Here's your daily reminder that politicians are just like the rest of us: after skipping the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa for a "family commitment," photos of Rand Paul hanging out in the Hamptons emerged. As Jennifer Jacobs at The Des Moines Register reported, this has "raised some eyebrows in Iowa," especially the eyebrows of the president of Family Leader, Bob Vander Plaats.
"If you want to be at a fundraiser in the Hamptons with the rich and famous, you probably ought to tell people you want to be at a fundraiser in the Hamptons with the rich and famous," Vander Plaats told The Register. After the Saturday summit, reports of Paul attending a Hamptons fundraiser (for East Hampton Public Library, not himself) appeared in both Page Six and Bloomberg. A Paul aide told The Register and Vander Plaats that the family commitment was in New York, and the Hamptons trip was an additional event.
But given Paul's 2016 ambitions, he probably did want to attend the Family Leadership Summit. As Time noted, the summit is the "annual cattle-call for the state’s social conservative grassroots," and was attended by a who's who of Republicans who want to be president: Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Gov. Mike Huckabee. While we wouldn't fault Paul for using the "family" excuse, this weekend wouldn't have been the best time. After all, stumping in Iowa is more likely to help you win a presidential primary than hanging out with Alec Baldwin.