The confirmation of Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense maybe the toughest vote Rand Paul will have taken so far as a U.S. Senator.
Paul has made no secret of his Presidential ambitions and in case there was any doubt his recent trip to Israel with several Christian Zionists in tow. He’s also been having private, unpublicized meeting with prominent neocons like Dan Senor. The reason for this is transparently political. Paul wants to, at the very least, reduce the intensity of opposition to him, such groups showed his father Ron Paul when he ran for President in 2008 and 2012.
But will Rand’s new friends influence the way he will ultimately vote on Hagel? Someone who his father probably would not have had trouble voting for if he was a Senator given the similarity of their foreign policy views and their views on the defense budget. Indeed, Rand himself has called for similar reductions in the Pentagon budget,
Some necons are calling this vote a “litmus test”. It will be interesting to see if Rand Paul feels the same way as far as 2016 is concern.