Sen. Rand Paul top dog at CPAC

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) pauses in his remarks as guests applaud at the Conservative Political...

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) pauses in his remarks as guests applaud at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Maryland, March 7, 2014. (REUTERS/Mike Theiler)

Jessica Murphy, Senior Washington Correspondent

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

WASHINGTON — If there can be such a thing as a rock star at a wonky political convention, then Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is that rock star.

The diminutive freshman senator comes with a big personality and a libertarian message — one that, if you go by the sea of 'Stand with Rand' buttons, T-shirts and stickers worn by delegates, is building a wave of support.

The Conservative Political Action Conference — a three-day annual conference billed as the biggest gathering of American conservatives — is a cattle-call for Republican hopefuls with an eye on the White House.

Other rising Grand Old Party stars such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio got warm receptions.

Veterans of presidential campaigns now weighing another run — Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee — were welcomed with open arms.

But Paul filled the conference hall to standing-room only.


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