Video of Rand Paul staffer licking camera goes viral

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WASHINGTON – A top New Hampshire staffer for Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul licked a camera owned by a Democratic videographer during a campaign event Monday in Londonderry.

That’s not a figure of speech. He literally opened his mouth, stuck out his tongue and licked the glass with it.

David Chesley, Paul’s political director in the state, slathered his tongue over a video lens from American Bridge, an opposition research firm that follows and records Republican candidates. The camera operator had the device in record mode and was live-streaming the footage back to the group’s headquarters in Washington. The group posted the footage on YouTube.

Chesley is a political veteran who served as the state’s Republican Party director before he joined Paul’s operation in March. Emails sent to Paul’s campaign asking why their political director licked a camera were not immediately returned.

New Hampshire was the first place Paul visited after announcing his presidential campaign in April. The state hosts the first primary on the presidential electoral calendar and is traditionally an important stop on the road to the nomination.

For the Democratic operative holding the camera, the Londonderry licking isn’t his first adventure: In 2014, the same tracker once followed Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown in a canoe when he took a trip down the Contoocook River, American Bridge spokesman Ben Ray told CNN.