Eyeglass-doctor-turned-Kentucky-senator Rand Paul faces a massive learning curve in a complicated arena where compromise and strategy is the name of the game, note the Christian Science Monitor. Paul is perhaps the Tea Party's most fervent idealog of any of last night's victors. He doesn't have much of a chance of passing the most extreme views he has hinted at. But the question is, can he get anything accomplished? "There's a huge question of what governing looks like if Tea Party folks get elected to the Senate, where each individual can tie the Senate into knots by themselves," says University of Wisconsin political science Professor Charles Franklin.
Paul has vowed to launch a Tea Party caucus to "send a message" to "the world's most deliberative body." Sen. Jim DeMint, who won reelection as a Tea Party favorite in South Carolina, said he'd join the caucus, but added: "I don't want to spend the next six years saying no." Tea Party winners will likely end up splitting along pragmatist vs. extremist lines, notes the newspaper. The battle for the soul of the Tea Party, and Paul's role in it, will now be fought in Washington. "Many still mistake the tea party as one large group, sharing common interests, which our research shows is incorrect," warned a Cato Institute author.