On his website today, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul announced his intention to run for the Republican presidential nomination.
"Since riding the tea party wave into the Senate in 2010," CNN reported, "Paul has carefully built a brand of mainstream libertarianism -- dogged advocacy of civil liberties combined with an anti-interventionist foreign policy and general support for family values -- that he bets will create a coalition of younger voters and traditional Republicans to usher him into the White House."
Paul, 52, was an ophthalmologist before entering politics, and still performs pro-bono surgery for patients in Kentucky and elsewhere.
He is the son of former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, whose isolationist views on foreign policy make him a rarity in the GOP.
CNN reports that the younger Paul "has tried to make peace with national security Republicans, taking nuanced positions that try to shed an isolationist label while still showing his apprehension toward foreign intervention."
On domestic issues, Paul courted controversy by questioning aspects of the 1964 Civil Rights Act from a libertarian perspective, "especially provisions that place restrictions on private property."
On the other hand, Paul earned the ire of some libertarians when he endorsed "mainstream candidates who competed against libertarian opponents during last year's midterms."
After a formal announcement at a Louisville rally, Paul will embark on traditional early stops on the campaign trail, including New Hampshire and Iowa.