Mission accomplished: Rand Paul draws raves during tour of deep-blue California

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — Sen. Rand Paul introduced himself to Silicon Valley’s richest technology giants, met with top-tier members of the Republican intellectual establishment, addressed 1,000 invited guests at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Sunday wound up a seven-day trip to California by winning warm reviews for his sermons at three evangelical church services.

Judging by comments from the people he met here, the freshman senator from Kentucky accomplished his goals of reassuring the skeptical and the curious but uncommitted that he would make an acceptable — some said “ideal” — presidential standard-bearer for the GOP in 2016.

Many had known Mr. Paul only as what the press called a “darling of the tea party” and a rigid libertarian like his father, former Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican.

After meeting the senator, however, they generally pronounced him to be a man of religious faith, constitutional commitment, traditional social views and practical foreign policy prescriptions — in effect, their kind of guy, many said afterward.

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