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Off to the races: More Rand Paul than George W. Bush?

Jonathan Martin on social conservatives fighting back: “The preferred plot line for many in the GOP establishment for revitalizing their party goes something like this: They move to a more libertarian stance on key social issues — particularly same-sex marriage — and the Bible-thumping, evangelical wing of the party meekly complies, realizing times have changed. One problem with that scenario, however: The Christian Right, while a diminished force, doesn’t like how that story ends at all.”

Just saying, but doesn’t this sound a whole lot more like Rand Paul’s party than George Bush’s?

“Republican strategist Ed Gillespie said Sunday he ‘wouldn't have any problem’ with a Republican Party platform in 2016 that calls for traditional marriage,” Politico says. “Appearing on ‘Fox News Sunday’ the former senior adviser to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign said, ‘I don't ever think you'd ever see the Republican Party platform say 'we're in favor' of same-sex marriage.’”

Hillary Clinton’s slated to give her first speech April 24th at the National Multi Housing Council in Dallas. CNN notes: “Her husband, former president Bill Clinton, has earned at least $89 million in speech-related income since leaving office.”

The Sunday New York Times: “Hillary Clinton left the State Department nearly two months ago, but she still needs a staff to keep up with the considerable business of being Hillary Clinton. A half-dozen people now work for the former secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate in a tiny corporate space on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, in what is called her “transition office.”

“Transition to what, Mrs. Clinton and her aides have not yet said. But the question hovers over her every move and has frozen in place the very early — but for some potential candidates, very important — presidential maneuvering on the Democratic side.”

In the Las Cruces Sun-News, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R) touts a jobs package that has received bipartisan support in the state. “The New Mexico Jobs Package cuts the business tax rate from 7.6 percent to 5.9 percent. The 7.6 percent rate is the highest in the region and at 5.9 percent, New Mexico will be more in line with neighboring states. This will help attract new job-creating businesses to our state and help existing businesses grow. The new reforms will also spur manufacturing by ending the practice of penalizing New Mexico manufacturers for exporting their goods to other states or countries. New Mexico leads the nation in export growth, and this tax reform will help build upon our success by encouraging existing manufacturers to expand while attracting new employers to our state.”

IOWA: “Two civil rights groups have sued Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz to halt a new state rule allowing people to be removed from voter registration lists if their citizenship is questioned,” the AP writes.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Mark Sanford is seen as the favorite Tuesday in the Republican run-off for SC-1. And this goes a long way in explaining why: Said one woman in the district, per AP: "I believe he has come full circle," she said. "I believe he has found peace with God. If God forgives, I forgive, and we should go forward and put this man back in office."

Sanford may be benefiting from a changed district, as a professor at the Citadel told The State. “Dropping Horry and Georgetown, it has made this district much more Libertarian-leaning, much more fiscally conservative to the point that social issues aren’t nearly as important to the average Republican voter,” said Scott Buchanan, a political science professor at The Citadel in Charleston. “I don’t think it’s necessarily making it friendly for Democrats, but making it more friendly for those who run a fiscally conservative platform. People more willing to give you a pass on the social issues.”

The State profiles Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D), who would be waiting for Sanford in a general election if he wins. The paper says no Democrat has held this congressional seat in more than three decades, since 1980. She’s one of 11 children; her father was a doctor at the Medical University of South Carolina, but he died in a plane crash when she was 19. Busch is divorced from a man who was later arrested in Florida and featured on “America’s Most Wanted” as a “scam artist.”

Busch’s job: She was “director of sales and marketing for Orient Overseas Container Line and, more recently, as director of business development at Clemson University’s Restoration Institute.”