NYT Interviewer Deborah Solomon Meets Right-Wing Pol Rand Paul, Hostility Ensues

Deborah Solomon once again making conservatives comfortable in her Times Magazine interviews: "You haven't even served in government for five minutes."

Displaying her usual hostility toward political figures on the right, interviewer Deborah Solomon raked Kentucky Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate Rand Paul (son of Ron) over the coals in her weekly Q&A feature in the Times Sunday Magazine, asking hostile questions she doesn't tend to pose toward liberal politicians, in an interview titled "Tea Time."

Here's a sample of her approach, with some of Solomon's hostile questions in bold, followed by Paul's answers:

Did you consider running for local office? Isn't it a big leap to go from being a 47-year-old ophthalmologist in Bowling Green, Ky., with no experience serving in government, to being a United States senator?

I tell people that my biggest attribute is having not held public office, which is a great attribute to possess. I think people are looking for regular citizens. I don't think it's a prerequisite that you be in office for 10 or 15 years.

What about five minutes? You haven't even served in government for five minutes.

I don't think it's necessarily a prerequisite. I've been active in politics for a group called Kentucky Taxpayers United for 15 to 20 years.

Solomon also raised the big issues of the day (seat belts?), and nagged Rand for suggesting they were trivial:

But in light of your distrust of the federal government, where are you on an issue like seat belts? Federal legislation requiring people to wear seat belts could obviously save lives.

I think the federal government shouldn't be involved. I don't want to live in a nanny state where people are telling me where I can go and what I can do.

You shouldn't trivialize issues of health and safety by calling them nanny issues.

The question is, do you want to live in a nanny state where the government tells you what you can eat, where you can smoke, where you can live, what you can do, or would you rather have some freedom, and freedom means that things aren't perfect?

Solomon went a little easier recently on the inexperience of a new Democratic candidate, Slate journalist Mickey Kaus, seeking to challenge Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer in California in the Democratic Senate primary.