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Preach it Liz!

Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes received a boost from a leading Democratic woman who is also taking on Republican Mitch McConnell across the country.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts visited the University of Louisville on Sunday to stump for Grimes and reform efforts of the country's student loan system.

The rally focused on skyrocketing college costs, investing in higher education, and Warren's bill to lower interests rates for student borrowers.

Joined by Warren on stage, Grimes said she and the Massachusetts Democrat will fight alongside each other the middle-class.

"Education to me leads to a growing economy, a growing middle-class, and yes, it should lead to good paying jobs," said Grimes. "I believe it's a necessity that should be available to all Kentuckians. It is and should be the passport out of poverty, not into poverty as Mitch McConnell would have you believe." - WFPL News 89.3, 6/29/14

Warren worked up the crowd and showed no mercy toward McConnell:

"He's been betting against you vote after vote after vote, year after year after year," she told a packed house at the George J. Howe Red Barn on the University of Louisville's campus.

Warren, who has developed a strong national following since being elected to the Senate in 2012, was in the state to help Grimes raise money in her quest to oust McConnell and to talk about her legislation she said would make college more affordable for the poor and middle class, which McConnell and other Senate Republicans blocked.

She said McConnell, answers every problem with "no, no, no."

"Minimum wage, Mitch McConnell says, 'no.' Social Security, Mitch McConnell says, 'no.' Equal pay for equal work, Mitch McConnell says, 'no,'" Warren said in a 23-minute speech. "So what are we going to say to Mitch McConnell?"

"No," the crowd roared.

A wide range of people from college students to people in their 80s attended the event at U of L, billed as a college affordability rally. It was hosted by U of L College Democrats.

Following the rally, Grimes and Warren attended a fundraising event downtown at the 21c Hotel. - Louisville Courier-Journal, 6/29/14

Warren is turning into Southern Democrats' strongest ally:

Warren was mildly self-deprecating when asked if she was surprised to find Democrats speaking perfectly in unison this cycle on the issues she’d made a name for herself on.

“I’ve never done this before! I don’t have previous cycles. I was a candidate last time, so this is my first time at the rodeo,” she said, laughing. “In that sense, I make light of it. But it’s what I talked about in my campaign, it’s what I talk about on the floor of the United States Senate, it’s why I am glad to stand beside Alison, Natalie, and others to talk about in their races. This is about whose side do you stand on, are you with millionaires and billionaires or with people who are trying to build a future?”

Warren’s ability to fundraise for fellow Democrats could help her own future aspirations, whatever they may be. Though she has emphatically denied she has any plans to run for president, it certainly doesn’t hurt to give generously to colleagues now.

“She’s in the process of building a power base within the Senate,” Manley said. “For someone in year two and a half, she’s raised an impressive amount of money. This helps build up chips for whatever she has in mind further down the line.”

The crowd on Sunday was excited for Grimes, but there were many clad in T-shirts that declared: “I’m from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.” As the rally ended and Katy Perry’s “Roar” blared, it was Warren who was mobbed from fans for photos.

“Would I have 100% been here if Warren wasn’t coming? No,” said Gary Turner, who said he hoped Warren might run for president someday. “She’s like what Obama was, she’s just got something about her. I am all for Alison and I hope she wins but I wanted the chance to see Warren.” - BuzzFeed, 6/29/14

That's because her message of economic populism resonates with Southern voters:

In feisty speeches during her weekend trip to Kentucky, Warren emphasized her modest upbringing in Oklahoma, her first marriage as a 19-year-old, and her long-standing focus on economic issues.

“I don’t think Harvard professors would normally play so well with these electorates,” said Stephen Voss, a political science professor at the University of Kentucky. “But she’s got a comforting appearance that’s quite at odds with the sort of striking red blazers and West Coast slickness of someone like Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama, with his Chicago urbane demeanor. She comes across maybe a bit like a grandmother.”

In two weeks, Warren will campaign in West Virginia with Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, who is facing an uphill battle in keeping a Democratic seat from switching when Senator Jay Rockefeller retires. She is also planning to campaign in Michigan, a state rocked by financial problems. She’ll be aiding Representative Gary Peters, who is trying to keep a Senate seat in Democratic hands when Carl Levin retires.

She has also sent out fund-raising appeals for candidates in Georgia, Louisiana, and Arkansas. All told she has raised or donated $2.3 million for 28 candidates, according to a tally by her political operation.

“It’s about whose side the candidate is on,” Warren said in an interview, when asked which candidates she is planning to campaign for. “Do they want to go to Washington so they can help the millionaires and billionaires, or do they want to give everybody a fighting chance?”

Kentucky has one of the most closely watched US Senate races in the country. It is a rare place where Democrats could have a chance at unseating not only a Republican incumbent, but the Senate’s top Republican — McConnell, who Warren repeatedly criticized during her weekend swing through the state.

A survey released last week by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, which had Grimes leading 48 percent-to-46 percent, illustrated why Warren could be an asset in Kentucky. Eighty percent said they were more likely to vote for “a candidate who wants to close loopholes to make sure millionaires do not pay a lower tax rate than the middle class.”

Asked in an interview why she is being invited to states that are not usually friendly territory for national Democrats, she called it “a hard question for me.” “But I will say this. I’m clear about what I stand for . . . Nobody has to guess twice whose side I’m on.”

Warren said she has been in contact with Grimes for nearly a year and was eager to help her in her attempt to unseat McConnell — in part, she said, to achieve more gender equity in Washington.

“Would I like to see more women in the United States Senate? Yes. And you can put that in capitals,” Warren said.

But there may be another impetus for Warren’s trip to Kentucky: McConnell helped block her bill making it easier for students to refinance college loans. That legislation was the theme of a rally Sunday morning. - Boston Globe, 6/30/14

Meanwhile, this guy, who knows a thing or two about defeating a Minority Leader, is trying to claim McConnell's not in trouble:

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 12:  U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) speaks on Capitol Hill October 12, 2011 in Washington, DC. Senate Republicans spoke to reporters briefly after attending their weekly Senate Republican Policy Committee closed luncheon meeting. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
John Thune knows what it’s like to knock off a party leader — and he doesn’t see it happening in Kentucky this fall.

Thune said that Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will not be the next Tom Daschle, the Democratic majority leader that the South Dakota Republican defeated in 2004. That race helped set the precedent for challengers to incumbent party leaders, a dynamic that was underscored again this month when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was trounced in his Virginia primary.

But McConnell won’t have those problems, according to Thune, because he is more in step with the conservative state of Kentucky, while Daschle’s views were out of whack with a South Dakota that was and still is getting redder and redder.

“Sen. Daschle at the time was using his leadership position in a way that was contrary to where a majority of South Dakotans were,” Thune said in an interview taped for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers.” “Eventually, that caught up with him.” - Politico, 6/26/14

Kentucky is not South Dakota and the way I see it.  Plus Grimes' views are more in line with Kentucky voters than McConnell's:

The Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund released the results of a new poll Thursday showing that a majority of Kentucky voters support making the federal tax system fairer to middle-class families by requiring wealthy individuals and corporations to pay a "fairer" share of taxes.

The poll, conducted by the liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling, also found that Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic nominee, leads McConnell by 48 percent to 46 percent, with just 6 percent of voters undecided.

PPP's poll shows that 80 percent of voters said they're more likely to vote for "a candidate who wants to close loopholes to make sure millionaires do not pay a lower tax rate than the middle class," while 76 percent of voters would be more likely to vote for "a candidate who wants to make sure that the rich and corporations pay their fair share of taxes."

Though Grimes hasn't struck the most populist tone while campaigning -- and doesn't advocate increasing individual income tax rates -- the issue of taxation flared up last week over funding for a $2.6 billion bridge project. Grimes released a plan to pay for a new bridge in the state by closing corporate tax loopholes and using the additional revenue to fund the bridge's construction, while McConnell said he'd do so by reducing construction worker wages.

The poll found that 63 percent of respondents favored Grimes' proposal over McConnell's. - Huffington Post, 6/26/14

Anything can happen between now and November and this race is going to be tight.  But we have a serious shot here to defeat McConnell and Warren is helping us make that happen.  So click here to donate and get involved with Grimes' campaign so she's ready to defeat McConnell:

Originally posted to pdc on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 10:36 AM PDT.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos, Youth Kos 2.0, and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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