If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say About Rand Paul, Just Call Him Interesting

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BOWLING GREEN, KY - OCTOBER 12: "On the Road with Senator Rand Paul". Senator Rand Paul attends a BBQ event at the Donnelly Barn in Bowling Green, Kentucky on October 12th, 2014. (Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)
Senator Rand Paul stands next to the most interesting sweater vest in America. Photo: Charles Ommanney/Getty Images

According to The New Oxford American Dictionary, “interesting” is an adjective that means something is “arousing curiosity or interest; holding or catching the attention.” However, the word can often mean the opposite. If you’re forced to have an opinion on something and have nothing nice to say, calling it interesting will do in a pinch. Urban Dictionary defines “interesting” as “Something which arouses no interest at all. Used to politely avoid admitting this, which indirectly expresses your indifference.”

Given the number of times pundits, reporters, and fellow politicians have called Senator Rand Paul interesting in the past five years — yes, this started way before Time magazine’s cover of “Interesting Man Rand Paul” last fall — without explaining why their curiosity was aroused, you have to wonder if Rand Paul has been called “the most interesting man in politics” so many times because no one has figured what else to say about the guy. 

Not that Paul seems to mind. He released a video yesterday previewing his expected 2016 announcement on Tuesday that mentions he is interesting before noting anything else about his character or policy ideas.

We can only hope that after he is an official candidate, we will learn other things about Paul besides the fact that we should be excited to one day learn things about him.

Below, explore the findings of our second investigation into the words we unfailingly use to describe 2016 candidates, in an effort to retire the adjectives from our electoral word bank forever. 

Washington Post
“Rand Paul is the most interesting politician in the country at the moment.”

Ross Douthat
“It is fair to say, I think, that Rand Paul is one of the most interesting major contenders for the Republican nomination in 2016, and by extension for the presidency.”

Dan Pfeiffer
“The Republican I find most interesting is Rand Paul.”

Politico
“Paul [is] a libertarian conservative often described as the most interesting figure in the Republican Party at the moment …”

Rupert Murdoch
“He’s a very interesting man.”

Jonah Goldberg
“Rand Paul is the most interesting contender for the Republican nomination. And when I say interesting, I mean that in the broadest sense.”

Reason
“The Most Interesting Man in the Senate.”

Eugene Robinson
“Yes, Rand Paul is the most interesting politician I think in the Republican Party, and that’s including Ted Cruz, who`s pretty interesting in and of himself.”

Bill Maher
“Rand Paul is an interesting candidate to me. Rand Paul could possibly get my vote.”

Joy Reid
“But he is the most interesting candidate out there.”

CNN
“‘State of the Union’ political panelists Newt Gingrich, Neera Tanden, and Susan Page agree Paul is one of the most interesting among the potential 2016 presidential candidates.”

Mother Jones
“The Most Interesting Conspiracy Theorist in Washington.”

Time magazine
“The Most Interesting Man in Politics.”

Politico Magazine
THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN POLITICS.”

Ruth Marcus
“Rand Paul at least has a theory about how to fix the crust. He’s operating the most interesting test kitchen in town.”

Steve Kornacki
“But the most interesting speaker all week may have been another 2016 prospect, Rand Paul.”

Pat Buchanan
“But Rand Paul, John, is the most interesting candidate in this race, because he is the pristine example of what’s happening in America.”

The Guardian
“That kind of strategic tap dance is what could make him the most interesting Republican to watch.”

Michael Gerson
“And he is one of the most consistently interesting candidates in the field.”

Republican strategist John Feehery 
“He reminds me of that man in the beer commercial — He is the most interesting man in politics.”

Rand Paul’s publisher
“Now considered a major presidential contender, he’s being called the most interesting Republican because he doesn’t strictly follow the establishment.”

David Adams, former Rand Paul campaign chair 
“He’s still the same guy. It’s only how he’s viewed that has changed. He’s gone from somebody viewed as an oddity to somebody who’s interesting.”

Barack Obama
“Rand’s an interesting guy.”

Rand Paul Is Interesting, Said Everyone