Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


April 25, 2014

RONNIE ELLIS: Never bored on the political beat



There was a story by Edmund Shelby in the Beattyville Enterprise quoting Sen. Mitch McConnell saying job creation in Kentucky is not his job. McConnell is more or less technically correct and he no doubt thinks he formed his answers to Shelby’s questions clumsily.

McConnell is in a tough re-election fight, an arena in which he has earned a reputation of near invincibility. But McConnell seems hemmed in during this campaign. The obvious constraints are the competing requirements of his job as Minority Leader and what he needs to do fend off a primary challenge from Matt Bevin. He’s also fighting a two-front battle, trying to win a primary while preparing to battle Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in the fall.

He also suffers from his own success. Reporters aren’t accustomed to seeing McConnell make mistakes. The comparison they make isn’t to other candidates but to his past performances and reputation. For whatever reason, he seems to be falling short of that standard.

Finally came John Boel’s report on Louisville’s WAVE-TV that Bevin is, at best, being disingenuous about a cockfighting rally he attended.  When it was first reported Bevin spoke to the group, he insisted he didn’t realize it was a cockfighting rally.

Boel was there with an undercover camera and captured Bevin telling someone in the audience he wouldn’t oppose a law to make the “sport” legal. Confronted by Boel, Bevin does what he usually does – he danced and dissembled.

It won’t matter to a lot of Bevin supporters because they’re not voting so much for him as they want to vote against McConnell. But for others who might be thinking of voting for Bevin, it raises the possibility of the ultimate, unforgiveable political sin: hypocrisy.

May 20 is just over three weeks away. November 4 is months away. I’m not worried I’ll be bored.

RONNIE ELLIS writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.


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