Though he has yet to make an announcement, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has been called a frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. While political analysts have noted that Paul has already laid significant groundwork for a 2016 bid, the Republican Senator has also said that he might not run if his family is not ready for the roller-coaster ride of negative publicity that comes with a campaign to win America’s highest executive office. Back in 2013, Rand Paul’s wife Kelley Paul told Vogue that she was not quite sure if her family was up for it and said of her reservations, “When I think of the tens of millions of dollars in opposition research that they’d be aiming right at us and our family—that’s what it’s about.” Paul has since repeated in interviews that he would need to get his wife’s support in order to confirm a possible run for the presidency.
Now, The Associated Press is reporting that Kelley Paul is making a six-stop trek across Kentucky this week to announce her intentions to launch a cross-country spring tour to promote her upcoming book “True and Constant Friends.” USA Today notes that Paul senior advisor Doug Stafford said that the Senator would make a final decision and announcement on his potential presidential aspirations this spring. According to WKMS, Kelley Paul stated in an interview with WKU Public Radio that she has been working on her book for two years and that its timing has nothing to do with her husband’s rumored 2016 bid.
“True and Constant Friends” is reportedly set to feature the stories of six inspiring women she met while studying at Rhodes College, but Kelley Paul denies that the book is an effort to connect with female voters. She told The Associated Press, “I believe there’s incredible power in friendship, especially that between women.” Kelley Paul said that her grandmother, who left conditions of poverty in Ireland for the promise of opportunity in the United States, inspired her to write the book.
Politically speaking, Kelley Paul has been called Rand Paul’s “secret weapon.” The Associated Press credited the Senator’s wife with helping him win his 2010 Senate race, particularly when she launched a press conference to blast back at Jack Conway’s allegations that Rand Paul was a worshiper of a fictitious deity called Aqua Buddah. Former Kentucky GOP chairman John McCarthy called her a “tremendous asset” and complimented her confidence and poise.
At a speech in Russellville, KY this week, Kelley Paul said of her husband’s presidential aspirations, “Obviously, he’s laying a lot of the groundwork and doing a lot of the things to make it possible for him to seek the nomination. But we haven’t finally made that decision yet.” She told WKU Public Radio, “As the months go by, I keep thinking something will happen that will make us either decide to do it or not do it. It’s hard to pull the trigger on something like this.”
However, she also told The Associated Press that she is ready for the national attention that will come with her nationwide book tour this Spring. Said Kelley Paul, “I guess I am as prepared as you can be… I’ll try to maintain my sense of humor and optimism and just be brave.”