Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul has been unabashed in expressing his interest in running for president in 2016.  And the biggest and most influential newspaper in his state is taking notice.

On the front page of today's Louisville Courier Journal is a piece entitled "Paul seen as 'contender' in New Hampshire" with a Granite State dateline courtesy of the paper's political columnist James Carroll.

Writes Carroll:

"While Paul has said he won’t decide on a bid until next year, the general consensus of activists inside and outside the GOP — as well as longtime observers of New Hampshire presidential politics — is that he offers a potent combination of connections and new blood that would give him an advantage in the Granite State, which in turn would give him a leg up as the race begins in earnest."

Here's the front page -- courtesy of the amazing Newseum archive:

Image courtesy of the Newseum.

The relationship between Paul and his homestate press is an intriguing piece of the 2016 puzzle. The approach -- both in terms of funds dedicated to traveling the country as the homestate candidate pursues the presidency and the tone of the coverage -- can either be a boost or a burr for an aspiring nominee.

The Boston Globe, for example, was very aggressive in its coverage of the presidential campaigns of Sen. John Kerry in 2004 and former Gov. Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012. Ditto the Raleigh News & Observer during the 2004 and 2008 campaigns of former Sen. John Edwards.

But, cutbacks within the news business make questions about how the homestate papers of the eventual 2016 field will cover them. The Courier-Journal seems to be sending a signal that they plan to be all over the story. That's a good sign for all us news junkies. It may be a slightly less good sign for Rand Paul.