FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
After more than a year of protests, rallies, speeches and a national convention... the Tea Party movement has taken its first big step toward political relevancy.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/20/art.rand.paul.jpg caption=" Rand Paul "]
Dr. Rand Paul pulled off a stunning landslide victory this week in Kentucky's Republican senate primaries. Paul, an eye doctor with no political experience, defeated the more well-known candidate - Kentucky's Secretary of State who had the backing of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. What an embarrassment for McConnell.
Even before his victory - Paul was one of the leading voices of the Tea Party movement - known for its anti-big government, anti-tax, anti-establishment positions. Paul comes by his credentials honestly - his dad is Texas congressman and onetime GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul. And some of his ideas are pretty darn good. They include requiring Congress to balance the budget and limiting senators to 12 years in office.
The Democrats were quick to react to Paul's victory - saying he represents "the most extreme elements" of the Republican party. Paul's response? He says Democrats should "bring it on"... and is promising the Tea Party is here to quote "take our government back."
But, now that he's got everyone's attention... Paul is under intense scrutiny for some of the stuff he's said.. like having to explain his recent criticism of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
But whatever questions there are - Rand Paul may one day be known as the person who put the Tea Party on the map. And with nearly one-third of Americans considering themselves Tea Party supporters, they could become a political force to reckon with.
Here’s my question to you: What does Rand Paul's victory in Kentucky mean for the future of the Tea Party?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Given the fact that the lord of Kentucky politics, Mitch McConnell, endorsed his opponent, maybe he should start looking over his shoulder also. The outside edge of the Republican Party is flexing its muscle.
Unless he beats the Democratic nominee in the general election, the only thing it means is the Republican Party is in a state of disarray.
B. in Hamilton, Ohio writes:
I like Rand, but I don't like the Tea Party movement. Not that I'm not in favor of limited government. Certainly I am. I just don't think the Tea Party movement was in favor of limited government until Obama took office.
Now the tea party has a candidate, they are going to have to answer specific questions about their vague, apple pie rhetoric. Thus far Rand isn't doing so well.
Kris in Sparks, Nevada writes:
Rand Paul comes from good roots. He is the type of leadership that the Tea Party is looking for. Paul's win shows Congress that the Tea Party is being heard and agreed with among voters.
Jack, I'm really not sure if it means anything other than the incumbents are being bounced out finally. We the people are fed up with it all. In a few weeks, Iowa will do the same but it doesn't mean it's going to be a Tea Party take-over. Some of these Tea Party members are postal. Only time will tell what their future will be.
We desperately need 99 more Rand Pauls in the Senate, especially after seeing our so-called representatives give Calderon one standing ovation after another... It's time to rescue our country from those idiots in Washington!
Jim in El Paso, Texas writes:
Rand Paul is a Palin in pants. He's goofier than his Dad!