person loses they still want a Republican in the White House. Rand Paul’s overt attacks on other Republicans make it harder to achieve that goal.