When Rand Paul began charting his presidential run, the Ray-Ban-wearing senator and heir apparent to a libertarian legacy rebranded himself to suit more mainstream Republican tastes.
He rejected his famous father’s isolationist foreign policy, voted for more military spending and even campaigned in front of an aircraft carrier. He invited a Christian broadcasting network into his home and spoke against gay marriage, famously pronouncing himself “libertarian-ish.”
But it turned out that Rand Paul 2.0 had a glitch: Appeal was limited.
After flatlining in the polls and lagging rivals in fundraising, Paul’s campaign heeded a market lesson repeatedly...