We first saw some hints of this via Allahpundit more than a week ago. The Democrats certainly would like a big money, high name recognition candidate to take a run at Mitch McConnell in Kentucky next year, and Ashley Judd certainly seems to check both of those boxes. But the closer they looked, the less appealing the choice began to seem. Now it looks like the heavy hitters in the Donkey Party are heading for the exits openly and seeking a better alternative.
Democratic heavy hitters — including Bill Clinton — are quietly trying to woo a new candidate to jump into the race to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, even as actress Ashley Judd is taking steps toward launching a star-studded campaign of her own.
With fears growing in some Democratic quarters over Judd’s potential candidacy, some prominent Democrats in the Bluegrass State are beginning to set their sights on 34-year-old Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of state. Among Grimes’s attributes: She lacks political baggage since she’s served barely a year in office, and she hails from a well-connected family influential in Kentucky Democratic politics. But it’s not at all certain if she’ll jump into the race.
Credit where credit is due, Grimes probably wouldn’t be a bad choice. She carries the imprimatur of being viewed as a native from an established political lineage while still holding the Politics of Division Democratic appeal of being a woman. (Hey, we still have to get rid of some of these Rich Old White Guys, ya know.) Of course, Secretary of State is an executive branch position and one which tends to naturally lend itself to a run for governor more than a legislative post, but I doubt the Democratic base would hold it against her very much.
Do signals like the Big Dog courting Grimes mean that Judd will take the hint and exit Stage Left? I suppose it depends how much she’s already set her heart on it and how much cash is already tied up in the effort. But it should certainly give her pause.