Rand Paul’s trip to Israel in January left at least one lasting impression on him: a wild night at a yeshiva.
“I went to a Shabbat,” Rand Paul (R-KY) recounted to the National Review, adding “it was the first time I’ve ever done that, and I had a wonderful time. I went to the yeshiva, and all the young men were singing and dancing, they had me dancing around the table. I hope I was singing something that was fine – it was all in Hebrew, so I had no idea what I was singing.”
Paul’s January trip was ostensibly to “learn more about the Middle East,” but many took it as a sign that he was clearly cultivating ties among Jewish and Evangelical leaders whose support would be essential in a GOP primary battle.
Paul told the National Review observers shouldn’t look too much into the trip – “When you get to Washington, everyone asks you, ‘When do you want to go to Israel?’” – but acknowledges that he needs to strike out on his own, given his father Rand’s well-known foreign-policy views: “I guess I don’t look at it in really a calculated way. I am my own person and as I move forward I have to and want to present to the public . . . in my state and elsewhere, who I am and what I stand for, but it’s not so much that I want to say ‘Oh, I’m different on this, this, and this,’ it’s really getting beyond the comparison just to being who I am.”