Feb. 23, 2014

2014: Why Kentucky Matters

It's time Congress got its priorities straight.
(Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky)

Mitch McConnell always has interesting things to say on every issue. He is an expert at lowdown dirty politics. He also knows how to cover his ass and do what's best for the country when his back is to the wall.

My main question is....Is that good enough in the 2014 political climate of Washington?

Are the people of Kentucky fed up with his antics after 30 years?

Just how many lives does this guy have?

In 2010 McConnell backed Rand Paul's opponent in HIS senate race. This year Paul is HELPING McConnell with his own handpicked campaign peeps. Mr. Paul needs McConnell to win this race for several reasons.

Let's discuss.

McConnell is a Washington insider who actually gets stuff done when possible. Rand Paul depends on McConnell to back him when he goes off the reservation with his Libertarian Tea Party rants. McConnell has backed Paul since day one. They have a coalition of sorts.

Remember during the shutdown when they were both caught on camera and a hot mic discussing their chances to "Actually win this thing?" They didn't win anything. They hurt the country and the people in Kentucky are making McConnell pay for it right now.

Bill Clinton has been aggressively campaigning for his close family friend Alison Lundren Grimes in her battle for McConnell's senate seat. Clinton has approval ratings well over 60% in 2014. This is one time his help in Kentucky is appreciated by progressives and moderates.

McConnell should easily defeat his Tea Party crackpot challenger Matt Bevan, who has associated McConnell with the Debt Ceiling passage, declaring that he would "NEVER" pass a debt ceiling. Even the reddest of red staters in Kentucky know that defaulting on the U.S. debts would be catastrophic.

The real battle comes down to Democratic moderate Grimes v. Old School Mitch McConnell, who has VERY LOW approval ratings in Kentucky. The Affordable Care Act is a success in Kentucky with over 250,000 previously uninsured folks now signed up through "Kentucky Connect." McConnell will have to pull a rabbit out of his hat to walk back all the terrible things he has said about the ACA for several years.

I believe Grimes will pull this out with the help of the Clintons and the success of Obamacare in the state of Kentucky.

2016 is a very interesting year in Kentucky also. Rand Paul will likely run for the GOP nomination and (because of Kentucky law) cannot run again for his seat in the senate. 

WHAT IF Mitch McConnell decides to take run for Rand Paul's vacated Senate seat while Paul is utilizing most of his resources towards a presidential run? It is an interesting scenario. Rand Paul has been very controversial since entering the senate. McConnell is a polarizing figure as well. After 2016, we may see a Senate WITHOUT Rand Paul and McConnell once again trying to get back in the "Old Boys Club."

If Grimes wins that senate race, there is a very good possibility we will start seeing that state drift more towards the middle. 

Bill Clinton is campaigning in the state for more than one reason. He is there to shore up a coalition for his wife when she runs in 2016. Grimes' father is a close political ally of the Clintons.

Democratic Governor Steve Bashear has successfully implemented the ACA in the state and once conservative right wingnuts are being covered just like liberals. The climate is changing in Kentucky.

Kentucky matters greatly, as do other southern states that may be in play in the 2016 presidential race.