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The Story (and Meaning) Behind the Rand Paul Camera-Licker

If you can't beat 'em, lick 'em.
Values Voters Summit
Photographer: Mark Peterson/Redux

American Bridge’s roving New Hampshire tracker, whom the oppo group refers to only as “Justin,” is not one of the Rand Paul campaign’s favorite people. Since late 2014, when I started covering Paul’s visits to the first presidential primary state, I have seen the bearded tracker show up, silently march up to the press registration table at an event, and be turned away. 

I have seen him film a hotel dining room through the small glass section of a closed door. I have seen him ushered out with his gear into the snow outside of a hunting lodge, where he filmed through a closed windowpane. Every time, he has looked to be heartbreakingly close, yet forever removed, from the action. Anyone who has seen Beetlejuice, and recalls the dimension of exorcised spirits, will be able to conjure the image.