Catty out of the bag: McConnell's 'gotcha' campaign style is juvenile

November 19, 2013 

Alison Lundergan Grimes

PHOTO PROVIDED

Doesn't Alison Lundergan Grimes know that cool people avoid going to parties with Michelle Obama? At least cool people from Kentucky?

That seems to be the high school drama subtext of criticism aimed at the secretary of state for attending a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fund-raiser where the first lady of the United States spoke.

At the event, which focused on raising money for female candidates, Obama talked about the accomplishments of her husband, President Barack Obama, and things that remain to be done.

These included the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare; the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which protects the right of women to earn equal pay for equal work; and the push for what Obama called common-sense gun laws.

"The cat is now out of the bag," McConnell's campaign crowed. "Grimes thought she could keep Kentuckians in the dark about what they talk about at her fundraisers with rich Obama contributors."

Puh-leese. It can't be a secret to anyone that national Democrats are talking about the health care act, equal pay for equal work or gun control. Nor can it surprise any rational observer that Grimes, who faces McConnell's $10 million campaign war chest, is traveling the country to raise money.

Certainly McConnell, one of the most accomplished political tacticians and fund-raisers of modern times, who has himself run the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, knows that serious candidates talk to rich contributors.

So, what is all this "gotcha" about?

It's about Barack Obama, our president, who is not popular in Kentucky.

Michelle hangs out with Barack and Alison hangs out with Michelle, therefore Alison should be unpopular too. At least that's the narrative the McConnell campaign would have us believe.

Certainly after 35 years in public life, 29 of them in the job he's fighting to hang on to, McConnell can offer Kentucky voters a better rationale for sending him back to the U.S. Senate.

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