Matt Towery

On the other hand, conservatives or Republicans who think Paul's support of a pathway to citizenship or at least residency for undocumented immigrants is somehow off-base should think again. The position is not only realistic, but it reflects the views of the GOP's most beloved leader, Ronald Reagan, and it has earned kudos from national leaders of the tea party movement.

Oh, sure, there is plenty of fodder for those who want to place Rand Paul and his past comments under the microscope. Particularly troubling are comments made several years ago with respect to the Civil Rights Act and his belief that portions of it impose requirements and law that should have instead been dealt with through the marketplace and free enterprise. But even on this rather sticky point, Paul's heart seems in the right place -- abhorring racism and declaring that he would have marched with Dr. King had he been old enough to do so.

Oh, yes, the man is a riddle and an enigma. And those past statements certainly will give the media a field day should he seek the presidency.

But one must ask why that should be the case. It seems that comments aimed at sharing wealth, explaining why he smoked pot, if he knew of the racist sermons by his pastor or just about anything in Barack Obama's past before he became president received little attention by reporters and columnists.

I'll admit Paul would be a long shot in any effort to capture the GOP nomination, much less the presidency. The Republican Establishment would beat him to a bloody pulp, and if he survived, the Democrats and media would take their turn.

But Paul seems to be just savvy, gutsy and flat courageous enough to perhaps withstand it all. Reagan had to live down some pretty goofy past statements and a few out-of-step prior positions before he rolled over everyone in his way and won the presidency.

Or maybe I'm just critiquing Washington's newest political dish and flavor of the month.

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a pollster, attorney, businessman and former elected official. He served as campaign strategist for Congressional, Senate, and gubernatorial campaigns. His latest book is Newsvesting: Use News and Opinion to Grow Your Personal Wealth. Follow him on Twitter @MattTowery