By Sean Southard–
Her grandmother described her as a “Hollywood liberal.” She nominated President Obama at the Democratic National Convention. Her name is Ashley Judd and she is considering a Senate run to unseat the Commonwealth’s senior Senator and the Senate’s Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell. Judd, an actress and Kentucky Wildcat basketball fan, has met with top Democratic Party officials to discuss the possibility of a senate run. Her adversity to coal and lack of political experience might spell trouble for her candidacy, not to mention the conservative credentials and experience McConnell has established over the years.
Judd is an opponent of mountain top removal and the coal industry. A recent article in Roll Call, a Washington D.C. newspaper, outlined the potential difficulties of a Judd candidacy if she maintained her current position on coal, much in line with the national Democratic Party. To quote directly from Roll Call, “Judd has called mountaintop-removal coal mining a ‘scourge on our people and on our land.’” According to the Daily Caller, numerous coal refineries in the Ohio River Valley region have closed in the last four because of regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency. If she runs, Judd needs to align herself with Kentucky Democrats like Rep. Rocky Adkins, a Democratic leader in the state, who thinks Judd will need to revaluate her view on coal if she wants to win coal regions of Kentucky.
McConnell’s conservatism is in line with the majority of Kentucky voters. President Obama lost to Republican nominee Mitt Romney by 22.7 percent as reported by 270 to win.com. Furthermore, the American Conservative Union, an interest group that rates the voting records of conservative senators, gave McConnell a 100 percent approval rating. Campaign-side, Senator McConnell has also hired Jesse Benton, a family friend of former Texas Representative Ron and current Kentucky Senator Rand Paul according to Politico. McConnell recently stood with and applauded Senator Paul for his filibuster over President Obama’s power regarding drone strikes.
McConnell’s name means experience in a time where Washington is gridlocked. McConnell brings wisdom and an eye for lawmaking that takes years to develop. He is able to cut a deal with Democrats while not compromising on his principles. The most recent example would be McConnell’s handling of the sequester tax hikes, in which he managed to stop a tax hike on 99 percent of Americans according to McConnell’s own Op-Ed on Yahoo News. A new senator in McConnell’s place would replace experience with inexperience. His leaving the hill would mean sensibility leaving with with him.
In summation, it seems that Ashley Judd faces a difficult task in unseating Senator McConnell. Even Governor Steve Beshear’s 2007 campaign manager stated, in a Washington Times piece earlier this month, that Judd would “have a tough road to hoe.” Judd’s political views and inexperience, matched against McConnell’s conservative credentials and his wealth of legislative experience might lead Judd to reconsider the difficulties ahead before she declares her campaign.
Photos courtesy of J. Scott Applewhite and Chris Pizzello/AP