Sen. Mitch McConnell’s latest self-inflicted wound to his bid for reelection was a whopper. The Kentucky Republican used footage of Duke winning the national title in a campaign ad.
Team Mitch, which may go down as one of the worst Senate incumbent reelection campaigns ever run, outdid themselves today with this ad:
The ad starts off in standard Republican territory. Mitch McConnell as hero to the working man. Mitch McConnell promising that he will run the Senate right if Republicans take it over. McConnell vowing to battle against socialism. Among all of the pictures of a smiling Mitch, we are treated to footage of the Duke basketball team celebrating their 2010 basketball national championship.
For those of you who don’t follow college basketball, there are several problems with this. 1), Duke is in North Carolina, not Kentucky. 2). The University of Kentucky won the basketball championship in 2012. 3). Outside of both wearing blue, Duke and Kentucky look nothing alike. 4). Basketball fans in Kentucky hate Duke.
The McConnell campaign pulled the ad down right away and fixed it, but the genie is out of the bottle. The ad is out there, and there is nothing McConnell can do about it.
Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign has been so gaffe riddled and clumsy, it’s fair to start wondering whether if the Rand Paul ringers the Senate Republican leader brought in are trying to sabotage his reelection campaign.
For a man who is already battling the perception that he is out of touch with the voters back home in Kentucky, this was pretty much the last thing that McConnell needed. The fact that they got the state basketball team wrong screams out of touch.
The ad itself feeds into the feeling that voters in the state already have that McConnell doesn’t understand their problems, and care about them. The ad gaffe normally would just be a D’oh moment, but for voters this could serve as confirmation of what they already suspected.
Mitch McConnell is so out of touch with the state that he is supposed to represent that his campaign can’t even properly identify the correct national championship basketball team.
The message is clear. It’s time for Kentucky voters to ditch Mitch.
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