The wheels are falling off of Mitch McConnell’s Senate reelection campaign faster than you can say, not from my cold dead hands. It turns out that McConnell looked so uncomfortable waving that musket around at CPAC because he doesn’t even own a gun.
According to the Courier-Journal:
Whatever the case, McConnell just didn’t look comfortable waving the flintlock musket above his head.
Instead of recalling images of Charlton Heston at NRA conventions, where the late actor incited the crowd by raising a similar gun, McConnell looked a bit more like Michael Dukakis riding in a tank or President Barack Obama shooting skeet at Camp David, or Jimmy Carter doing much of anything.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that he didn’t look natural. A search of Courier-Journal archives and the Internet found no other photos of McConnell holding a gun and despite his constant support of gun rights, McConnell has never cultivated the image of a hunter — unless his prey is that of a political sort.
His campaign refused to say if McConnell hunts, shoots targets or even owns a gun and last fall when Grimes challenged McConnell to a shootout at a gun range, he ignored a reporter who asked if he would take her up on her offer and walked away.
This is where common sense comes into play. If McConnell owned a gun, hunted, or had remote familiarity with the thing that he was waving over his head at CPAC, his campaign would have been crowing about it in ads across the state. Mitch McConnell already possesses a lower than dirt approval rating, and the electorate feels little connection with him. That’s the whole reason why Mitch was waving the rifle over his head like a demented cross between Charleton Heston and Charles Bronson at CPAC.
McConnell was looking for the photo op. He was hoping that the picture and video would show the folks back home that he really is one of them. He never expected anyone to ask whether or not he shoots, or if he even owns a gun. Sen. McConnell has never played the good old boy hunter before, and his attempt to send a misleading message has completely backfired.
It is a symbol of Minority Leader McConnell’s desperation to keep his seat. This stunt also highlights why he is in serious jeopardy of getting bounced out of the Senate. McConnell thinks Kentucky voters really are that dumb. His campaign believed if he was seen with a gun, the voters would be convinced that he is regular folk.
All candidates do this kind of posing, but when asked do you own a gun? They usually don’t refuse to answer the question. The McConnell campaign’s refusal to answer is the equivalent of answering no. Figuratively speaking, Mitch McConnell shot himself in the foot by trying to pretend that he was something that he wasn’t.
Voters aren’t buying what their senior senator is selling, and McConnell is sending himself into retirement by treating people as if they are total morons. Mitch McConnell is fooling none of the people none of the time, and his act has worn thin in Kentucky.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a 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