2014's fast food atrocities
Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.
There is every reason to believe that Rand Paul will win Tuesday’s Republican Senate primary in Kentucky. And, given the state’s conservative leanings and the political climate of 2010, there’s every reason to believe he’ll go on to win the November election, no matter which candidate Democrats nominate.
It’s only after November that the suspense will begin, on two fronts.
The first involves ceremony: Would a miffed Sen.-elect Paul, who has been actively opposed in the GOP primary by Mitch McConnell, defy the Senate tradition that calls for incoming senators to be accompanied at their swearing-in by their state’s other senator? There would be some precedent for this: After winning an upset victory in 1990, Paul Wellstone refused to be escorted by Minnesota’s other senator, Dave Durenberger, instead asking former Vice President (and Minnesota Senator) Walter Mondale to do the honors. Might Paul snub McConnell in favor of, say, outgoing Sen. Jim Bunning (who has backed Paul)?
The real suspense, though, could involve the 2012 presidential race, and a simple question: Will Rand run?
Yes, on the surface this is a silly idea. The 47-year-old Paul has no previous experience in government or politics and will, in ’12, have been a senator for just two years. Plus, given the realities of modern presidential politicking, he’d essentially need to begin campaigning a few months into his freshman term.
But when you look closer, it starts to make sense, for two basic reasons: 1) The political atmosphere has never been more favorable for Ron Paul’s brand of libertarianism; and 2) Ron Paul himself will be 77 years old in 2012. In other words, the old man may not feel like spending another two years of his life running around the country, but with a son in the Senate, he’d have someone to pass the torch to.
In 2008, Ron Paul managed to mount a surprisingly credible campaign, raising astounding sums of money and nabbing around 10 percent in Iowa and New Hampshire. He never seriously threatened to win the nomination, though, and finished with only a handful of delegates, despite staying in the race until the bitter end.
This was all in the, pre-Wall Street collapse, pre-TARP, pre-President Obama Republican Party. In the last two years, Ron Paul’s message has found wider resonance in the GOP, fueled by deep grass-roots anger at Washington and Wall Street — enough that he was able to win February’s CPAC straw poll.
This is still probably not enough to bring the elder Paul very close to the GOP nomination. Simply put, he’s still too much of an oddball, and his non-interventionist foreign policy makes him flatly unacceptable to the formidable neoconservative wing of the GOP. This is why there was widespread booing at the CPAC convention when his victory was announced.
But Rand Paul, as Salon’s Ben van Heuvelen pointed out last week, is a far more capable politician than his father. He’s a natural speaker who knows how to connect with crowds, and he’s shrewdly insulated himself from neoconservative attacks. As Ben observed, he’s pulled off a remarkable feat in Kentucky: uniting his father’s libertarian army with Rush Limbaugh’s Dittoheads in a coalition that the party establishment has been powerless to stop. If he could even begin to replicate that Kentucky formula on the national stage, Rand Paul would be far more formidable than Ron Paul ever was or ever could be.
And 2012 may be the best shot that Rand Paul ever gets. With all that’s happened in the past few years, there will probably never be this much room in the GOP for an authentically libertarian candidate. Don’t look for Rand Paul to even acknowledge this between now and November. That’s no way to run for an open Senate seat. But after November? Don’t be surprised if he does.
Steve Kornacki writes about politics for Salon. Reach him by email at SKornacki@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @SteveKornackiMore Steve Kornacki.
Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.
KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.
Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.
Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.
Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.
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When the Republican incumbent, the cantankerous Jim Bunning, announced he wouldn't run for re-election, GOP leaders were, if anything, relieved. The party establishment quickly
rallied around Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson for the open seat, but he has struggled mightily in the polls against Rand Paul, son of erstwhile presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). The primary will take place on May 18th, the same day that Kentucky Democrats pick their candidate.