1. She lives in Tennessee and Scotland- To run in Kentucky you need to live in Kentucky. Judd lives in Tennessee and also has a house in Scotland with your Scottish husband (Dario Franchitti who is a race car driver, not NASCAR mind you which would have actually helped, but the other type of driver) It goes beyond living in Tennessee, she was actually a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention from Tennessee. The last couple of years she was mentioned as a candidate for Senator from Tennessee or Governor of Tennessee.
Now I am sure some people will argue that she is a eighth generation Kentuckian and all that. However, she has laid down roots in Tennessee to the point where people wanted her to run for office there. She has time to move back to Kentucky before the election, but it will be seen as a move to get residency and for political gain.
2. War on Coal meme- Talk to Ben Chandler. He just got trounced in a Congressional District with NO, repeat that to yourself, coal mines on the grounds he was hostile to the Coal Industry. It was the issue that seemed to dominate the campaign. This was against Ben Chandler, a seasoned statewide politician with multiple campaigns under his belt. This is an issue that anyone in Kentucky with political ambition needs to tread carefully around. Judd actually attended and headlined rallies against the Coal Industry. She used the term “Rape” in referring to the Coal industry back in 2010. What happens when the race takes place where there are Coal Mines.
Now, she could very well argue she was criticizing mountain-top removal instead of the whole coal industry. Chandler tried to finesse his support of Obama’s policy of cap and trade and other coal related measures. We saw where that got him, and he had a history with the UMW, Judd? not so much of a history.
To quote Dan Logsdon, Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman, from a recent interview in Politico “that’s a tough issue to finesse in Kentucky”
3. Mitch McConnell has $7 million in the bank right now and is still raising money- He has almost three times money in the bank as any other Senator right now, a little less than two years out from the election. He is still raising money and will no doubt continue doing so until November 2014. He also will have the resources of the Republic party backing him up as realistically the Republicans will only have maybe McConnell and Susan Collins in Maine to defend. Expect this race to cost in the neighborhood of 20 million dollars. Anyone who wants to play in that game, needs to start fundraising right now.
Ashley Judd, the self-funding candidate? Somehow, I don’t think Judd wants to write a check for $20 million for the chance to be savaged by McConnell in the 2014 race.
4. Mitch McConnell takes nothing for granted- Mitch has been the dominant feature of Kentucky politics since Wendell Ford retired in 1998. He has a well run machine and is knowledgeable about all aspects of Kentucky politics. True, he has had a few missteps, but none when it comes to his own campaigns. No doubt he already has a storeroom of information to use if Judd chooses to run. To paraphrase a statement from Comment on Kentucky a few weeks back “Imagine the commercials McConnell would run about Judd tweeting from the South of France while on vacation.” Indeed.
Does anyone doubt that Mitch, if he gets in a political knife fight, won’t use everything he can to get the smallest advantage? She has never really been subject to the type of examination of statewide politician in Kentucky would undergo in a race.
5. Obama- 2014 will be the sixth year of Obama’s administration. The sixth year is notorious for being rough on incumbent Presidents, let alone as on someone with the dismal ratings that Obama has in Kentucky
6. Political/Liberal activist- Judd has campaigned on issues that puts her the opposite side of the issue from most voters in Kentucky – not just coal mining, but other issues, abortion rights and gay marriage come to mind real quick.
7. Hollywood and her friends- see above. #3 and 6. In order to compete she needs to raise money fast. Where can she do that? Her friends in Hollywood. In order to do that she will have to adopt positions which are not held by the majority of voters in Kentucky. Being seen as a Limousine Liberal is not a good thing in Kentucky.
8. Kentucky Democrats- Other than John Yarmuth up in Louisville. I have not heard one Kentucky Democrat talk up the prospect of a Judd senate run. Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo actually pointed out the war on coal problem Judd would face. When asked about Judd for Senate, State Auditor Adam Edelen responded by talking up Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes (a more realistic candidate.) Democrats with statewide experience seem to want to ignore Ashley Judd for Senate. As for Yarmuth, the Representative from Louisville, once you leave Jefferson County’s borders his influence is limited at best. I bet good money he doesn’t know the name of the Democratic Party Chairman in Grayson or Floyd counties. I will also bet you money that McConnell does.
The Politico story I referenced earlier talked about who Judd is supposedly consulting about a Kentucky Senate run- New York Senator Kristen Gilligrand and Jefery Pollock, A New York-based Democratic pollster. Neither has an office in Kentucky.
9. Ashley Judd’s grand mother says she isn’t going to run and also talks up the good things that Mitch McConnell has done. If you have to worry about your family. You’ve got problems.
There you are, my top reasons that I don’t take Ashley Judd for Senate seriously.