A quick look at potential 2016 presidential hopeful Rand Paul

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A quick look at potential 2016 presidential hopeful Rand Paul
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul speaks during the Iowa Republican Party's Lincoln Dinner, Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., signs an autograph for a supporter after speaking at Arizona State University Friday, May 8, 2015, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. departs in an elevator after speaking at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2015, calling for the 28 classified pages of the 9-11 report to be declassified. Paul has been voicing his dissent in the Senate against a House bill backed by the president that would end the National Security Agency's collection of American calling records while preserving other surveillance authorities. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. smiles before speaking at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2015, to call for the 28 classified pages of the 9-11 report to be declassified. Paul has been voicing his dissent in the Senate against a House bill backed by the president that would end the National Security Agency's collection of American calling records while preserving other surveillance authorities. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Republican Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at a rally Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Republican Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., sits in the audience prior to testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 15, 2015, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine the need to reform asset forfeiture. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., takes questions during a meet and greet at the Epoch Restaurant in Exeter, N.H., Saturday, March 21, 2015. Paul is traveling through New Hampshire this weekend, hosting several events with local leaders, business owners and activists. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., listens to a question at the Epoch Restaurant in Exeter, N.H., Saturday, March 21, 2015. Paul is traveling through New Hampshire this weekend, hosting several events with local leaders, business owners and activists. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)
In this March 21, 2015 file photo, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. participates in a meet and greet at the Epoch Restaurant in Exeter, N.H. Few states have shaped presidential politics like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. By hosting the nation’s first presidential primary contests, the states have reaped political and financial rewards for decades on successful candidates and hastened the end for underachievers. Yet their clout may be declining in 2016. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, File)
FILE - In this March 20, 2015, file photo, Sen., Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks in Manchester, N.H. Ready to enter the Republican chase for the party’s presidential nomination this week, the first-term Kentucky senator has designs on changing how Republicans go about getting elected to the White House and how they govern once there. Paul will do so with an approach to politics that is often downbeat and usually dour, which just might work in a nation deeply frustrated with Washington. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)
Sen., Rand Paul, R-Ky. shakes hands with Darryl Miedico during a visit to Dyn, an internet performance company, Friday, March 20, 2015, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
FILE - In this March 7, 2013 file photo, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Republican Party’s search for a way back to presidential success in 2016 is drawing a striking array of personalities and policy options. It’s shaping up as a wide-open self-reassessment by the GOP. Some factions are trying to tug the party left or right. Others argue over pragmatism versus defiance. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, and wife Kelley Ashby Paul arrive at the 2014 TIME 100 Gala held at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at the Maine Republican Convention, Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Bangor, Maine. Paul said the Republican Party must become a bigger coalition that's accepting of diverse ideas to win national elections. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul rubs the head of his 11-year-old son Robert after filling out his ballot in Bowling Green, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2013 file photo, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. The debate about whether to continue the dragnet surveillance of Americans’ phone records is highlighting divisions within the Democratic and Republican parties that could transform the politics of national security. While some leading Democrats have been reluctant to condemn the National Security Agency’s tactics, the GOP has begun to embrace a libertarian shift opposing the spy agency’s broad surveillance powers _ a striking departure from the aggressive national security policies that have defined the Republican Party for generations. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks at the Iowa Faith & Freedom 15th Annual Spring Kick Off, in Waukee, Iowa, Saturday, April 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Republican Presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at a rally at the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Thursday, April 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., center, is seen through a window as he speaks to supporters during a reception hosted by Liberty Iowa, Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, at the Jasper Winery in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. listens he is introduced to speak by Iowa Republican congressional candidate Rod Blum, left, during a meeting with local Republicans, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, in Hiawatha, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., visits the Peppermill restaurant Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, in Las Vegas. Paul is a possible Republican presidential candidate. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul waves as he walks on state to speak at the Americans for Prosperity gathering Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, in Dallas. Paul and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are bashing what they call the president's lack of leadership in response to the violent militant group attacking cities in Iraq. Both are among four top Republicans considering 2016 White House bids addressing the conservative summit in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A look at preparations by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., for a potential 2016 presidential campaign:

Nondenial denial: Says he will decide after the 2014 elections whether to run. "We're definitely talking about it; my family is talking about it. I truly won't make my mind up until after the 2014 elections. But I haven't been shy in saying we're thinking about it." - Fox News, March 9.

Write a book: Yes. But may need something less flame-throwing than 2012's "Government Bullies: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused and Imprisoned by the Feds," and something less dated and more broadly pitched than 2011's "The Tea Party Goes to Washington."

Iowa visits: Yes, three times in 2013. In March, snagged the state GOP chairman, who announced he was quitting to join Paul as an adviser.

New Hampshire: Yes, April events included Freedom Summit speech. Won straw poll at March meeting of Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua. Several visits last year.

South Carolina: Yes, foreign policy speech at The Citadel military college and small GOP fundraiser in Charleston in November 2013 visit; headlined several fundraisers earlier last year.

Foreign travel: Yes. Visited Israel, Jordan in 2013, met Palestinian Authority as well as Israeli leaders, said in speech in Israel that U.S. should trim aid to Israel gradually. Member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Meet the money: Yes, headlined luncheon in April at Boston-area equity firm led by Mitt Romney's former national finance chairman and Romney's oldest son, Tagg, an event that drew together the 2012 presidential candidate's inner circle. Also attended Romney's 2013 Utah retreat with big GOP donors, golfed with some there. Met potential donors in New York City and California. Raised money for Nevada GOP at Las Vegas event in July. Has met donors and supporters in Texas, which his father represented in Congress.

Networking: Yes, and now roaming freely beyond tea party tent. Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell used Paul's testimonials in primary campaign that beat back a tea party challenger. Paul had private audience in April with Romney advisers from 2012 campaign, is helping Republicans across political spectrum, including moderate Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, and has pitched in with party leaders to heal divisions from last campaign. Had spring speeches at Harvard and University of California. Generated buzz and won symbolic straw poll at Conservative Political Action Conference in March.

Hog the TV: Yes, a fixture on the Sunday news shows, including one in April from New Hampshire. Also frequent guest on news networks, especially Fox.

Do something: One-man, nearly 13-hour Senate filibuster to protest drone policy made country take notice, and impressed civil-liberties advocates outside his tea party constituency.

Take a stand: Tea party plus, with a libertarian streak that places him to the left of rivals on some issues, to the right on others. Fiscal conservative, criticizes surveillance state, praised Supreme Court gay marriage ruling as one that avoids "culture war," aggressive in seeking repeal of the health law. In February, filed lawsuit against Obama and others in the administration over the bulk collection of Americans' phone records. Joining in 2014 with liberal lawmakers and others in effort to roll back some mandatory minimum sentences. Outreach to Democratic-leaning minorities. Told The New York Times in May that fellow Republicans should stop pushing state voter ID laws because the effort is alienating blacks.

Baggage: Dear old dad: Must move beyond fringe reputation that kept father's presidential runs from going far. Deflection: Full-speed ahead. Aggressively pressing libertarian principles, especially on anti-terrorism. Past positions: Expressed misgivings about how Civil Rights Act bans racial discrimination by private businesses. Deflection: Reaching out directly to black voters and insisting the party needs to broaden appeal to minorities. He needs to broaden his appeal, too, beyond his tea party roots. The Washington Times canceled his column after he was found to have used passages from other people in his speeches and writings as if they were his own. Deflection: Promising proper citations and footnotes for his pronouncements "if it will make people leave me the hell alone."

Shadow campaign: Has formidable leadership PAC called Rand PAC, has maintained ties to father's political network in early primary states and benefits from strong tea party support. Is starting to build teams on the ground in most states.

Social media: Aggressive. Bragged last year that he'd attracted more than 1 million likes for his Facebook page, where he lists his own books as his favorites. Countered Christie's couched criticism of his opposition to warrantless wiretapping with a tweet declaring that Christie "worries about the dangers of freedom. I worry about the danger of losing that freedom."

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