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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

She’s the Democrats’ Great Hope in Kentucky? Her?



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Huge Jolt before the Independence Day holiday begins: A key provision of Obamacare is delayed; Obama fiddles as Egypt (and the rest of the Middle East) burns, and then these developments in Kentucky . . . 

Wait, This Is the Democrats’ Great Hope in Kentucky? Her?

Meet Alison Grimes, the woman Democrats are thrilled to have running against Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky:

Even Alison Lundergan Grimes didn’t know what she would announce to the world late Monday afternoon when she arrived at the building she used as the headquarters for her campaign in 2011. Or, at least, she didn’t let on to the more than 100 supporters she called there that she had made a decision about running for the U.S. Senate until the very end of the meeting.

Interviews with more than a half-dozen people who attended the meeting — several of whom asked not to be quoted — yielded descriptions of Grimes’s approach to the announcement as “unorthodox,” “unprecedented,” “fascinating” and, at times, “surreal.”

Instead of telling supporters whether she was running for Senate, Grimes opened it up for them to tell her what they thought. After the first several people spoke, Grimes began calling on others by name to give their takes. After nearly an hour, a consensus emerged: she should run for the party’s nomination to challenge U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell.

She’ll let you know what she’s decided regarding one of the most important decisions in her life . . . after her Committee of 100 gets back to her.

Of course, this sort of surprise, no-decision-until-the-Committee-of-100-speaks approach does have its, er, challenges:

On Tuesday, two very basic, stripped-down websites, grimesforsenate.com and alisonforsenate.com emerged without links to contribute money. It is not yet clear whether Grimes’s campaign controls those sites.

“Basic, stripped down”? That’s being generous. Let me put it this way: When you look like these . . . 

 . . . then no, neither she nor any allied organization owns those URLs, and the person who does is hoping to get a big check for them.

As for yesterday’s announcement, well . . . apparently it wasn’t the real campaign roll-out. That comes later.

The Grimes campaign says Monday’s announcement was not a rollout.

“Yesterday Alison was simply announcing her intentions to run. I’m certain when we do our rollout, you will see that this will be a top tier campaign and we will have the most professional organization in the state,” responded Hurst.

Do-over!

There’s a bizarre music video mocking Grimes from Mitch McConnell’s team. If you want to see her real announcement — before an “Allison Grimes for Secretary of State” banner — you can find it here.

“Boy, is her delivery wooden.” — Pinocchio.

Anyway, the primary argument from optimistic Democrats is that even though they haven’t won a U.S. Senate race in Kentucky since 1992, and even though Obama is phenomenally unpopular there, and even though Mitch McConnell is going to have roughly a bazillion dollars in his campaign account, and even though McConnell’s campaign team has elbows so sharp, they use them to remove staples, and even though turnout will likely be lower and more GOP-friendly in a midterm year, and even though a better Democratic candidate couldn’t beat newcomer Rand Paul in an open seat Senate race four years ago, and . . . er, wait, where was I going with this? Oh yeah, Democrats think they have a solid shot because McConnell’s poll numbers are pretty mediocre.

Of course, there’s this independent state house candidate in Kentucky who’s touting praise of himself from McConnell.

The independent campaign of John-Mark Hack in Central Kentucky’s special state House election came under fire Sunday for sending mailers with flattering comments about Hack by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and several prominent Democrats.

Republicans and Democrats associated with Hack’s opponents accused him of misleading voters by implying he had endorsements he had not received.

Anyway, if McConnell is this toxically unpopular incumbent, as Democrats believe . . . why does this independent candidate think it helps his odds to remind voters that McConnell likes him?

But credit where it’s due; Grimes can wear a purple hat roughly the size of a minivan way better than McConnell can:

The Joker called. He wants his tablecloth back.


Tags: Alison Lundergan Grimes , Mitch McConnell


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