Call it the difference between going all in and hedging your bets.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's efforts to find an end-around Kentucky state law puts the senator in danger of looking politically craven despite attempts to portray him as an outsider and a "different kind of Republican" who wants to fight "the Washington machine."
The reason? U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
Rubio, who made his entrance into the race official with a Monday evening announcement in Miami, already is drawing attention to Paul's attempt to have his cake and eat it too, by running for president and re-election to his Senate seat.
Because Rubio also was elected in 2010, so his Senate seat is up for grabs next year. But Rubio isn't trying to do both like Paul.
Florida has a similar law to the one in Kentucky that has caused Paul problems. Just like Kentucky, Florida prevents a candidate from appearing on the same ballot twice.
Paul and his team feel confident they've found a way around the law, convincing the state Republican Party to hold a presidential preference caucus instead of a primary. That move came after Paul and his allies in Frankfort were unable to push through legislation during the 2014 General Assembly that would have "clarified" that Paul could run for both offices at once.
As The Washington Post pointed out, Rubio, while not mentioning Paul by name, made clear in an interview with NPR that he doesn't subscribe to Paul's efforts to secure a parachute in case his presidential run doesn't work out.
"If you've decided that you want to serve this country as its president, that's what you should be running for," Rubio told NPR.
"And I find myself in a situation where my Senate seat comes up for re-election at the exact same time as the presidency."
He added: "To even be thinking about a Plan B in case this doesn't work, I think diminishes your ability to succeed on the campaign because your mind will always be on: if this doesn't work, then I could do something else."
Of course, Florida and Kentucky are two completely different kettles of fish.
Paul's seat is likely safe for Republicans (assuming he doesn't win the Republican presidential nomination), while Florida is far more unpredictable.
Rubio's opening salvo, however, raises questions about whether Paul's attempt to do both will become campaign trail fodder for his rivals.
Rubio was not the only would-be candidate to make an either-or decision about staying in the Senate or running for president.
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio announced early in the year that he would not run for president because he said he couldn't effectively represent Ohio while at the same time running for president.
At a February event in Lexington, the Herald-Leader asked Paul about his decision to run for both offices and the contrast presented by Rubio and Portman.
"I think every individual have their own reasoning," Paul said.
He added: "My first commitment is to Kentucky. And my first commitment is always to my day job, which is representing and voting for Kentucky."
Paul then took a shot at Rubio, who Paul said had "just missed a whole week of voting."
"I haven't been doing that," Paul said. "I've been there for the vast majority of my votes."
Kentucky Democrats do not seem to be in a position to take advantage of Paul's divided attentions, maintaining a laserlike focus on this year's gubernatorial race.
But it's a safe bet that whomever Democrats do find to run against Paul next year will have plenty to say about Paul's priorities.