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Ah, Fancy Farm. A throwback to the old days of politicking when candidates could not use huge dollars to run 30 second ads and actually mingled with the voters. Political careers have been made or broken for well over a century in the blistering August heat of Western Kentucky. Although the weather was unseasonably cool this year, the two main competitors for Kentucky's Senate seat provided plenty of fireworks.

Speaking first as the highest ranking official present as Lt. Governor, Daniel Mongiardo quickly ripped into Jack Conway:

Mongiardo led off the speaking, attacking Conway for his decision to attend Duke University, the implication being that Conway had a privileged upbringing.

Campaign staffers for Mongiardo, a University of Kentucky graduate and a Hazard physician, passed out plastic silver spoons in a bid to drive home the idea that Mongiardo represents the working-class voter.

"He chooses to fight for the silver-spoon issues preferred by the champagne and caviar crowd," Mongiardo said of Conway.

Here is our footage of Mongiardo's entire speech:

In his speech, Conway eluded to the fact that Mongiardo is an ear, nose and throat doctor, and stated he had misdiagnosed him and soon after raised quite a stir:

Conway responded by telling Mongiardo, "When it comes to me, you can't hear the truth, you can't smell the truth and you sure as hell can't speak the truth."

And when a crowd of Mongiardo supporters tried to shout him down, Conway quoted former U.S. Sen. Wendell Ford, saying, "Go ahead and chew on my hide ... it only grows back tougher," before adding, "You're looking at one tough son of a bitch."

See our footage of Jack Conway here:

And the political fireworks did not end there. Shortly thereafter, Daniel Mongiardo called on Conway to apolegize for his profanity:

The U.S. Senate campaign of Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo wants Attorney General Jack Conway to apologize for the use of profanities in his speech Saturday at the Fancy Farm political picnic in far Western Kentucky.

"Daniel feels that the attorney general's profanities on the grounds of St. Jerome parish with church leaders and families there were completely inappropriate and Conway should extend an apology to everyone who was there," Mongiardo's campaign consultant Kim Geveden said Sunday.

Conway's campaign however, remained defiant:

But Conway's campaign manager, Mark Riddle, said there would be no apologies for the speech and Mongiardo should "apologize to Western Kentucky for distortions about Jack's family, record and vision of Kentucky."

Conway, saying he was quoting former U.S. Sen. Wendell Ford of Owensboro, described himself as having a tough hide and was "one tough son of a bitch."

However, Kim Geveden the campaign manager for Mongiardo disputed that point:

Geveden said Sunday he often has been to Fancy Farm picnics "and never heard such language there."

He also said he has heard and read that Wendell Ford often referred to his "tough hide" but never called himself "a son of a bitch."

"If Ford said that and they are quoting him, Conway and his people should produce it," Geveden said. "I've talked to a lot of Democrats today and no one could recall that."

Regardless, Geveden said, "Conway's remarks at a church picnic were not appropriate for someone who wants to serve Kentucky in the U.S. Senate."

Riddle explained that Conway's campaign is simply seeking to fight, and Fancy Farm is known for such elevated rhetoric:

Asked if Conway will be using profanities on the campaign trail, Riddle said, "This campaign will come down to who has fought more and is the best on the issues. That is us.

"There were elevated comments from everyone at Fancy Farm, which is traditional."

One thing is certain this is going to be one tough, knock-down drag-out fight for the Democratic nomination for the Senate in Kentucky. Neither of these guys seem willing to back down an inch and there is a long way to go. By the heat of Fancy Farm next year however, someone will have emerged bruised but victorious.

Originally posted to RDemocrat on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 05:43 PM PDT.


Whose speech was better??

20%9 votes
79%35 votes

| 44 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm Excited for 3 things (6+ / 0-)
    1. Daily Kos to be truly involved in this race (as opposed to Ford-Corker 06)
    1. the national Dem. party to be involved in this race
    1. Dems to win back a senate seat in Kentucky! Whoever the candidate!

    These clowns claim to admire him [Cronkite] but do not wish to emulate him - GUGA

    by Nulwee on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 05:46:37 PM PDT

  •  I dont have any issue with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    competitive primaries, but when they get really messy, that can be a problem, I think. Hopefully, that wont be an issue here, especially considering Bunning is no longer the GOP candidate.

  •  I like Mongiardo (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg in TN, RDemocrat

    I sent him a few dollars in 2004, but I live in TN so I couldn't vote for him.  Hope  he wins the primary.  If he does, I will chip in again.

    Don't like Conway, his attack style plus he reminds me of an arrogant sleeze, hope he loses.  

    •  I have... (0+ / 0-)

      Been able to meet Mongiardo on several occasions. While he is a little more Conservative than me he is a fine man. He would be a great Senator.

      Don't know Conway as well but he has been a fine A.G. I doubt if his speech went over well in this part of the state with the "son-of-a-bitch" comment.

      I will support either if they win.

      Best wishes!!

    •  Gotta disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bronte17, RDemocrat

      I have met both men and had conversations with them. Both are great and well meaning people.

      Mongiardo's decision to use the Duke education thing is childish. I hope Dr. Dan didn't make the decision and it was from his staff. But this is sleazy. Jack got into a great school, that shouldn't be a political issue. At this point, I am a little sick of Dan's campaign.

    •  Mongiardo is very conservative (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RDemocrat, Tropical Depression

      and equality for all seems not to be a part of his character. Mongiardo is a dinosaur against women's rights to full reproductive healthcare. Women can't make decisions for themselves. And he's homophobic.

      Conway at least has fight in him. We'll need it. Conway can go head-to-head with Grayson. And Conway has experience in government leadership as the Attorney General.

      I don't see the charm of Mongiardo and his Eastern Ky-esque populism that he wears on his sleeve. Greg Stumbo at least could walk the walk and talk the talk. Stumbo represented all Kentuckians because Stumbo was not a conservative. Mongiardo is a conservative.

      <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

      by bronte17 on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:16:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Conway -- the winner (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17, RDemocrat

    Mongiardo is slow to realize that he has no money.  The primary is over and Conway will be elected Senator in November 2010.  Nice job, Jack.  

  •  I'd have to go with Conway, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17, RDemocrat

    for only one reason at this time - Mongiardo supports MTR, and best that i remember gets many contributions from the mountain top removal people/companies. Not sure who I'll end up supporting for sure yet.

    Either of them though will have a major struggle to beat Trey G., who is a former Dem, and his platform, of which many (probably the majority)of the people in this state can relate to and agree with, not to mention that people know his name state-wide now. Not impossible to defeat, but it will be an expensive and difficult campaign for sure.

  •  Chris Dodd on Wendell Ford (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RDemocrat, Tropical Depression

    It bears noting by the candidates.

    [BTW... did you know Senator Chris Dodd attended law school in Kentucky... at UofL]

    From Senator Dodd's archived speechs at his Senate site on Wendell Ford:

    Throughout my tenure as U.S. Senator, it has been my great honor to serve alongside this remarkable man. He has brought integrity and honesty and a wonderful sense of humor to a body that is far too often devoid of such characteristics. Although narrow and snappy sound bites and polished television appearances seem to garner the most attention in Washington, Wendell Ford stands in sharp contrast. As long as I have known him, Wendell Ford never saw a television camera he didn't want to simply walk past. As always, he is more interested in working behind the scenes, crafting legislation, seeking coalitions, seeking compromises. This is the essence of making the Senate function as a body that requires that we get along and work together to seek solutions that Americans look for.

    Certainly Wendell Ford is capable of being outspoken and passionate and as resolute as any Member of this body, but he has also understood there is a time for politics and a time for legislating and the two shall rarely intertwine, in his view. Throughout his career, he remained true to the people and places of his beloved Kentucky. Few Senators fought harder for their States than Wendell has...

    Most of all, I think Wendell Ford has brought a sense of quiet dignity and forthrightness to this Chamber. Always, he kept his word, never betrayed a confidence, and I doubt there is a Member of this Chamber who will not miss his presence.

    It is worth noting, the other day an editorial in the Lexington Herald-Leader, I think, summed up the feelings all of us would have with the announcement that Wendell Ford will not be with us at the end of this Congress. Let me quote that editorial. It said:

    We have known people who have disagreed with Wendell Ford. We have seen people get mad at Wendell Ford. We have even heard of people who wish Wendell Ford would finally lose an election. We have never heard of anyone, however, who doesn't like the senior Senator from Kentucky.

    <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

    by bronte17 on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:32:32 PM PDT

  •  What about cap and trade (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Mongiardo opposes even the watered-down version of
    this bill and quotes directly from the Republican playbook; 300% tax increase my ass.

    He's a lackluster speaker with a goofy smile. His delivery was frequently botched. His silver spoon references remind me of other culture warriors...of the Republican garden variety. It all left a bad taste in my mouth, and this was before I had a clue what else he'd say. Perhaps he's showing a real lack of respect for this Western Kentucky audience by trying to pander to them. Would he make the same speech in Louisville?

    He spoke about how important health care was and how important he would be to the debate, yet left absolutely no clue where he stood on the issue. I mean..what gives; you're so critical to health care and you espouse no views on it.

    Conway, on the other hand, showed general support for Obama's policies, particularly his foreign policy and even if the President is not popular in KY. He seemed to be more populist than the Obama administration on breaking up bank holding companies ("too big to fail")

    His style is a bit too "rah rah" for my taste but it had some genuine passion and he made few mistakes. He didn't let the hostile crowd affect him. His SOB statement was something that would be perceived as very mild in my state and many other places, but I'm not able to gauge how it plays in Western KY.

    He promised to support the coal industry but was vague about how; perhaps he opposes Cap and trade but didn't make it a part of his platform; maybe he understands Netroots economics a little better than his opponent. Maybe these two have essentially the same policies but, based on how they came across and the messages they delivered, if Kossacks had 100k to Y the KY race tonight Conway would probably get 80k of it.

    I don't expect too much from any Dem with a prayer of winning in KY. However, either of these candidates would be far better than what ever R(eppellent) alternative crawls up out of the swamp. I wish Mongiardo, whom I was predisposed to like, had come off as a more thoughtful and mature speaker. Larry Kissel may not have turned out to be so liberal but he was so easy to support because he knew exactly how to characterize his industry-fluffer opponent Robin Hayes, knew his district's issues well, and came across as generally knowedgable, thoughtful, intelligent and earnest. I can't say the same for Mongiardo. Conway needs more practice but at least he presented his record well and addressed issues in a concise and intelligible way, both local and national.

    •  Great reply!! (0+ / 0-)

      I look for Conway to get more support from Kossacks than Mongiardo. Thanks for reading the diary and leaving such a thoughtful reply. I thought the same thing about Mongiardo on healthcare and being from here I am afraid the SOB comment probably hurt Conway.

      Best wishes!!!

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