Sen. Rand Paul says he’s only “considering” running for president. But he’s actually doing much more than mulling it over.

The Kentucky Republican is unabashedly clearing a path to seek the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, with a series of early voting state visits, a beefed-up political operation and a deliberate plan to appeal to mainstream voters and raise his national profile.

Paul’s presidential coming-out begins on Friday in early-voting Iowa.

The senator is billed as the main speaker at the state Republican Party’s annual spring fundraising event — called the Lincoln Day Dinner — in Cedar Rapids. He’ll also address the Iowa Federation of Republican women and meet with Johnson County Republicans during the two-day trip.

Ten days later, Paul is slated to deliver the keynote address at a similar event for the New Hampshire GOP — the Liberty Dinner — in that important early primary state. He’ll cap May’s busy travel schedule with a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California on May 31.

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