“Whoever runs against him is gonna have a bloody nose. I do think he's vulnerable against the right candidate, but the right candidate has to reflect all of Kentucky, not just parts of Kentucky,” former Democratic Senate candidate Daniel Mongiardo told The Hill.Oh that's easy Senator Mongiardo: All Ashley Judd would need to do is campaign. You do realize she'd do that, wouldn't she?
Mongiardo, considered one of the state’s more centrist Democrats, represented rural parts of Kentucky during his time in the state Senate, and operatives say his endorsement would work to boost any candidate’s bona fides outside of the liberal-leaning cities of Louisville and Lexington.
Perhaps Mongiardo believes it isn't just campaigning but also Judd's political views and the need to build connections within the Kentucky Democratic Party establishment that may make a Judd for U.S. Senate candidacy risky:
Mongiardo said that he hadn’t spoken with Judd, and that while she is clearly an intelligent woman, she’d have issues with the coal-dependent parts of Kentucky. He said that's because of her comments last summer in which she expressed opposition to mountaintop mining, calling it “state-sanctioned, federal government-supported, coal industry-operated rape.”Senator Mongiardo, I don't think Judd would have issues in communicating to voters that it isn't the jobs that are the issue: It's the energy source that's the issue. Maybe the bigger question Mongiardo needs to ask, what are he and the Kentucky Democratic Party doing to build their base? In Congress, we only have one Congressman who is a strong Democrat and he is Rep. John Yarmuth. Ben Chandler got defeated for re-election last November and now we have to reclaim that seat back.
He said even if she ran unopposed in a primary, he’d want to sit down and talk with her about some of her positions on issues like coal mining before endorsing her.
Judd’s lack of an operation this far out from 2014 is not unusual for most candidates, but Kentucky Democrats say that anyone who hopes to topple McConnell — whom many in Kentucky said is one of the nation’s top politickers, and knows how to work the state — needs to start soon.
“It takes at least a year to travel the state extensively, to make the friends and establish the structure that you need to have. Really, it would take two years if you're trying to raise that type of money and you don't have the type of connections she would need to have,” Mongiardo said.
Besides, the Kentucky Democratic Party may lean on the moderate side but they also have to be Democrats, not DLC politicians. Maybe strategist Dale Emmons needs convincing as well:
Dale Emmons, a Kentucky Democratic strategist who last worked with Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in her race for the position, said that while any possible contender still has time to make a decision, every day without the emergence of a challenger is a day wasted.Ok. So you're saying that a candidate who is a well-known Hollywood actress who happens to be a passionate advocate for progressive causes and activism is not a real candidate? You're saying that someone who is a strong environmentalist (aka someone who understands global warming) is not a real candidate?
“There's some time for this to play out, but we don’t need to waste a lot of time on a fantasy. We need a real candidate,” he said.
He went on to echo the concern of multiple Kentucky Democrats that the speculation surrounding a Judd candidacy is freezing the field, and that other candidates are wary of entering while so much national attention is focused on Judd.
“She can play around and then find out what she's really doing is keeping quality candidates from getting in,” he said.
Who do you want, Bruce Lunsford? Yeah, he really was a strong Democrat alright. And he didn't defeat Mitch McConnell in 2008!
Oh but it still might not be enough for Kentucky:
Still, the perception of Judd as a “Hollywood liberal” might be a hard one for the actress to shake, particularly if McConnell spent the same $20 million he spent on his last race trying to make it stick.Maybe what Kentucky needs is a serious Democratic candidate who can really shake up the establishment and be able to galvanize voters, particularly young voters, as well as actually give a damn about real Democratic values, which can coincide with Kentucky Democratic values so long as Kentuckians stop being DLC Democrats.
And Judd has long been a supporter of President Obama, stumping for him during both his presidential campaigns and even acting as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, for Tennessee.
That could be a serious problem for a Democratic candidate in a state where 60 percent of voters backed Republican Mitt Romney on Election Day.
And it could ultimately be a problem for down-ballot candidates as well. Multiple Democrats expressed concern that having a candidate like Judd at the top of the ticket would be detrimental to state and federal legislators, who will also be on the ballot in 2014.
Why does Ashley Judd need lecturing on Kentucky values? She grew up and lived in Kentucky for many years! So she lives in Tennessee. Big deal! Al Franken didn't live in Minnesota for a number of years previous to running for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota, got elected and look at his strong popularity in the state!
Maybe we should give Daniel Mongiardo and others in the Kentucky Democratic Party establishment some feedback:
Kentucky Democratic Party HeadquartersAnd we might as well contact the DSCC:
190 Democrat Drive
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone Number(502) 695-4828
Fax Number(502) 695-7629
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Phone (202) 224-2447
Fax (202) 969-0354
For general information email firstname.lastname@example.org