Grayson offers political analysis of political discourse, Rand Paul and Ky. governor's race

03/16/2011 06:08 PM

Freshman U.S. Sen. Rand Paul hasn’t influenced policy inside the beltway quite yet, said Trey Grayson, director of the Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

Grayson, who lost to Paul in last May’s GOP primary for U.S. Senate, said Paul has chosen to raise his name recognition nationally while other Republican freshmen senators, such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, have kept a lower profile outside of the Capitol.

As a result of taking the route of trying to be a national figure, Paul could risk missing out on being at the negotiating table when many of the key spending and budget decisions are being made, Grayson said.

Grayson also weighed in on the Kentucky governor’s race and the general tone of political discourse on Tuesday during the first of the “Newsmakers” series put on by Legacy, a group of Northern Kentucky young professionals. (The series featuring political speakers has been sponsored by Insight Communications, the parent company of cn|2 and Pure Politics).

Grayson is the former Secretary of State who left Kentucky in January to take the helm of the Institute of Politics.

Here are some video highlights from the forum with Grayson:

On Rand Paul’s job performance so far:

On the risk of Paul taking the national figure approach:

On potential for a civil debate over spending on major programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, national defense and Social Security:

On the effect the current debate over the state’s Medicaid budget might have on the GOP primary for governor:

On the what constitutes going over the line in modern political discourse:

In addition to running the Institute of Politics, Grayson is on the board of the new National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona. It was established after the shooting in Tuscon that killed six people and wounded Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Giffords emailed Grayson — colleagues in a 2005 fellowship — after Grayson was announced as the new Institute of Politics director on Jan. 7, which was the evening before the shootings. You can read about the message on

Grayson talked about that and his goal of focusing on civility in politics during his opening remarks of Tuesday night’s forum.

The Northern Kentucky Enquirer’s Amanda Van Benschoten also reported on Tuesday night’s forum.

- Ryan Alessi


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