At first blush, Jason Horowitz's New York Times story about Rand Paul inviting Rupert Murdoch to the Kentucky Derby seems pretty light on substance, but it's actually a game of high-stakes political poker, with Paul's presidential ambitions in the balance:
On the paddock grass, the party admired the circling horses and Mr. Murdoch said there were “100 theories” about how to pick a winner. A trumpet sounded the 10-minute warning to post time and the crowd shuffled to the track. Mr. Paul seized the opportunity to tell Mr. Murdoch a little bit about himself, including that he had started out as an eye doctor in a town of 50,000 people.
“Oh,” said Mr. Murdoch, waving his hand without seeming impressed.
The often hawkish editorial page of Mr. Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal has been more full throated in its disappointment with Mr. Paul, suggesting that he was not serious about national security.
Rand Paul has already won over his dad's goon squad of internet tough-talkers, but winning the Republican establishment is going to be a much tougher job. I don't put it past him—I can easily see the Republican Party coalescing behind Paul in 2016, under the right conditions—but Murdoch and his ilk are going to be a hell of a lot harder to impress than a bunch of message-board-lurking baby-men.