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Rand Paul for president? Why else is he in Iowa? (+video)

US Sen. Rand Paul is making a splash in Iowa this weekend, and he'll soon visit New Hampshire and South Carolina. Can the libertarian-tinged maverick Republican successfully run for president?

Why is Sen. Rand Paul in Iowa?
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He hasn’t announced it as such, but Sen. Rand Paul is taking major steps to launch a 2016 presidential bid.

This weekend he’s in Iowa, to be followed by trips to New Hampshire and South Carolina – early and important states in the Republican race to choose a nominee.

Like his father before him – retired US Rep. Ron Paul (R) of Texas, who ran for the White House three times – Sen. Paul of Kentucky leans libertarian, which raises two important questions about his future:

Can he generate the enthusiastic, loyal following his father did over the years – mostly younger idealists geared to flood the primary/caucus season?

And will more traditional Republicans – however you want to define a “traditional” GOP these days – come to accept his position on things like immigration, gay marriage, and national security?

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