"If we know that every interaction with every voter is going to be filmed, it’ll mean that you have plastic candidates saying nothing," he said then. "No response, no nodding of the head, because you know everything will be filmed."
On Tuesday, his take appeared to have shifted. Our colleague Ben Terris spent his day watching Paul's livestream: Paul slouching over a breakfast table; joyriding to a Metallica, Duffy and Jet soundtrack; Paul at the iconic Field of Dreams.
There were high-minded musings:
11:22 am: Back in the car, Paul says to no one in particular (or perhaps to the roughly 500 souls watching his livestream at the moment) that his favorite philosopher is Albert Camus. His favorite story is the one about Sisyphus, condemned to push a rock up a hill for eternity.Then the feed freezes, again.“The struggle itself. . . is enough to fill a man’s heart,” Camus once wrote. “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”
There were also complaints: about MTV, about the airline he flew to Iowa on -- and eventually, as the day wore on, about the fact that he had to do this whole livestream thing in the first place.
“I wish I knew" why the livestream was happening, Paul said. “I’ve been saying, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this and now we’re doing this.”
He had even tougher words to describe his livestream struggle in a clip his campaign tweeted out just before the Democratic debate began Tuesday night. In response to one of Google's most-asked questions -- are you still running for president? -- he had this joking reply:
"I wouldn’t be doing this dumbass livestreaming if I weren’t," he said. "So yes, I still am running for president, so get over it."
Then he seemed to rethink his take. "This is live -- we can't edit this, right?" he asked.
Paul was so pleased with his reply that his campaign made a T-shirt.
David Weigel contributed from Des Moines, Iowa.