Damn: Ashley Judd decides she won't run for Senate

I didn’t think defeating her was as much of a gimme as some righties did, but I did think she’d lose. And that there’d be at least one or two or twelve colorful meltdowns on the trail along the way. 2014 just got a lot less kooky, and political blogging is the poorer for it. Alas.

Admit it: Deep down, you wanted to see how she’d walk back that “mountaintop coal removal is like rape” analogy.

A source close to Judd told WaPo, “The timing just wasn’t right.” Is that it? Let’s follow the timeline. Six weeks ago, a friend told a local news outlet that she was leaning towards running. Less than three weeks ago, another “insider” confirmed for Fox News that “in Ashley’s mind, it’s happening,” which is probably a more meaningful choice of phrase than he intended. Then, three days later and likely alarmed at her apparent seriousness, Democrats started to hit the brakes: A Kentucky blog reported that the DSCC was looking at the secretary of state, Alison Lundergan Grimes, as an alternative. National Journal followed the next day with a brutal piece quoting local donors and politicos as saying she’d destroy the party’s chances statewide if she ran. Eight days after that, Politico claimed that “Democratic heavy hitters,” including Bill Clinton, were busy pressuring Grimes to jump in and spare them from a Judd-driven trainwreck. The writing was on the wall, I think, when Donald Trump piped up in the middle of it all to declare that Judd would be a “great candidate.” Gulp.

The lingering question: Did she take the hint or did someone from the politburo actually have to warn her that the party would embarrass her by backing Grimes in a primary if she didn’t bow out? I’m guessing it’s the former, but don’t hold me to it. After all, this is someone who, after being attacked by Rove’s group for running in Kentucky despite the fact that she lives in Tennessee, spent the last month … not doing much campaigning in Kentucky. Oh well.

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