Dude, she’s running … again. Larry King sits down for a lengthy interview with actor Ashley Judd, who toyed with the idea of running against Mitch McConnell in the 2014 midterms but eventually bowed out after a series of less-than-glorious moments. Her adviser Jonathan Miller blamed Democrats for stabbing her in the back, helped by a national news media that got “easily duped,” according to Miller. “[T]he national media seized any morsel of news or gossip to sate its ravenous appetite for Ashley Judd stories,” Miller complained, but the entire raison d’être for Judd was to run a celebrity campaign that would nationalize the effort to unseat McConnell. Nothing Judd did helped her cause much either, but today she tells King that she wasn’t just “dabbling” — and that she’s interested in a run for governor now:
“I wanted people to think I was sincere and I had a natural fear that maybe folks would think I had been dabbling and I wasn’t. I mean, I was all in. I was very excited,” Judd tells King. Judd doesn’t volunteer her thoughts on a gubernatorial run until King asks whether she’s interested in any other positions. “Governor seems like an interesting position too,” Judd replies, “particularly in Kentucky, where we have a mono-economy, really abusive mineral extraction, pervasive poverty, low educational attainment. We’re really low on all the different social indices and because of my work in developing economies, I actually—both as a Kentuckian and someone who’s traveled around the world a lot—have a deep bench on that stuff.” Attempting to follow Democrat Steve Beshear into the governor’s office is a possibility, Judd says, “but I also want to emphasize that I know that right now, I’m exactly where I am supposed to be.”
On the presidential race, Judd says she’s not paying attention yet, but … “Obviously, I love Hillary Rodham Clinton. […] I think she might be the most overqualified candidate we’ve had since, you know, Thomas Jefferson or George Washington.” But first things first: “It’s not time yet, and there’s a basketball title to be won, and other things to be done, before we go cuckoo with another presidential election.”
Well, on the timing, Judd and Hillary agree — since Team Clinton has kicked the can down the road to well past March Madness and even past the NBA championships. But Hillary is “the most overqualified” candidate since Jefferson? Judd prefaced this by extolling Hillary’s intellect on issues such as brain development, but … over-qualified for the presidency? It would have been interesting to hear an explanation from Judd and King press for one. Dwight Eisenhower ran the Alliance in World War II, while Reagan and Bush 43 had two terms each as governor, and that’s just in the past 60 years. Bill Clinton had three terms as governor.
Hillary’s qualifications to run the federal government are … eight undistinguished years in the Senate, followed by four disastrous years as Secretary of State. Besides the still-rocky rapprochement with Burma (about which we will hear plenty in the next 20 months), what exactly did Hillary Clinton produce as Secretary of State? Any new trade agreements? Any evidence at all of improved global relations, other than Sergei Lavrov’s laughter over the “reset” button?
Perhaps Judd misspoke. Hillary’s the most qualified Democratic candidate since America elected a one-term Senate backbencher as President, but Barack Obama is a low bar for that measure.
Update: Also, on that gubernatorial run …
Ashley Judd told Larry King she's intrigued by a Kentucky Gov run. Who wants to tell her major party filing deadline passed last week?
— Reid Wilson (@PostReid) February 2, 2015
To be fair, Judd didn’t specify that she meant this time, but still …