Is the Ashley Judd for Senate juggernaut really under way? It seems so; even the Washington Post is handicapping her divorce as a potential signal that she wants to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:
This week’s announcement that Ashley Judd and husband Dario Franchitti called it quits after 11 years of marriage had one surprising effect: Proof, claimed some pundits, that the 44-year-old actress is preparing a 2014 race against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
I’m old enough to remember when a fresh divorce signaled that a potential candidate wouldn’t be entering a political race. Progress! Speaking of which, American Crossroads isn’t taking any chances. They rolled out a new web spot today with a relatively modest $10,000 digital ad buy. They want Kentucky voters to get to know the self-professed “radical” Hollywood celebrity that may or may not soon deign to campaign:
I’m skeptical that Judd plans to run in Kentucky, and so are the Post’s Reliable Source bloggers:
• McConnell isn’t beloved in his home state, but the savvy fifth-term senator has a huge war chest and an established political team on the ground. Judd has never run for elected office.
• Judd hasn’t lived in Kentucky since college; she now calls Tennessee home. (She was a delegate from that state at the 2012 DNC convention.) Aside from reestablishing residency, she’ll face charges of being a carpetbagger. (Not a problem for Hillary Clinton in New York, but a huge factor in Bob Kerrey’s losing bid in Nebraska.)
• She’s a progressive liberal. Kentucky is historically a conservative state. Currently, both senators and five of the six representatives are Republicans.
• She’s an actress best known for her pretty face and hot body. Actors (Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sono Bono, Al Franken)successfully transitioned from showbiz to politics. Actresses (Roseanne Barr and . . .) not so much.
Al Franken won celebrity Senate bid in my state, but Kentucky ain’t Minnesota. Franken beat a politically weak Norm Coleman by 312 votes with Barack Obama on the top of the ticket winning by double digits. Franken also had a few years under his belt in political talk radio. Kentuckians may not love McConnell, but they’ll hate Judd’s politics, and as a novice she’s not likely to have many skills in either wooing them or hiding her own positions.
In the end, I suspect that we won’t need this ad in 2014 … but that doesn’t make it any less fun now.