- The Washington Times - Monday, March 30, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky will announce his official Republican presidential nomination bid in April at sites that highlight youth, national defense and his “keep government out off my back” philosophy.

He will start his five “Stand with Rand” announcement rallies in his home state then he and his top campaign aides will fly in a chartered aircraft, with no press aboard, to the only four states that are scheduled to hold their presidential preference nomination contests in February.

The grand kickoff will come at noon on Tuesday, April 7, in the grand ballroom of the Galt House Hotel in Louisville. Another noon speech is on tap the next day, this time in a historic building in Milford, New Hampshire. It exudes plenty of limited-government symbolism, from it’s setting in a small New England town about 45 minutes drive-time from Manchester to its direct democracy tradition as a town hall.

From there Mr. Paul flies to the Charleston suburb of Mt. Pleasant to orate on Thursday, April 9 aboard the U.S.S. Yorktown in South Carolina. Here Mr. Paul’s campaign aides expect the military-defense symbolism to be as big as the Essex-class World War II aircraft carrier.

The next day he will be in Iowa City, at the University of Iowa Student Union for yet another address but this time to, yes, students – the youth vote he has been cultivating for nearly three years with appearances on college campuses, including historically African-American venues.

His advance team chose this site over Iowa State University in Ames because of availability at the time.

Mr. Paul winds up his hat-in-the-ring tour by hoping to throw a seven in Las Vegas on Saturday, April 11.

His aides were still weighing the relative merits of several available several sites in Nevada’s gambling-entertainment capital.

Mr. Paul’s wife, Kelly, will be with him at the Louisville opener and may join him at other stops on the five-day, five-state launch.

Except for 2012, only candidates who’ve won either Iowa and New Hampshire plus South Carolina have gone on to win the GOP nomination in the “modern” era.

• Ralph Z. Hallow can be reached at rhallow@gmail.com.

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