Is Rand Paul's wife ready for his possible 2016 White House bid?

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and his wife Kelley Ashby attend the Time 100 Gala at Lincoln Center on April 23, 2013 in New York. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul's wife Kelley was once thought to be among the few things standing between the Kentucky Republican and a bid for the presidency, but she may be changing her tune.

Paul was asked by Bowling Green, Kentucky radio station WKYU whether she's opposed to her husband running for president. "I wouldn't say that," she replied. "I would say though that we just have a lot more talking to do about the subject."


In an interview with Vogue Magazine last year, Kelley worried about the "character assassination" that comes along with a presidential bid. "When I think of the tens of millions of dollars in opposition research that they'd be aiming right at us and our family--that's what it's about," she said.

And in the interview with WKYU, she again said her foremost concern is the stress a run would place on her family.

"It's something that you don't go into lightly. Being in the public eye is hard on a family and a marriage," she said. "It's not a typical job where you just go to work and do your job, there are huge demands on your time and, obviously, there are going to be a lot of people attacking you...and that's part of it, that's part of politics, but it's on such a high scale when you're running for president."

"I'm really proud of Rand, I think he's doing an amazing job, so I'd love for him to be able to expand that but we still have a few hurdles to cross before we actually pull the trigger on it," she said.

As for how her husband is feeling about his potential run, Kelley Paul said it "depends on the day."

"He's really trying to do his job and make a difference right now and," she said. "We don't talk about it that much to tell you the truth."

Paul was formerly a Republican consultant, but before she stepped down from her firm last year, one of her clients was Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who staged a successful insurgent bid for the Senate in 2010, taking on his own state's lieutenant governor in the primary.

Cruz, of course, is mulling a presidential bid of his own in 2016, and if he runs, he would be one of Paul's chief rivals for the affections of the conservative grassroots.

"Yes, that's interesting isn't it?" Kelly said of her relationship with Cruz, reflecting on the work she'd done with "the initial advertising campaign for Ted when he was running in the primary in Texas."

Polls currently reflect a competitive race for the GOP nomination in 2016, with Paul and several other candidates jockeying for the top spot. The Kentucky senator has been a mainstay this year in early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire, methodically building contacts and infrastructure. He's generally thought to have among the strongest political organizations of any GOP candidate at this early stage.

  • Jake Miller

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