FRANKFORT — Mitch McConnell is well known for never underestimating his opponents. Given the way things have gone lately, it’s probably good he doesn’t.
The race for the U.S. Senate seat now held by McConnell, the Republican Leader of the Senate, heated up on several fronts Thursday.
The day after Louisville businessman and tea party-backed Matthew Bevin announced he’d challenge McConnell in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, his likely Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes released a web video directly challenging the five-term senator.
“Let The Campaign” begin is a 3-minute, 41-second video Grimes sent to supporters in advance of next Tuesday’s official “kickoff” in Lexington at which she will be accompanied by Gov. Steve Beshear and other prominent Democrats. (Grimes announced on July 1 she was running in a hastily arranged press conference criticized by Republicans for its lack of preparation and organization.)
The ad recalls the humorous ad Grimes ran two years ago in her successful bid for Secretary of State in which she sat between her two grandmothers who were busy at laptop computers working on campaign themes. Since then, one of the women – Thelma – has died. The web video includes a replay of that ad after which Grimes, seated at the same table in the same room, said she’s running for Senate on behalf of her deceased grandmother and people like her.
She goes onto say elected officials must stand by their principles but also find compromise in pursuit of good public policy, something that’s not happening now in Washington.
“Sen. McConnell is the biggest part of the problem,” she says, and says he’d blocked compromise “out of spite.” Grimes says she doesn’t always “agree with the president” but will work to find ways to help Kentucky and then addresses McConnell directly.