Democratic senate candidate Alison Grimes blew into the Fancy Farm Picnic, stared down Mitch McConnell, and left him looking like a directionless and paranoid old man.
Alison Grimes began by talking about her long name and then said with your help Kentucky in January 2015 you can call me senator. Grimes said that she didn’t have to apologize for having more government experience than Rand Paul. She took a shot at Paul by pointing out that he wasn’t in Kentucky, he was spending his weekend with his loved ones, the tea party in Iowa. Grimes slammed McConnell for trying to gut Medicare. She said,”If the doctors told Sen. McConnell he had a kidney stone, he would refuse to pass it.” She hammered McConnell for being the most unpopular senator among both Democrats and Republicans.
Grimes said that McConnell is disliked by the voters in Kentucky and in the United States. She said McConnell is at the center of the DC dysfunction. The Democrat said after years of McConnell’s leadership the GOP stands for Gridlock Obstruction and Partisanship. She told McConnell to stop. She called out his empty rhetoric on defending Kentucky coal. She called McConnell on his votes against the Violence Against Women Act, and the Fair Pay Act.
Grimes called for Kentucky to have a senator that unites all Kentuckians. She said Kentucky women deserve equal pay for equal work, and she will fight to keep the state’s jobs from going overseas.
The McConnell supporters in the crowd tried to drown Grimes out, but by the end of the speech they were reduced to low murmur, as she had the Democrats in the crowd applauding and chanting along with her.
After seeing her speak today, it’s clear that McConnell isn’t going to be able to defeat Grimes simply by tying her to President Obama. Grimes is on the offensive, and going after McConnell hard. She also pulled some pages from Elizabeth Warren’s campaign playbook by making a strong appeal to women in the state.
Sec. of State Grimes has one big thing working for her. She is running on an anti-incumbent message during a time when Congress has never been less popular. She is also running against the ultimate symbol of Republican obstruction and incumbency. The contrast in the two candidates’ speeches was obvious. McConnell talked in paranoid tones about what would happen to Kentucky if he wasn’t reelected. Grimes talked about what she could do for Kentucky as the state’s senator.
The problem Grimes will face is that she is dealing with a very powerful incumbent who will have virtually unlimited resources at his disposal. McConnell is the Godfather of Kentucky politics. He is a 30 year incumbent for a reason. He knows how to win reelection. Grimes will be a formidable candidate, and this election won’t be easy. Those on the left should not wait to support Grimes. The time to get organized is now. Mitch McConnell and his tens of millions of dollars of negative ads are coming.
While McConnell is busy with his tea party primary challenger, Alison Grimes has a chance to define him to voters now. This is why Democrats must get involved in this race early. They have an opening here. President Obama beat Mitt Romney and all of Citizens United fueled negative ads, because he defined Romney early and often. Democrats must do the same thing in Kentucky. They must get excited, get involved, and get active right now if they are going to defeat Mitch McConnell.
Note: Video will be added as soon as it is available.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association