The New Republic's latest cover depicts the stoic image of Senator Rand Paul staring straight ahead with one small odd feature; the Kentucky senator's middle and index fingers on his left hand are crossed. Underneath the header "The Real Rand Paul" reads the subhead "Can’t be trusted."
And so the question must be posed to the cover's viewer: Is Rand Paul crossing his fingers because he's hoping to be the next President of the United States or is he crossing his fingers because he "can’t be trusted?" The magazine openly (and unfairly) suggests the latter.
As many lefties might rightfully worry, the "wacko bird" has a pretty robust base of support for a potential 2016 presidential campaign. It shouldn't be a surprise that the New Republic is launching the left-wing smear campaign against the quasi-GOP presidential hopeful by subtly depicting him as untrustworthy.
The magazine, which is owned and edited by former Obama campaign online guru Chris Hughes, seemed to know the image might stir up some controversy, given that it also released an interview with the photographer, Platon. The article referenced by the cover contains a long story about Rand Paul including his upbringing, rise to power, and future potential. Despite the political overtones and general skepticism behind Paul's advocacy of liberty, the article is a fascinating read.
According to the New Republic’s senior editor, Noam Scheiber, Platon did not ask Paul to cross his fingers. Regardless, choosing to use this photograph along with the words "can't be trusted" was deceitful. The magazine decided to use this specific image to suggest something that Paul was not implying with his body language. From an optimist's viewpoint, at least the New Republic has ousted itself as a left-wing publication despite its claims of covering issues from an "unbiased and thought-provoking perspective," according to its website
Platon, who has established himself as a strong portrait artist, had the audacity to remark about the photo shoot that "Senator Paul was probably convinced that any serious portrait photographer is not really going to be a member of the Tea Party movement." Clearly, because how could a right-wing photographer ever make it that far without getting canned?
Either way, they picked one hell of guy to toy with. Maybe they are afraid that Paul will threaten Obama's chance at a third term (I’m kidding) or maybe the Hillary Clinton / Michelle Obama 2016 super-ticket. Paul has got the left freaked out, so the smear campaigns begin.
I can see why the left is terrified. Mix the GOP, the Tea Party, and Ron Paul fans and you've got a ferocious group. Oh, yeah, and don't forget the numerous scandals facing the Democrats due to the Obama administration. Certainly, Rand Paul has a chance at a 2016 presidency.
Regardless, I'd be interested to hear the full story behind the crossed fingers. Fortunately for Paul, attention has been given to the senator because of this.
How does that saying go? “No press is bad press,” or something?
Full cover below: