Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is up with her first ad attacking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in her campaign to unseat the five-term incumbent, and it's a pretty good one:
Visually, the ad is simple: It features Grimes and a Don Disney, a retired coal miner from Kentucky, both wearing blue jeans and sitting in chairs in front of a fire truck with upbeat folksy background music. Grimes begins by introducing herself and Disney before tossing it over to Disney to ask a question of McConnell. Disney's question:
Senator, I'm a retired coal miner. I want to know how you could have voted to raise my Medicare costs by $6,000? How are my wife and I supposed to afford that?Grimes and Disney pause, as if to give McConnell a chance to answer. Grimes then breaks the silence by saying to Disney: "I don't think he's going to answer that." She ends the ad by saying she approved the ad because "I'll work to strengthen Medicare, not bankrupt seniors like Don."
Grimes and Disney are referring to McConnell's support for House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's plan to end Medicare as we know it, but instead of getting lost in the weeds—or going "wonky" as Ryan might say—the ad focuses on the human impact of what McConnell and Ryan want to do with Medicare. The ad accomplishes more than simply attacking McConnell, however—it also defines Grimes, presenting her as a champion for Kentucky. It's the kind of ad McConnell will never in a million years be able to pull off: He simply doesn't have what it takes to carry an ad for 30 seconds.
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the ad will run statewide for the next week:
The buy on broadcast in the Louisville market cost the campaign more than $52,000, according to records on file with the Federal Communications Commission. Time-Warner Cable's website shows that Grimes also purchased more than $13,000 worth of ads on cable television in Lexington.McConnell's campaign hasn't developed much of a response—the paper reports they are simply dismissing the ad as an act of panic by Grimes. That's a ridiculous response. If anyone's panicking here, it's McConnell, not Grimes.
The ad will begin airing at 6:30 a.m.