The junior U.S. Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, announced his 2016 presidential campaign run this morning. Sen. Paul, a favorite of many in the Tea Party, became the second Republican to declare a bid for the White House. ″I am running for president″, Paul stated in an ad on his website, adding a pledge to ″return our country to the principles of liberty and limited government.″ His website is already selling autographed copies of the Constituuuuuution as well as other fun items like Rand Paul beer steins. Paul brings with him an established following from his father, Ron Paul and many Libertarians and independents. His appeal to younger voters and others who typically do not cast ballots for Republicans is quite high.

In the latest Fox News poll, Rand Paul scores 9% while the front runner, Gov. Scott Walker, received 15%. With a margin for error of 3%, the poll shows that its anybody′s game. Between Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul, it, too, is a toss-up with Hillary at 47% and Paul at 45%, again with a 3% margin.

Rand Paul is popular but does bring a fair amount of baggage with him. His stands against the NSA and other agencies spying on Americans, being anti-interventionist, as well as Obama′s drone policies, earned him much support from outside of the GOP. His flip-flopping on some issues, like defense spending, does not sit well with many inside the Republican Party. One Political Action Committee is already geared up to spend a million dollars in attack ads against him.

With the first GOP presidential debates just 4 months away, Rand Paul has a good opportunity to make a splash. Say what you want about him, he is a very good speaker and can think on the fly. Certainly better than Obama can. The timing of his announcement was also good, just two weeks after Sen. Ted Cruz threw his hat in the ring and one week before Marco Rubio joins his fellow senators. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton′s supporters, Ready for Hillary, are having a fire sale on their website, discounting champagne glasses at 50% off. A sign that she may be declaring her candidacy very soon, or perhaps fear that she may wind up in jail before long?

But for now, the sun is shining bright in Kentucky as Sen. Rand Paul announces his 2016 presidential campaign. Is he your favorite to win the White House? Do you ′Stand with Rand′? Or do you think he′s a ′wacko-bird′? Just a younger version of his dad, Ron ′Doom′ Paul? If nothing else, today′s announcement is one more sign that the silly season of presidential politics is heating up.