2014 50 Most Beautiful

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
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Sen. Rand Paul says he’s pretty used to return trips to the armoire.

A typical scenario for the Kentucky Republican includes having his longtime spouse, Kelley, request he take a repeat stab at putting together a fashion-forward outfit. “Typically, I come out in things, [and] I’m made to re-dress on occasion at home,” says the lawmaker. 


“Unconventional and or uncoordinated,” Paul says of his style. When asked to describe his fashion sense, he exclaims, “It’d probably be a lack thereof, is what my wife would probably tell you.”

The dad to three sons doesn’t need an assist in at least one task though: barbecuing. “Anything that’s on the grill is in my bailiwick,” he explains. While flank steaks and chicken are up his flame-broiled alley, anything requiring oven mitts is strictly off-limits. Paul notes, “I don’t fix anything fancy, pastries or anything.” There’s a hard-and-fast rule to remember what the junior senator is willing to whip up: “If it’s outside, I cook it. If it’s inside, I don’t,” he deadpans.

Outside is where you’re likely to find the potential 2016 candidate breaking a sweat too — usually doing laps in his Endless Pool (sort of like “swimming on a treadmill,” he says,) golfing, picking up sticks to make a bonfire with his kids or tending to his lawn at home. “I have to have time to mow my grass on the weekends. You’ll see me mowing if you come in my neighborhood,” he says. When he’s in Washington, he’ll often hop on the treadmill or go for a run to the Lincoln Memorial.

All that calorie burning is sure to come in handy when Paul can’t avoid a post-Capitol pretzel binge. “The worst thing I probably do is I go home, eat some chips, or eat some snacks. I’m not the best after work. If I would just avoid that, I’d probably be better off.”

He’s not often spotted wearing any specs, but the 51-year-old ophthalmologist does use glasses for reading. But don’t get him started on fellow baby boomers who claim a life free of eyewear. “There’s almost nobody above 50 who can read without [glasses,]” he says, “The people who can, they brag constantly, ‘Oooh, look at me! I can read without glasses.’ They typically don’t even know it, but they have a little bit of myopia in one eye.”

Although he has performed Lasik eye surgeries, Paul says the procedure is primarily for improving distance vision, which isn’t an issue for him. So he’s sticking with glasses. “I have achieved enough birthdays that I need them for reading now,” he says before adding in his typical dry sense of humor, “Only if I want to see things, I have to have them.”

— Judy Kurtz