Should we be worried about this? I read this story, about Kentucky Democrats quaking at the idea of having a rich Hollywood uber-liberal at the top of the ticket in bluegrass country, and I thought “Hell no.” Then my eeyorism kicked in and I remembered Mitch McConnell isn’t especially popular and that, in politics, you underestimate a millionaire with high name recognition who’s good on camera at your peril. Then I re-read this old Josh Trevino piece about what Judd is allegedly like around the “little people” and I thought “Landslide.”
Anyway, looks like this thing is happening:
Actress Ashley Judd told influential Democrats in Louisville that she is leaning toward running for U.S. Senate against Mitch McConnell and plans to make her decision by Derby Day (May 6), sources tell WHAS11 News.
Judd dined Thursday night at the home of philanthropist Christy Brown, the widow of Brown-Forman Chairman & CEO Owsley Brown II…
Some strategists also believe that as Judd contemplates her decision, she freezes the field, essentially preventing other potential candidates from jumping in.
A source tell WHAS11’s Joe Arnold that Judd is “meeting with people all over the state” as she contemplates her decision.
The obvious play for Democratic image-makers is to tone her waaaaay down and recast her as some sort of Blue Dog populist who’s into guns. But she can’t sell that. I can’t believe she’d even be willing to try. She’s an abortion warrior; her whole shtick is that she’s a proudly outspoken liberal and feminist. Frankly, I think her smartest move would be to ratchet that up and be the sort of punch-throwing progressive that the left desperately wants Elizabeth Warren to be once she’s more established in the Senate. Realistically, Judd’s best-case scenario is losing by a few points. If it’s between that and going full metal liberal, losing by 15, and becoming a hero-martyr to the left and a mainstay on MSNBC in the process, why not go for the latter? Build a brand. The worst that can happen next year is that she ends up remaining a private citizen but with a much enhanced political profile. Given her movie roles lately, she’s already basically reached the point of being famous for being famous. Might as well use it.
Eeyorish exit question: If this is in the bag, why can’t the Senate minority leader crack 50 percent against her?