Saturday, January 10, 2015

Book tour puts Rand Paul's 'secret' weapon on national stage

By ERIK SCHELZIG and STEVE PEOPLESJanuary 9, 2015 3:23 AM

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Kelley Paul, wife of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks about her upcoming book in her home town of Russellville, …

RUSSELLVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Once described as her husband's secret weapon, Kelley Paul won't be a secret much longer.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's wife of 24 years is stepping onto the national stage as part of a book tour launching at roughly the same time her husband is expected to enter the 2016 presidential race. It's a big step for the mother of three who has long played a significant behind-the-scenes role in Paul's political operation, but soon will be thrust into a far more public role on the political world's brightest stage.

Rand Paul has made much of his wife being a hard sell on a presidential bid, yet Kelley Paul hinted Thursday that she's ready for the pressures of a national campaign and its impact on her family.

"I guess I am as prepared as you can be," she said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I'll try to maintain my sense of humor and optimism and just be brave."

Should Rand Paul join the crowded 2016 Republican field later this spring, as widely expected, Kelley Paul will join the ranks of prospective first ladies who help define their husband's political brands. It's a high-profile role that is challenging at best, yet those who know the family suggest that she would adapt well to the next step in her husband's career.

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