Speaking truth to power was how you courted Kentucky.
2/3/16 Editor's Note: Sen. Paul announced the suspension (aka end) of his presidential campaign this morning.
Below is the editorial we wrote back on February 23, 2015. He finally heard us.
Dear Senator Paul,
We liked you enough to elect you to the most august body on the planet. You came on to us a like a rookie boxer punching out a truth to power on both sides of the aisle. We heard you at your first Fancy Farm speech. You took Democrats and Republicans to task. Somebody needed to do it - take on the establishment and you were the Man. We cheered you on.
We turned our backs on your opponents and believed in you.
Then you went to the Senate. The first days were glorious. You were making a name for yourself. Independent. Thoughtful. You belonged to no man.
You admitted to liking Sen. Al Franken, a liberal's liberal and he admitted to liking you. You came back to Frankfort and championed restoration of voting rights. You filibustered on the Senate floor defying the military industrial complex and its love of drone warfare.
Stand with Rand was a proud moment for us Kentuckians.
Somewhere along the line, something changed. Being one of a hundred of the most powerful people on the planet wasn't enough for you.
Kentucky is like a first wife left behind for more attractive younger women; you have abandoned us for Iowa and New Hampshire. Working on our relationship doesn't seem to be your day job any more.
Was that always your plan? Is that all we were - a bus ticket out?
We know we're a little frumpy, a little country, a little needy.
We don't have as much money and not near the electoral votes that others do.
Even our primary works against us - making you decide between us and them.
We are the antithesis of political sophistication.
But, here's the thing, Dear Senator - frumpy, country, needy Kentucky wants you back.
Are you sure that Iowa and New Hampshire will love you as we do?
We doubt it. They're prom queens and all the boys are after them. You are just one suitor among many.
Unlike those others, you are all we've got.
We've already got a senator gone national. We have no expectation that he will do anything for us here back home. He has his heart's desire. He doesn't need us.
We need for you to stop leaning right, left or center. Please don't lean at all. Look at us and see us for what we are.
We need you to see us as the third world country that we are within this United States. Yes. There is great wealth. Yes. There are great cities. But there's suffering out in the countryside.
We need you to acknowledge that Kentucky children in poverty living on food stamps and back pack lunches from charity groups, going to inadequate schools, going without adequate day care, aren't poor because there aren't enough tax breaks. They aren't poor because they want to be.
We need more than an assurance from you that those who flourish will take care of those who don't. You are not a stupid person. You have to know in your heart that doesn't happen.
Capital gains relief won't help Fulton or Hyden. It won't bring jobs to West Louisville or get the road fixed in Greenup County. It won't bring doctors to the mountains or dentists to the Purchase.
If you need some counseling on how to get back what we've lost - walk over to the other side of the Capitol, sit down with Hal Rogers and listen to him. He loves his part of Kentucky. He's working with Steve Beshear, a Democrat, to bring good things home.
You can do it too.
Come home, Rand. We miss the guy we married in 2010.