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By now, many have already heard the rumor of an Ashley Judd potential against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), previously discussed by dailykos diarist dot farmer and who's statement regarding the rumor was noted by Meteor Blades. The statement said...

I cherish Kentucky, heart and soul, and while I’m very honored by the consideration, we have just finished an election, so let’s focus on coming together to keep moving America’s families, and especially our kids, forward.

But there are some hurdles, serious ones, that make me, as a Kentuckian question her ability to win. More below...

There are areas in Kentucky with high populations of Democrats, our cities of Lexington, Frankfort, Louisville, and Ashland somewhat, and south-eastern Kentucky (though typically they vote conservative or republican despite the increased number of democrats compared to republicans). Could she win our biggest cities? I used to think yes, until Democrat Ben Chandler from our district near Lexington lost last week to Republican Andy Barr, giving this state only one democrat in the House representing our interests (Yarmoth of Louisville). Now I am on a "maybe" with that. Regarding that situation....

"................Barr featured coal miners in his TV ads, talked incessantly about the Obama administration's "war on coal," and raked in campaign cash from wealthy coal executives angry about federal environmental regulations that have made it more expensive to unearth coal.

By the time the race was over, President Barack Obama had been vilified as an enemy of the mining industry, and Chandler had been portrayed as his surrogate in Kentucky. That turned out to be Chandler's undoing. Obama lost Kentucky overwhelmingly, and took Chandler down with him................"

I live in coal country, My county voted only 24% for Obama. Next door in Perry County, 19% Obama. Why? The so called "War on Coal" people here perceive Obama as having launched against their livelihoods. Now, despite the fact that cost of production, a recession and competition of natural gas are the real forces creating the overwhelming majority of that industry's problems, the "narrative" locally is it's Obama's EPA. Our democratic Governor has even gotten aboard the "attack the EPA" wave.

But, back to Ashley Judd, in light of this, her open stance against mountain top removal mining is not something that she has been shy about....

Things like that, have gained her alot of "coal country" distrust, or disdain. In 2010, the Huffpo reported this billboard (below), not 30 miles from my house, going up in response to her activism on coal.

Billboard placed at a Prestonsburg Kentucky golf course in 2010.
Ashley was not amused, noting the sexism of the attack and reiterating her stance against mountain top removal.
"..."The billboard, which featured Judd covering her breasts with her hands, was put on display at StoneCrest Golf Course in Prestonburg last month, accompanied by the question: "Ashley makes a living removing her top - why can't coal miners?" Speaking about the incident for the first time, Judd tells, "It's as old as the social construction of gender; let's sexualized a woman to discredit her. I'm not comparing myself to Catherine the Great, but the political cartoons in Western Europe showed her with her skirt hitched up."

"A lot of times with me and certain other artists, the fact that we're artists is used to discredit us, so it's absolutely nothing compared to what people are living through in the coal fields with their foundations cracked and their wells going dry and their water contaminated, spending $420 a month on bottled water and putting soda water in sippy cups to prevent children from ingesting toxic material."

Judd, who recently gave an emotional speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to highlight the environmental damage caused by mountaintop removal mining, insists she's still deadly serious about outlawing the practice: "Mountaintop coal mining, to be clear, is a distinct form of radical strip mining. It's different from deep mining and it's being practiced on a large scale; more than 800 mountaintops have been irreversibly blown to smithereens."..."

So, Ashley Judd is already launching from a start of negative perception in the coal areas of the state and will most certainly have that entire industry financing against her and demonizing her in shameless ways. That is my major concern for her viability here as a candidate. But it is not my only one, politics is a new venture for Ashley Judd, short of her activism and 2010 Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard, she doesn't have much experience to brag about. She is going to have to convince the people in coal country that she isn't going to take their jobs away, as well as bringing in more jobs and industries. On top of that she's going to have to convince many here that she is more than just another actor or actress running, she is going to have to show that she can take the responsibilities and perform the job.

I am all for anyone who can get Mitch McConnell out of the Senate, he certainly in no way represents my interests. I just have serious concerns that if they try to go with Judd, turtle man would remain. I would support her personally, but a win, would surprise me.

As of now, the "Draft Ashley Judd for Senate: Defeat Mitch McConnell" page on Facebook has 2031 likes since starting last week, the twitter @AshleyJ4Senate however only has around 47 followers (including me). Lets hope if she decides to do this, that those pick up greatly.


Do you honestly think she could win?

22%45 votes
22%44 votes
17%35 votes
20%41 votes
16%33 votes
0%0 votes

| 198 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  So who would you reccommend then? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ConfusedSkyes, psnyder, JeffW

      "It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that a man can always solve his problems" - Kurt Vonnegut

      by jazzence on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:25:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know, to be honest. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ConfusedSkyes, psnyder, JeffW

        I just know that locally (coal country), the perception of Ashley Judd is not that great. I want Mitch out as much as the next guy, and I would LOVE to see her win it, but she would have the full force of the coal lobby against her. If we want to win, and if she wants this, she is going to have to change that perception locally. As unfortunate as it is, coal is a powerful force here in the bluegrass state.

        On the bright side, she has a few years to work on it, if she decides to go for it.

  •  When the coal is gone, then what will KY have (14+ / 0-)

    left behind?  Grind every mountain flat, fill every valley with tailings that leach mercury and arsenic and every other vile by-product of mining and fracking.  Fill the air with pollutants until the rain itself refuses to fall to the befouled earth.  Then what will sustain KY or make anyone want to come there?  KY needs a vision of the future, a path to prosperity not a deluge of delusion.  Yes Ashley can win and she can win by being frank and confrontative.  Look at Alan Grayson.  He lost by 18 pts in 2010.  Then won by 25 pts in 2012, not by compromising, but by telling the truth even more bluntly.  Tell the truth, and even if you lose, you win.  Because if you tell the truth and then when it becomes clear you were telling the truth, people remember.  That's why blue dogs that win hurt us far more than progressives who lose.  Both my wife and I have relations in KY and from KY.  It is a still beautiful state benighted and misled.  But many love those mountains.  I cannot believe they would turn on someone determined to defend them and who speaks bold truths about what everyone knows in the heart of hearts to be true.  The coal will someday run out.  Ruining the future for a passing legacy is like the prodigal son blowing his legacy on a short time of wild living,  But if the land is ruined, there will be no home for the prodigal to return to.

    America needs a UNION NEWS channel. We (unions) have the money, we have the talent. Don't buy 30 second time slots on corporate media, union leaders; fund your own cable news channel and tell the real story 24/7/365

    by monkeybrainpolitics on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:42:26 AM PST

    •  I would hope you are right that she can win... (2+ / 0-)

      But my gut says she would just give Mitch another term. The people here don't care about public health, water or clean air, they care about jobs, and here it's either the mines, Health care, or "do you want fries with that". We are a resource extraction economy and the state politicians and republican ones we send to the national stage have no interest in changing that. Too easy to raise the boogie man of "EPA is goin take your jobs, or their jobs and hurt our economy".

      I knew this wouldn't be a "popular" piece to write, but I felt I needed to say this here. I seriously question her viability specifically because of her outspokenness on that issue. I totally agree with her, and your assessment of what the industry is doing to our environment, but it's not the message this area's audience wants to hear.  

      •  Example, local news FB comments after Obama win.. (0+ / 0-)

        You can gleam the local mood pretty well checking the comments here on this facebook thread, or especially in the comments to the post itself.

        •  Ashley might not win, this time (4+ / 0-)

          The other route taken by KY Democrats to attack the EPA and Obama and defend coal didn't work either.  Better to tell the truth about strip mining and coal pollution, offer alternatives (education, medical care as in Louisville, insurance firms, tourism, water transport), and talk about hard work to build up rather than hard work that tears down health and hope for a better future.  Not an easy route I'll grant.  I have coal stock (union mines, good safety record and pays good dividends), so this is definitely attacking my book, but we have to wean ourselves from a power source that will run out and is leaving behind a lot of damage.  KY needs to push for infrastructure such as a national smart power grid (it's centrally located so much could cross KY) and also why not put wind turbines on top of those stripped mountain tops, or the unstripped ones?  Also small hydro on many of those small streams running throughout KY.  If you have cheap power, you will get business.  If the coal is gone or can't be used without huge damage, it's the American way to think of other ways to get the job done.  I can't believe we Americans have gone from being can do to can't do.  Especially my hillbilly relatives.  They were once renowned for being inventors and innovators--I even saw "hillbilly armor" referenced to what the troops did in Iraq to their Humvees.  If Ashley drives forward with a positive message that calls on KY people to believe in themselves again, to invent the future and not insist on holding onto a vanishing past, they may not vote for it this time.  But they will remember it.  And they will turn to those who offered hope and a way out when, as will happen eventually anyway, the coal runs out or it becomes clear that using it is a form of environmental suicide.  

          America needs a UNION NEWS channel. We (unions) have the money, we have the talent. Don't buy 30 second time slots on corporate media, union leaders; fund your own cable news channel and tell the real story 24/7/365

          by monkeybrainpolitics on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 01:27:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Grayson switched districts, didn't he? (0+ / 0-)

      Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?

      by ConfusedSkyes on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 04:33:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Coal's bloated sense of entitlement. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, ekyprogressive, Meteor Blades

      The Washington Post is close enough to West Virginia to pay some attention to the "War on Coal" sloganeering. What they don't ask is "Why is coal so damn important that we should place the miners' employment over the health of the rest of the country? What do the miners win if Florida is flooded?"

      The furor over Friday's [10.5] job report revealed a political movement that is rooting for American failure, so obsessed with taking down Obama that good news drives its members into a blind rage. -Paul Krugman

      by Judge Moonbox on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 07:00:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  McConnell was at 37/50 job approval in KY (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ..according to PPP.



    Another rosier, hometeam poll put his recent numbers at 51/42. I suspect the PPP numbers are still closer to the mark.

  •  Ashley Judd is just whip smart good (8+ / 0-)

    If brains and personal integrity were the utmost qualities required she'd smoke Mitch McConnell.

  •  Letting the quantity of money determine what (4+ / 0-)

    shouldwhat should and should not be done seems like a convenient short hand, until we realize that the quantity of money is actually infinite, unless we let some people arbitrarily make it scarce. Why would we let people sequester our currency? Tradition. Since before the Americas were settled by Europeans, we have let the banksters and money changers determine who gets to use money and for what.
    The banksters are obviously well practiced. Within a generation, all the gold plundered by Spain from South America had been secreted in Dutch vaults and the Spanish people were back to being as poor as they started.
    Richard Nixon liberated the US dollar from its last ties to gold to prevent international speculators from holding the dollar hostage. It is my guess it did not occur to Nixon that our own Congress would hold the dollar hostage by giving their henchmen on Wall Street absolute control. (I know he had given no thought to the potential effect on the totalitarian regimes in South Africa and the Soviet Union of being deprived of just pulling more gold out of the ground to finance their repression of their people, because he told me so).
    Why would the Congress hold our currency hostage? Power. Now that our natural resources have been pretty much all doled out as private property, Congress has little left with which to bribe the electorate to insure their longevity in office, but money. However, longevity is pretty worthless without power and power, to be felt, has to hurt. So, for Congress critters to feel powerful they have to make "hard" decisions, which negatively affect someone else and, using money as their middleman makes it possible to do so surreptitiously while blaming it on someone else.

    So, the first order of business would seem to be to clarify what money is and whom it belongs to (us) and to identify the punitive impulses on Capitol Hill that are making it artificially scarce. Then we can decide whom to send there next. Abusive legislators are a lot like abusive spouses. It takes a while to convince their victims that the protections being offered are going to be effective. It is very difficult for people to believe that the people who proclaim their undying love actually mean them ill.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:05:59 AM PST

  •  Didn't seem like much of a politician (0+ / 0-) that clip. Maybe she could hit her stride.

  •  I hope Ms. Judd runs. (5+ / 0-)

    Whether or not she wins, she will have brought much more attention to the plight of Kentuckians, their mountains, and to all those who are suffering from mountaintop removal.

    That she is a) a woman, and b) an actress, has NO bearing on her validity.   We're still a free country where anyone can speak their mind - Hollywood included - but it's up to us to decide who to listen to.

    And if she replaces McConnell, so much the better!!

    "We don't have village idiots any more; we have Republicans." - Positronicus

    by Maverick80229 on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:45:14 AM PST

    •  Me too (0+ / 0-)

      and hope that you are right in

      much more attention to the plight of Kentuckians, their mountains, and to all those who are suffering from mountaintop removal.

      "the Devil made me buy this dress!" Flip Wilson as Geraldine Jones

      by BlueJessamine on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:54:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  To have her run assures Mitch a victory. (0+ / 0-)

      Just being honest here, yeah, she has every right to run, and yeah she may get people to notice what is happening here for a change. But will she win? Would those things be worth another Term for McConnell. Personally, I want that man out of office ASAP, and can't help but worry that she would prevent that from happening with her aspirations and the lack of knowledge (no offense) by national liberals who don't know what it is like "on the ground" in this area.

      Pro-choice, feminist and anti-MTR advocate is not what the highly religious people brainwashed to protect coal here want to hear. Sad but true. How do we work around that, other than another candidate?

  •  Your analysis looks quite sound, but if there is (8+ / 0-)

    no other Democrat likely to take this on and win it, better a high profile campaign that gets lots of media attention, where issues like mountain top removal can get a national stage through Ashley's  fame and personality.

    She is smart and young, so even if she lost, she could get more on the national scene and maybe get a Cabinet Post, House seat or even be more of a national spokesperson for her causes more than she is now. Plus Kentucky maybe changing more slowly than other places, but everywhere is changing and Ashley's time if not right now, could be soon enough, and this race would give her an even higher national profile.

    I reckon she should have a go, especially as there does not seem to be anyone who would do better. And although it is somewhat sexist, having a big idiot like Mitch, bullying a nice young, principled woman wouldn't hurt Democrats outside of Kentucky either.

    Those who dwell among the beauty and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. ~Rachel Carson

    by Norwegian Chef on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:52:22 AM PST

  •  Eastern KY vote is not enough (0+ / 0-)

    Remember Mongiardo? He almost won, but the Eastern KY vote wasn't enough to carry it.

    I'm from VERY close to your neck of the woods too. If you were being honest, you would admit that the low Obama vote has a significant amount to do with the color of his skin.

    All that being said, I would expect that she wouldn't necessarily do well in coal country depending on how the global economy goes over the next two years and whether natural gas prices move higher which would give coal better footing.

    Your analysis would be great if Obama were on the ballot too. He won't be.

    •  True, EKY vote isn't enough alone... (0+ / 0-)

      Which is why I brought up Chandler's loss in Lexington, being "tied" to Obama and this mythical 'war on coal'.

      And absolutely race has a part to play in local disapproval, I am not doubting that. And no, Obama isn't going to be on the ballot, but like with Chandler, they will tie her, by her own words and positions, to him. And he is so hated here, she wouldn't make it over that hump. Leaving Turtle man in Senate, thinking that we his constituents approve his performance to do it again.

      •  What are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

        Barr didn't carry Fayette county.

        •  But he lost that district... (0+ / 0-)

          Which is a more urban area (you have Richmond, Nicholasville, Winchester, etc in that area) that he had previously been able to win. That raises questions about the power of those areas to carry her when districts like this one which have a high number of democrats overall would not be highly supportive of her because of her open positions on coal.  

          •  The surrounding towns are NOT Lexington (0+ / 0-)

            The towns surrounding Lexington are VERY different from Lexington itself. They are mostly more conservative and with the anti-Obama wave among conservative leaning folks, it was a bad year to be a Democrat almost everywhere in KY.

            It's beyond me to predict whether 2010 will be different, but with Obama not on the ballot, I can't help but think it will.

            I would avoid trying to use the 6th district race to project the upcoming Senate race. It's like comparing apples and popcorn.

            •  You. Don't. Say. (0+ / 0-)

              I know that, I lived in Richmond for 6 months and attend EKU, So I am familiar with the area.

              And my point is the district is generally a more urban one and those have higher numbers of democratic voters turn out to the polls. Why do you think the republicans would quit tying Obama hate to the neck of our democrats now? It's worked for them so far. :-(

              •  Fiscal cliff and Republican recalibration (0+ / 0-)

                Current events are causing a recalibration among national Republicans that will make more anti-Obama campaigning seem quite out of step. Not saying they won't try, but especially as things get better (if they do) then it seems that would be a tough sell.

  •  Question (0+ / 0-)

    Didn't she represent Tennessee at this year's democratic convention?  If so, how would this play in Kentucky?

    Born in Oklahoma Raised in Ohio Escaped to Meechigan!!!

    by MI Sooner on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 04:39:02 AM PST

  •  Show how McConnell harmed them (0+ / 0-)

    How many ways can Ashley Judd or another Democratic candidate show the people how McConnell voted to actually harm them?  Health care repeal votes, mine safety votes, etc.  And how many alternatives for jobs can she show to the voters?

    •  LOL... (0+ / 0-)

      Good luck with that, most here are against the health care law, and even when you bring up "Miner safety", they just clump it with "War on Coal" and shout "I support coal miners". When I have said that Mitch is the main reason for the senate obstructionism, the most typical response I hear is "good".

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