Grimes to run against McConnell for Senate seat

posted at 10:01 am on July 2, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

She’s not Ashley Judd, and that may be good news for Mitch McConnell — or Democrats in Kentucky. Alison Lundergan Grimes ended months of speculation and no small amount of anxiety for Democrats, announcing yesterday that she would run for the US Senate seat now held by the Senate Minority Leader.  Grimes and her allies talk about ending McConnell’s “30-year grip on power,” but they have an uphill climb in a very tough cycle:

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Monday that she’s challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, giving Democrats their top recruit in the race.

“I’m here today to tell you that I have met with my supporters, we have had a great conversation and determined and decided that we can next make the best move, the best difference in the Commonwealth of Kentucky by running for the U.S. Senate,” Grimes said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Grimes had sat out the preliminaries while Judd openly toyed with a celebrity run earlier this year, which turned into a disaster for Kentucky Democrats.  That eliminated most of the momentum for nationalizing the race, a key for Democrats to compete against McConnell’s fundraising ability.  It also damaged their credibility, thanks to the desperation to draft a Tennessee resident into a Bluegrass State election.  That was followed by the bugging of McConnell’s campaign meeting, which McConnell has already begun to use to attack Democrats and will likely use much more now that Democrats have settled on a party-machine candidate like Grimes.

Small wonder it took Grimes so long to jump into the race, which is now just 16 months away — a short time for a Senate campaign, and realistically about as long as she could wait.  That wasn’t reluctance, Grimes assured reporters yesterday — just due diligence:

“I have met with my supporters. We have had a great conversation and determined and decided that we can next make the best move, the best difference in the commonwealth of Kentucky by running for the U.S. Senate,”  Grimes said at a news conference in FrankfortKy.

“Over the course of the past 12 weeks  I have taken the time necessary to gather all the facts to make truly an informed decision and that includes listening to my supporters all across this state,” Grimes said. “Make no mistake members of the media this due diligence was not reluctance, it was not hesitancy, but rather a deliberate gathering of all the necessary facts to make a decision that should not be taken lightly. During this process the question never was: ‘Is Mitch McConnell vulnerable? Does Kentucky deserve a change?’ The answer to both of those two questions remains and is yes. The question before my supporters which we have been working diligently on is, ‘How best can we continue to make a difference and move this commonwealth forward.”

If Kentucky Democrats want to provide change to entrenched power, nominating the daughter of a former state party chairman seems an odd way to do so.  Furthermore, it’s their misfortune to have both of their Senate seats come up for election in Barack Obama’s midterm elections.  Rand Paul ran his first-ever political campaign against well-established Democrat Jack Conway, the state’s attorney general, and beat him by 11 points in 2010.

This time, they’re going to run their Secretary of State against someone with decades of experience in Kentucky campaigns, at the same time that the IRS scandal and the implementation of ObamaCare will have Republicans fired up for the polls.  The Tea Party, which is significant in Kentucky, will have extra incentive to punish the Obama administration in the next cycle, even if McConnell isn’t one of their favorites in Washington.

McConnell may not have polled spectacularly well against Judd and may not to start against Grimes either, but Democrats will have a tall, tall order to pull off an upset against a Republican in a red state like Kentucky in a second-term midterm election.  Given the problems Democrats will have defending red-state incumbents, they’re not likely to pour a lot of national resources into Kentucky to help Grimes tilt at this windmill, either.

Update: At least according to the NRSC, Grimes didn’t get off to an auspicious start, either:

Mom always told us to make a good first impression. Yesterday after taking months to decide whether to run for Senate, Alison Lundergan Grimes called a last minute press conference that she ended up being more than 30 minutes late to.  Rumors swirled.  Would she run?  Political operatives from both parties speculated that a Monday afternoon during a Holiday week was a bizarre time to launch a Senate campaign and suggested the reluctant candidate would pass.

What followed will no doubt be remembered as the most disastrous campaign launch since Ben Konop’s epic 2009 Toledo Mayoral campaign launch.

As various reports have showed:

  1. Grimes’ announcement led off with the wrong backdrop (it was a campaign backdrop from her run for Secretary of State – her staff announced it was the only backdrop they had).  In other words, Kentucky’s Secretary of State apparently needs a primer in federal campaign finance laws.
  2. Grimes spoke from a podium that carried on microphone stuck in a toilet paper roll.  We’ve been around a lot of last minute press conferences, but we’ve never seen anything like this.
  3. Political reporters in Kentucky weren’t impressed. “Sweating. You’d think Jerry Lundergan could pay to keep the AC on,” tweeted Joe Gerth of the Courier-Journal.
  4. There was no website. No literature. No stickers. No signs. No social media presence. No momentum.  We’ve seen campaigns for student council Vice President kick off with more. It was so bad that Grimes’ team had to claim that Grimes actually didn’t announce yesterday… that was just the launch before the launch…umm… mmmkay.
  5. The candidate’s performance underwhelmed.  Lundergan Grimes is beyond green – and not just on her anti-coal policy.  We’ve noticed that she repeatedly tries to get by with sound bytes, buzzwords, generalities, and vapid platitudes that read as though they were written by a Deputy Press Secretary over at the DNC.  Yesterday was no different. After keeping reporters waiting for more than 30 mins, the candidate spoke for under fiveBen Shapiro noted that in Kentucky, Lundergan Grimes “is widely perceived in the state as a wooden politician with little charisma, and a family legacy of Democratic Party politics.”   It showed. “Grimes took just two questions Monday. Asked her feelings on Obamacare, she said this election can’t change who is president….” This from the candidate who proudly nominated Barack Obama for President at last year’s Democratic National Convention – despite residing in a state that opposed him by more than 20 points (you know, when we could have changed who is President).

Seriously, worst launch ever?

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I loved how the leftards were all faux offended that Judd’s psych hospitalization would be an election issue. lol

Blake on July 2, 2013 at 10:05 AM

So what’s the payoff to Grimes to be the sacrificial lamb? Federal judgeship?

rbj on July 2, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Wow, that NRSC thing was harsh. I wish they’d treat all Democrats that way.

joekenha on July 2, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Envision

The cleanest @$$ to ever serve in Congress.

Seriously, I can’t stop laughing after clicking that link.

MNHawk on July 2, 2013 at 10:15 AM

McConnell has petitioned PETA and Interior to shield him as a turtle.

viking01 on July 2, 2013 at 10:17 AM

The important question is, what kind of shoes does she wear?

Mark1971 on July 2, 2013 at 10:20 AM

“Worst launch” is irrelevant, if you have the most effective (and crooked) campaign help in the U.S.

listens2glenn on July 2, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Just announce your opposition to the Gang of 8 amnesty bill and you’ll capture a huge percentage of the Republican base :)

Ukiah on July 2, 2013 at 10:21 AM

How good are judges at canceling unwanted election outcomes in Kentucky?

JustUs Benedict Kennedy wants to know.

viking01 on July 2, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Who’s the conservative going to be in the race?

Darksean on July 2, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Any relation to the late Frank “Grimey” Grimes ?

moc23 on July 2, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Lundergan Grimes is beyond green – and not just on her anti-coal policy. We’ve noticed that she repeatedly tries to get by with sound bytes, buzzwords, generalities, and vapid platitudes that read as though they were written by a Deputy Press Secretary over at the DNC.

I’m worried now about the Kentucky Senate seat. Grimes has exactly what it takes to be a successful Democratic politician. Consider Pelosi, Reid, and Biden.

thuja on July 2, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Darn it. We could’ve used a US Senator with a psychological support dog. Think of the barriers it would’ve broken! The first human-canine senator team!

Yes we CAN!

ramesees on July 2, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Comment disappeared???

Ukiah on July 2, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Any relation to the late Frank “Grimey” Grimes ?

moc23 on July 2, 2013 at 10:29 AM

RIP Grimey

22044 on July 2, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Comment disappeared???

Ukiah on July 2, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Try reloading each web page after accessing it.

HotAir has a bug this morning that sometimes prevents automatic page refreshing/ updating each time a link is revisited.

viking01 on July 2, 2013 at 10:39 AM

“WORST LAUNCH EVER”
An understatement if there ever was one.

The question before my supporters which we have been working diligently on is, ‘How best can we continue to make a difference and move this commonwealth forward.” – Grimey

Given the many thousands of military combat troops stationed in KainTukky, I suggest she begin by trying to “recruit” them. Rots o’ruck, chicklips.

Given the problems Democrats will have defending red-state incumbents, they’re not likely to pour a lot of national resources into Kentucky to help Grimes tilt at this windmill, either.

BUT … Being as she is a clueless Leftist with as much ca$h as she need$, she’ll attract donation$ from all over the country, including the indicted country-crashing traitor Georgie Soro$.
(unless cached long ago, the many articles re: Soros and his attempt to topple the governments in the Baltic States, you won’t find them anymore *wink*)

As much as I am not a fan of Mitch ‘Chinless’ McConnell, this chick aint got a snowball’s chance. However, it should be entertaining as all git out. Bring it, babe.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on July 2, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Politics aside, she’s hot. Also, not a Mitch fan.

Living4Him5534 on July 2, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Nothing spells crass opportunism than hyphenating your last name after marriage in order to keep the family brand of your state party chairman father.

blammm on July 2, 2013 at 10:43 AM

I hope she wins.

McConnell is what’s wrong with the Republican party.

portlandon on July 2, 2013 at 10:45 AM

I am tempted to support her campaign.

I want to see Republicans retake the Senate in 2014, but I want McConnell to lose. Otherwise, he will be the Senate Majority Leader and, once again, nothing will change. There is still a glimmer of hope that conservatives could have an impact on the Republican Party, but it will not happen if Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, et al. retain their leadership roles.

Shump on July 2, 2013 at 10:49 AM

So, are they only considering pretty women to run against him?

Hucklebuck on July 2, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Don’t care who the Dems nominate. My concern s who is h Conservative opposing McConnell. THAT is the race we need to get behind.

joecollins on July 2, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Who’s the conservative going to be in the race?

Darksean on July 2, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Don’t care who the Dems nominate. My concern s who is h Conservative opposing McConnell. THAT is the race we need to get behind.

joecollins on July 2, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Exactly. Who is primarying so I can send him/her some money?

davidk on July 2, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Dang, the libs finally get a hot chick.

Nutstuyu on July 2, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Darn!!
Hoping this was a Primary Contender.
McConnell needs to be ousted by a true conservative/libertarian!

gooeylong on July 2, 2013 at 11:19 AM

BTW, Ed. I appreciate the way you have it set up so links open in another page.

Now about those autoplays … .

davidk on July 2, 2013 at 11:23 AM

At this point it might be better of the dem candidate wins it.

unless the base primaries him. One way or the other McConnell is part of the problem.

unseen on July 2, 2013 at 11:34 AM

I am waiting to hear which Republican candidate is going to run against Senator Mitch McConnell in the Republican Primary election.

wren on July 2, 2013 at 11:57 AM

I am waiting to hear which Republican candidate is going to run against Senator Mitch McConnell in the Republican Primary election.

wren on July 2, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Whomever had better have a big bank roll. Mitch is hangin’ on.
For now, Mitch is close enough to being real.
(unless of course a real conservative comes down the pike)
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on July 2, 2013 at 12:24 PM

I somehow can’t bring myself to support Mitch. I don’t care. He needs to go away.

antisocial on July 2, 2013 at 12:25 PM

I’ll send her money … anything it takes to exterminate the GOP Ayatollahs politically – ANYTHING IT TAKES.

HondaV65 on July 2, 2013 at 12:32 PM

When I ran for Student Council in H.S., I put signs above all the water fountains that said, “Have a Free Drink, Compliments of [ME]!”

I thought that was pretty cheesy, until I read this. Now, I’m thinking it was cutting edge!

IndieDogg on July 2, 2013 at 12:41 PM

She sounds like another Caroline Kennedy.

Lundergan Grimes is beyond green – and not just on her anti-coal policy. We’ve noticed that she repeatedly tries to get by with sound bytes, buzzwords, generalities, and vapid platitudes….

Then again, she sounds more like another Barack Hussein 0bama.

UltimateBob on July 2, 2013 at 12:55 PM

I’ll send her money … anything it takes to exterminate the GOP Ayatollahs politically – ANYTHING IT TAKES.

HondaV65 on July 2, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Careful what you wish for there, son.

Once a Democrat gets a Senate seat, it’s awfully hard to get rid of them.

But I’m with ya on dumping McConnell. If only there was someone primarying him.

UltimateBob on July 2, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Glad to see that the idots (Hondav65 et al) are out today. Yes, far better that the Senate remain D and far better a Leftist Senator is in charge than McConnell, because remember it is LOSING, we triumph….

Honda the Obama Voter is hardly the person to select Ky’s next Senator….

JFKY on July 2, 2013 at 12:58 PM

So, are they only considering pretty women to run against him?

Hucklebuck on July 2, 2013 at 10:52 AM

No. Ashley Judd was being considered for a while and she looks like she runs her face through a swarm of bees every morning.

Dang, the libs finally get a hot chick.

Nutstuyu on July 2, 2013 at 11:19 AM

‘Cause she’s 34. Still not difficult to look passable then, so even the libs get a few on occasion. By 50 or so the poison that is their ideology really takes over and they all grow old looking like Helen Thomas. Sooner depending on how militant feminist they are.

Gingotts on July 2, 2013 at 1:08 PM

If he does not get off his butt pretty soon she will be getting my vote. It is time to shake things up and there are a lot like me that will not live the old status quo much longer.

Pardonme on July 2, 2013 at 1:11 PM

If he does not get off his butt pretty soon she will be getting my vote. It is time to shake things up and there are a lot like me that will not live the old status quo much longer.

Pardonme on July 2, 2013 at 1:11 PM

One more vote to Block the Repeal of ObamaCare, one more vote FOR Climate Change Legislation, one more vote for Toomey-Manchin, I see how your crafty plan works….More, we advance by running away.

You and Honda, you’re Zen Masters aren’t you?

JFKY on July 2, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Glad to see that the idots (Hondav65 et al) are out today. Yes, far better that the Senate remain D and far better a Leftist Senator is in charge than McConnell, because remember it is LOSING, we triumph….

Honda the Obama Voter is hardly the person to select Ky’s next Senator….

JFKY on July 2, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Yeo, democratic party mobys sent here to depress turnout, I hope more would ignore them.

slickwillie2001 on July 2, 2013 at 1:39 PM

1. Mitch will roll over Alison with little to no effort. Under/ over is 20 points.

2. All of you who want to complain about Mitch because he doesn’t meet some ideal version of conservatism are morons. He’s done the best that could be done with a minority of the Senate and kept a lot of Obama’s agenda from being worse. I can appreciate people wanting to bag on Boehner. He has a majority, but not the strength to keep it dsiciplined. Mitch has a minority. WTF is he supposed to do?

So, yeah, let’s primary him with some civil libertardian goofball that will make it possible for Grimes to win. That’s a great plan.

Idiots.

Dukeboy01 on July 2, 2013 at 1:48 PM

So, yeah, let’s primary him with some civil libertardian goofball that will make it possible for Grimes to win. That’s a great plan.

Now Hole on Thar’ Pard-ner….What’s wrong with Primarying him? How else you gonna change things if you doan replace the folkz who ain’t a-doin’ what you want?

I’m just against the idiots proposing support for the Liberal Democrat in the General Election. In a choice between Grimes and McConnell, you’d be a knucklehead or Hondav65 to support Grimes, but in a choice between McConnell and say a Rand Paul clone….well that’s an ENTIRELY different coloured horse.

JFKY on July 2, 2013 at 1:59 PM

So, yeah, let’s primary him with some civil libertardian goofball that will make it possible for Grimes to win. That’s a great plan.

Now Hole on Thar’ Pard-ner….What’s wrong with Primarying him? How else you gonna change things if you doan replace the folkz who ain’t a-doin’ what you want?

I’m just against the idiots proposing support for the Liberal Democrat in the General Election. In a choice between Grimes and McConnell, you’d be a knucklehead or Hondav65 to support Grimes, but in a choice between McConnell and say a Rand Paul clone….well that’s an ENTIRELY different coloured horse.

JFKY on July 2, 2013 at 1:59 PM

I hear the witch is running again. Yeah, these right wing loons did so well didn’t they?

Redford on July 2, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Did someone swipe grimes2014.com yet?

cthulhu on July 2, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Politics aside, she’s hot. Also, not a Mitch fan.

Living4Him5534 on July 2, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Dang, the libs finally get a hot chick.

Nutstuyu on July 2, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Follow the link for the microphone in toilet paper, then let me know if you still think shes hot or not.

tommer74 on July 2, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Since all the establishment pubs. are so enamored with Mitch, Nancy Graham, McCain, Rubio, Hatch, Romney, and 90% of the elected pubs, they can kiss my grits. I will donate money to Grimes if McConnel is not defeated in a primary. What’s one more Dem. in the Senate when we already have a Senate full of RINOS. Those who are bloviating about what a great job McConnel has done to stop Reid are either ignorant or liars. Cruz and Rand Paul have done more in their sleep to stop Reid than McConnel has ever done. He’s as useless as teats on a boar hawg. Same goes for Graham.

they lie on July 2, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Politics aside, she’s hot. Also, not a Mitch fan.

Living4Him5534 on July 2, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Dang, the libs finally get a hot chick.

Nutstuyu on July 2, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Follow the link for the microphone in toilet paper, then let me know if you still think shes hot or not.

tommer74 on July 2, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Whew. Janine Garofalo’s big sister.

slickwillie2001 on July 2, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Why can’t I see the latest posts? This site has been screwed up lately. Maybe NSA is attacking site.

they lie on July 2, 2013 at 6:35 PM