When David Gergen referred to “Ted Kennedy’s seat” in the Massachusetts debate between Martha Coakley and Scott Brown, he had at least two extenuating circumstances. First, he wasn’t one of the candidates, and second, the seat was open because of Kennedy’s death a few months earlier. Even with those points, Gergen still allowed Brown to create a rallying cry for the entire year, proclaiming it to be “the people’s seat” and not a sinecure for Democrats or any political dynasty.

Unfortunately for Jack Conway, he doesn’t have any of those excuses, and Rand Paul makes him pay for it:

Er … Wendell Ford? He served 24 years in the US Senate, the last of which was — 1998.  There have been two full terms since the last time Senator Ford entered the chamber, both filled by Republican Jim Bunning.  While Ford at the time of his retirement held the record for the longest term for any Kentucky Senator (Mitch McConnell surpassed it last year), but otherwise is hardly a figure who merits his nameplate permanently attached to the seat.

This is an unforced error by Conway and an easy way for Rand Paul to remind Kentuckians that Democrats believe themselves entitled to these seats.

Update: More substantively, Brian Bolduc reports that Conway got skewered in the Fox News Sunday debate by flip-flopping on taxes and cap-and-trade:

Conway took a greater pounding from Wallace who mentioned Conway’s support for the cap-and-trade bill in the House, Waxman-Markey. Again, Conway objected, “I’m against cap-and-trade.” When Wallace cited an editorial in the Bowling Green Daily News which said Conway supported Waxman-Markey, Conway dismissed Wallace’s evidence and said, “I have been consistent.”

Paul saw the opening and seized it: “In June of last year, you issued a statement saying you supported the bill. . . . I met with you . . . [and you said] you could be part of fixing cap-and-trade.” Undeterred, Conway stonewalled: “I have been consistent in my position.”

Unfortunately for the Democrat, Wallace saw another flip-flop on the Bush tax cuts. He cited an article in theLouisville-Courier Journal in which Conway said “I would favor letting expire probably the majority of the Bush tax cuts,” before noting, “Now you’re for extending all of them.”

Conway insisted on his consistency and replied, “It’s no time to be raising taxes.”

Where’s Wendell Ford when you need him?

Update II: Cubachi has more, including video of the entire debate.