Watch Rand Paul’s Stirring Limerick About Coal (Video)

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 4 2014 12:50 PM

Watch Rand Paul’s Stirring Limerick About Coal

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Knows how to talk about coal

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Kentucky's "Fancy Farm" picnic is the greatest political tradition that I can never remember to get to. (It's tough to run the company's credit card for an event that's going to be taped and available online forever.) Politicians mingle; politicians give brutal roasts of each other, as a crowd whoops in approval. It's the closest that American politics gets to a Comedy Central special—for now. The lede from this year's event seems to be that Alison Lundergan Grimes, the 35-year-old Democrat running against Sen. Mitch McConnell, performed well enough and furthered her reputation as an underrated bruiser. (How much do Republicans wish that Ashley Judd had gotten into the race instead? All of that trolling, all to get a stronger opponent who will make McConnell spend his money down the stretch.)

But the best speech probably came from Sen. Rand Paul. I spent part of Saturday at an event with his father, former Rep. Ron Paul, and I'm at a loss to think of another political family whose second generation is so much more adept than the first. Paul even managed to keep the audience amused with a limerick that featured rhyming so tortured that Torquemada would have banned it.

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A sample:

To liberals, she whispers "coal makes you sick"
In Kentucky, she claims "coal makes us tick"
To the liberals, she sells her soul
The same ones who hate Kentucky coal

What's great about this? The chutzpah. Seven years ago, when campaigning for his father, Paul called coal "a very dirty form of energy" and "one of our least favorable forms of energy." And now, right before setting off on a political tour of ethanol country,* he's got the biggest applause line about the greatness of coal, the need to restore Kentucky's coal industry.

*Iowa

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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