A female politician by any number of names...

Contributing columnistAugust 18, 2013 

The last Kentucky woman who won elections and didn't have to use all three of her names was Thelma Stovall, who shone with a different kind of light. She chain-smoked and worked at a whiskey factory, but not one of those uppity, single-barrel ones.

The newest product of Kentucky's bourbon industry is a whiskey designed for old men called Old Fitzgeritol.

But back to where we were before coming under the influence of whiskey, back to the three-named woman paradigm. The question for a woman politician is, what percentage of her whole name does she use? Martha Layne Collins used at least 75 percent of her whole name, which is one reason Alison Lundergan Grimes is using so much of hers, thus allowing the senior senator from Kentucky to become the first statesman in state history to attack his opponent's daddy.

Eugenia Crittenden Blackburn Luallen has 12 syllables and what sounds like five names, but only four syllables and one and one third names are in current use, remarkably minimalist.

Some modern women refuse to use their husbands' last name, preferring instead to use their mothers' husbands' last names. Others put a hyphen between their name and their husband's name and then the rest of us don't know what letter to use to look them up in the phone book. These women are to be mainly avoided because they have "issues" and if you say something to them, always start the next sentence with the word "actually."

Fancy Farm defies logic. I don't see how anyone could eat barbecued mutton. It tastes just like a sheep to me.

I am about as fond of barbecue as President Putin was when it was foisted on him in Texas, and he sarcastically told W. that he didn't know how a human could fix something that good to eat, and restarted the cold war.

The Fancy Farm stump speeches are also bites of the not-so-hot, yet overcooked stuff. Mitch McConnell apparently saved his hot sauces for later, while his thrice-named opponent dignified the sheep-fest by including a kidney stone in her speech and trying to get the audience to call the minority leader of the whole United States Senate a female dog.

In fact, Grimes is a political stem cell, being formed by who-knows-who. Will she look to the future, tell coal miners the truth and try to help them find something else to do or will she merely bellow like a dying calf in a hailstorm at the president — a tactic which so far hasn't driven the price of natural gas up?

Will she gain the enthusiasm of the tens of thousands of East Kentuckians, silenced by the Coal-iban, who would just as soon let the mountains remain the way they have been for 10,000 years? In other words, will she run as a Democrat; and if she does, will we recognize one?

I can't wait until the first Kaitlyn runs for governor. She will have a built-in advantage. There are girls in grade school and high school who are not named Kaitlyn, but I haven't met any so far. Kaitlyn might be the first candidate who, instead of three names, will only use one name.

If that works, expect some enterprising woman to run just using the hyphen.

Larry Webster is a Pikeville attorney. Reach him at websterlawrencer@bellsouth.net.

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