It wasn't all that long ago that even "the Donald" was dumping on Matt Bevin.
"@MattBevin: As someone well versed in job creation and the Private Sector, if you lie on your resume, You're Fired!" Trump tweeted in August 2013 at Bevin, the former Senate candidate turned Republican gubernatorial nominee.
That attack by Trump, now a presidential contender, is just one more in a string of embarrassing chapters from Bevin's ill-advised and ill-fated run against U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that have resurfaced as Bevin pursues the Governor's Mansion.
And it might not matter one bit.
On Thursday, when Bevin and Attorney General Jack Conway, the Democratic nominee for governor, squared off at a Kentucky Farm Bureau forum, it was clear to just about everyone in the room that Conway had a stronger command of the issues near and dear to the group.
And it might not matter one bit.
At the press conference after the forum, Bevin struggled with specifics on health care policy, snapped at reporters for asking about a variety of subjects and indignantly said he didn't know how many jobs he has created, despite his constant Trump-ian boasts of creating more jobs than Conway.
And it might not matter one bit.
There are reams of opposition research that McConnell's team unearthed but didn't need on their way to crushing Bevin in last year's primary.
And none of that might matter one bit.
It might not matter because Bevin, the man Trump said he would've fired, could well be holding a trump card of his own if a summer of social change becomes an autumn of angry conservative defiance.
That card covers several issues — gay marriage, the Confederate flag and Planned Parenthood — but it's easier to just lump it into one category: The Obama card.
If the Democratic strategy of continuing McConnell's attacks on Bevin is crystal clear, then so is the Republican strategy of tying Conway and every other Democrat running for office to a president who has never been well-liked by the vast majority of Kentuckians.
This summer, that disdain has become a frenetic and vocal war cry as conservatives, believing their president is out to get them and that the country they love is becoming a permissive, socialist haven, are screaming at the top of their lungs for someone to push back.
That's how Trump jumped to the top of most polls measuring the 2016 Republican presidential contest despite a history of supporting liberal causes and politicians and outlandish, controversial statements that could kill the Republican Party on the national level.
But Kentucky isn't a national electorate. It's a conservative electorate and has only grown more so in the last 15 years. While the Trump school of politics is music to the ears of national Democrats, it's certainly not disqualifying in the commonwealth.
Conway has been around state government for a very long time, gathering a deep knowledge of the state's laws, interests and needs, but he also has a scarlet D behind his name.
It's an increasingly detrimental designation for a politician in Kentucky.
As Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes found out last year, the liberal Democratic bases in Louisville and Lexington are not willing to sit idly by and watch as a Democrat tries to appeal to conservative members of their party.
Jim Higdon, author of "The Cornbread Mafia," noted in a story for Politico last December that in the U.S. Senate race, 12,295 voters showed up in Louisville to vote for U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth but didn't vote for Grimes.
Grimes, it seems, lost liberal Democrats by doing whatever she could to win over conservative Democrats — including drawing national liberal ire for refusing to admit she voted for the president.
Conway is forever in danger of losing the good will he established with liberals by refusing to appeal a federal judge's ruling that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages.
For example, his offer Thursday to pursue an "alternative avenue" for county clerks who refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples could leave that crucial bloc of voters sitting at home or running to potential independent candidate Drew Curtis.
By hedging on gay marriage, embracing his pro-Second Amendment side and following in the state's bipartisan political tradition of cozying up to coal, Conway risks losing a base he desperately needs if he hopes to offset a motivated conservative electorate in the rest of the state.
And the hard truth is that he needs both to win.
Recently, I asked Yarmuth about the darned-if-you-do-darned-if-you-don't problem facing Kentucky Democrats as they attempt the nearly impossible tight-rope walk of appeasing both wings of their party in statewide races.
"I'm not sure there's an answer to it," Yarmuth said. "I think the answer is be authentic and say what you believe and let the chips fall where they may."
"Authentic" is not Conway's strong suit, and if he and Bevin were competing for a car lot's salesman of the month award, you could call the race for Bevin now.
After surviving Thursday's forum with vague answers and promises, Bevin stepped to the podium for his closing remarks and produced his Trump card, bypassing agricultural issues to note that Conway has been "strongly supportive" of Obama in the past.
"I think that frankly should concern a lot of people," Bevin said. "That is a man who as president of this country has done much to destroy who we are as a nation and frankly specifically the fabric of who we are as Kentuckians."
And that's not just Bevin's play. The president is showing up in television ads for just about every office up for grabs in Kentucky this year.
But Yarmuth disagrees with political analysts who believe that Republicans are poised to once again have success with the bash-Obama playbook.
What does make him nervous, Yarmuth said, is that he isn't hearing many Democrats talking about the governor's race.
"There just doesn't seem to be any interest in it whatsoever," he said.
That does not seem to be the case on the right, where social conservatives are fired up, threatening to create an enthusiasm gap this fall.
Truthfully, the political environment could hardly be any worse for Democrats, and Conway could run a perfect campaign (he won't) and still lose the race.
If the race becomes a choice between Bevin and Conway, then the attorney general has a solid chance of keeping the governor's mansion blue. If it becomes yet another referendum on Obama, then whatever Conway does might not matter one bit.