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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
I'm not sure why Mitch McConnell's team thinks it's such a good idea to pick fights with reporters—even if you're peeved about negative coverage, that seems an effective way to guarantee you'll be getting more of it—but they seem committed to it. Specifically, they've decided to ban one specific reporter from even getting near McConnell events, apparently because they didn't like what he was writing about their guy.
After sitting in the lobby for about 10 minutes talking with Joe Gerth and reporters from Time and Rolling Stone, the event was about to begin, and we all got up and started to walk into the room. Once I got near the door, I was stopped by a gentleman identifying himself as a Louisville police officer, who told me I would be arrested if I tried to enter the room. The officer told me that McConnell’s staff had told hotel staff to tell him to give me that order. He didn’t look especially pleased about having to do this, but he said he was just doing what he was told. I decided, probably wisely, that I wouldn’t fair very well in jail, and went back over to the lobby couch to tweet out what just happened.

After sitting there for a few minutes, a person walked up to the officer and whispered something to him, after which the officer told me that I couldn’t even sit alone in the empty lobby — with the door to the conference room closed — or else I would be arrested. I laughed and went 20 yards down the hall to another seat that they said was acceptable.

They'll praise Putin for his tough, manly stance on things, but heaven forfend the Senate minority leader be occasionally asked questions that offend his delicate reptilian sensibilities. (Oh, and the staffer informing Sonka he was banned? This guy!)

As you might expect, it didn't end there. McConnell is rightly getting new bad press from the ban, and now he's been getting uncomfortable press questions about the ban, which I suppose will only end after his campaign bans all those other reporters too. And the Republican primarying him for his spot in the Senate, Matt Bevin, isn't missing the opportunity either:

Meet the Louisville Dodger http://t.co/... #kysen #WhereisMitch
@MattBevin
The only moral of the story is that Mitch McConnell is still not very good at campaigning. The people surrounding him aren't very good at it either, and any campaign running this nervous runs the real risk of worse screwups down the line.

Originally posted to Hunter on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 01:17 PM PDT.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos and Daily Kos.

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