Alison Lundergan Grimes Is A Smart Campaigner

Can she beat Mitch McConnell? Well, she’s got the right instincts. The Washington Post sent an interviewer who went full-metal CW today trying to undermine her, and failed miserably:

The Washington Post: You talked a lot about the partisan gridlock and dysfunction that you see in Washington. I know you were talking about Sen. McConnell and the congressional Republicans, but I’m wondering if you think President Obama shares any of that blame – if the environment in Washington is at all because of him or his approach or his policies, too.

Alison Lundergan Grimes: As we saw, especially with the filibuster reform, there is enough finger-pointing to go around for a lifetime with what has occurred in Washington, D.C. But Kentuckians are tired of the finger-pointing. They want somebody that actually comes up with a pathway forward as to how they’re going to have faith again in the future of Kentucky and the promises of being an American and being able to grow the middle class. That’s what our campaign is about. It’s not the blame game and the finger-pointing that Mitch McConnell has become a master at. It’s actually making sure that we’re tackling the problems of the people of the state…

Post: On health care, you heard President Clinton talk a little bit about it and give a pretty forceful defense of the law and how it’s gotten more affordable health care for more people in Kentucky. Do you share the views that he laid out? You didn’t mention health care in your remarks.

Grimes: Well, it’s still being implemented here in Kentucky. I think what we have seen is that under the leadership of our governor, we are leading the nation in terms of our state-based exchange, Kynect, and Medicaid expansion. The focus has been the 640,000 people that now have access, and here in Kentucky over 230,000 are already enrolled. For me, I think the primary way that we grow the middle class, that we help to give people the promise of a brighter future, it starts and begins with the minimum wage. That’s what you heard me speak about first. Did you guys get a copy of the jobs plan?

Post: Yes, and President Clinton held it up.

Grimes: Yes! He did. Totally unexpected, unrehearsed. Afterwards, I said, ‘Why did you do that?’ And he said, ‘Because I believe in it.’ This is a plan that is about having maximum impact for the people across this state. We’re obviously hopeful for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, but we need a definite, determined pathway for success for the people of Kentucky, and it begins by increasing the minimum wage…

Post: The facts – it’s going to be hard to win this race. Sen. McConnell has been in office for 29 years now. He destroys his opponents; he has a history of that. How much fight is it going to take for you to win this?

Grimes: We faced $6 million in negative, nasty ads already. We’re still standing. And 12 polls deep into this showing that despite the millions he’s spent and the funding we haven’t yet spent, the race continues to be a complete and total toss-up… Each day when I put my feet on the ground and my heels on, it’s about kicking butt for the people of this state – especially the women. They deserve to have finally an advocate, someone who is working for them instead of against them. And I’m excited about the journey that we are on, the impact we have already made and the strides that we’re going to continue to make.

We’re eight months out, but the gates are open, we’re going around the track and we are focused on that final homestretch, making sure that we bring all Kentuckians out. This is the only time, politics is, that you can make a bet after the race is off. You can’t do that here in Kentucky. Once the gates open, all bets have to be placed. Politics is a little bit different. And I think what people – not just Kentucky, but the nation – are seeing is that Mitch McConnell, kind of like heating a biscuit twice, never tastes good the second time, no matter how much jam or jelly you put on it. That’s my grandmother’s saying, by the way…

Read the whole thing; the interviewer threw out the whole panoply of Realiable Boogeymonsters — Both sides! Dems in disarray! Obummercare! the HillaryBeast! Beloved, unstoppable Mitch! Rand Paul vs Bill Clinton’s penis! — and she flew straight through the chaff and stayed on message, getting off a highly repeatable quip as a capper. Good job, Ms. Lundergan Grimes!

43 replies
  1. 1
    danimal says:

    Wait. A red state Dem who doesn’t run from the D after her name and articulates progressive priorities instead of triangulating and obfuscating? And she’s tied with the second most powerful Republican on the planet?

    The times, they are a-changin’.

  2. 2
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, since Obama didn’t roll over and say “yes, massa McConnell, we’ll do anything y’all want…” of course Obama is to blame.

    Now that Sargent’s gone, the only person at the WaPo who needs to be evacuated before we unleash the orbital mass driver is Eugene Robinson.

  3. 3
    Trollhattan says:

    If she pulls this off I definitely have a new hero to add to my list. I like the cut of your jib )or is that jab?) Ms Grimes.

  4. 4
    RuhRow_Gyro says:

    This is nice and Alison does seem to be talented.

  5. 5
    Turgidson says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    You mean Ezra? Sargent is still plum-lining along as usual as far as I know.

    ALG is careful not to say anything nice about Obama, which is understandable, but otherwise seems to be running as about as real a Democrat as anyone can expect in Kentucky.

    Mitch only won his last race by a few points, and that was when his approval rating was 50+% I think. He’s in the high 20s, lower than Obama, now and is facing a better candidate. ALG has a solid chance.

  6. 6
    piratedan says:

    I gotta love the WP, the type of political obstruction never seen before in this country and they want Obama to shoulder some of the blame, for what exactly? getting elected?

    journalists sans context, what a bunch of fucking water carriers….

  7. 7
    KG says:

    @danimal: there are actually more registered Democrats in Kentucky than there are Republicans. 1.7m vs 1.2m (rounded numbers)

    Despite Clinton winning it twice, Gore and Kerry basically ignored it. Obama did as well as Gore and Kerry but had certain other, shall we say, disadvantages.

  8. 8
    ThresherK says:

    Mitch McConnell, kind of like heating a biscuit twice, never tastes good the second time

    Is that an axiom my Yankee ears have never heard?

    Saint Molly would approve of this slogan.

  9. 9
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Turgidson:

    I thought Sargent departed…I guess I’m wrong. Well, we still need to evacuate him, then. But that interview just screams of the Villager narrative, which I loathe with the heat of 1000 burning suns. Ms. Grimes handled it very well, I think, keeping the focus on Kentucky and the needs of her citizens.

  10. 10
    No One of Consequence says:

    Weddy weddy nize! This is good stuff! I would love to see Yertle have more time to spend with his family…

    – NOoC

  11. 11

    OT: brewer’s making a statement on anti ghey bill at 745 eastern

  12. 12
    scav says:

    @ThresherK: I’m plagued with the English definition of biscuit jumping in, in which case she basically described him as a Biscotti, which does rather taste nice, all in all. Luckily, I think this is a rare disability and so won’t disrupt the race.

  13. 13
    MattR says:

    @piratedan: So true. Unfortunately, Grimes’s “I don’t want to point fingers” response sounds a lot like “both sides do it” instead of plainly stating that the current gridlock is almost entirely the result of Republican hardliners who are unwilling to compromise (and who McConnell enable as Minority Leader) and then have a couple examples handy of Republicans rejecting Obama’s compromises even after he offers them most of what they want (perhaps including the ACA as a free market solution to health care that Republicans used to promote before Obama started pushing it)

  14. 14
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    I think she’ll veto, but before she does, I think she’ll dance all around, throwing as many sops as possible to the Cerberus of her state’s RWNJs.

    And I hate to be lookist — no, really, I hate it! — but dear gods, Governor Brewer is looking just horrible these days.

    #iamsoshallow

  15. 15
    piratedan says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: combo of booze and stress will do that to a person.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Actually, I don’t think she’ll throw them many sops — I think it’ll be along the lines of At the request of the legislators who originally passed the bill and have had second thoughts, I’m vetoing it. They’ve been obstructionist jerks to her lately, so I think she wants to make it very, very clear that they are not going to be able to make her the scapegoat for the failure of the bill and that they asked her to veto it.

  17. 17
    piratedan says:

    just read on the book of faces that Roger Hill, who played Cyrus in The Warriors, has passed away at 65. Charisma, he had him some.

  18. 18
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @scav:

    I’m plagued with the English definition of biscuit jumping in, in which case she basically described him as a Biscotti, which does rather taste nice, all in all. Luckily, I think this is a rare disability

    In Kentucky? With apologies to The Greatest, Mesrrs. Depp and Thompson, and the inestimable Ms. Judd, the magic 8 ball says “You may rely on it.” Key word: rare.

  19. 19
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @piratedan: Can you dig it?

  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @piratedan:

    combo of booze and stress and that hot, hot Arizona sun will do that to a person.

  21. 21
    piratedan says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: stumbling amongst the headless torsos that populate our pristine Sonoran Desert, ‘natch….

    @Bobby Thomson: aye Bobby, one of my favorite guilty pleasure flicks, thanks in great part to the Barry DeVorzan score…

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Well, however she ends up phrasing her rationale, she’ll shove the responsibility on to somebody else. And by “a sop to Cerberus,” I meant a rhetorical sop — which your scenario would cover.

  23. 23

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’m with you, SD. She’ll try to polish that turd and smear shit all over but veto.

  24. 24
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: it is also pleasant to note that MLB got its release out first and on the wires by a solid number of minutes. The targets for religious boycotts are legion, all the pious guys will have to take up Hobby Lobby knitting and organize bowls around their efforts. Tailgate, drop-two, purl, repeat til end of row — yarn-over stats instead of yardage

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I don’t think we really disagree. But I think there’s a higher chance of Republican-on-Republican bashing than you do. :-)

  26. 26
    the Conster says:

    Brewer vetoed. And she’s making sense. OMG.

  27. 27
    efgoldman says:

    @the Conster:

    Brewer vetoed. And she’s making sense. OMG.

    How long do you think it took her economic staffers to pull together a spreadsheet of the $$ the state would lose between this turd of a bill and the existing while brown law? If she can add and subtract, she really had to veto it.

  28. 28
    Citizen_X says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    before we unleash the orbital mass driver

    Ah, now you’re talking!

    And good on Ms. Lundergan Grimes. Don’t play their game, honey.

  29. 29
    Cervantes says:

    @ThresherK:

    Mitch McConnell, kind of like heating a biscuit twice, never tastes good the second time

    Is that an axiom my Yankee ears have never heard? Saint Molly would approve of this slogan.

    Funny thing is, etymologically and historically, a biscuit is cooked twice.

  30. 30

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well, since Obama didn’t roll over and say “yes, massa McConnell, we’ll do anything y’all want…” of course Obama is to blame.

    LOVE THIS QUOTE.

  31. 31
    the Conster says:

    @efgoldman:

    If it was the right decision for the wrong reason, hey, it’s still a huge win. She actually said it was needlessly divisive.

  32. 32
    SinnedBackwards says:

    Ah loves me some Kentucky politics! (Part-time Lexingtonian here.)

    Alison learnt her politics at the dinner table, sorta like Nancy Smash. The combo of inside info, brains, and attitude is powerful! She especially knows what NOT to say.

    KY democrat Scotty Baesler responding to a reporter about his party affiliation:: “I’m a democrat because I believe that people deserve a decent place to live, a decent education, and decent healthcare”.

    Kentucky has not yet been sufficiently Koched so that is not a respected opinion.

    It is states like this we need to hold the line.

    Alison Grimes has a decent chance to win.

  33. 33
    gf120581 says:

    She’s doing the smart thing; making this about McConnell and his unpopularity. McConnell has never sat comfortably in his Senate seat (he only won narrowly in 2008 against an underwhelming opponent). He’s held on because he’s played dirty and always makes it about his challenger, not him. This time, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    There’s also the cosmetic contrast for the cameras. Grimes is young, charismatic and a very lovely woman. McConnell…well, this may be cruel, but he is one of the ugliest human beings I have ever seen. He looks like what’d happen if a turtle and a pig mated and reproduced.

  34. 34
    GRANDPA john says:

    great interview. Not only did she stay focused on her message, but she hammered home her points and in the process made the interviewer look like the asshole he is with his both sides do it crap

  35. 35
    Geeno says:

    I love ALG, she’s a great candidate for Dems in KY.
    Re: Brewer in AZ
    Oh hell yeah – I can’t believe she’s making a public statement before she’s legally required to. Those pinheads preened for the base deliberately to leave her holding the bag. F them. If I’m her (OMFG what a nightmare that would be), I leave those dickheads twisting in the wind until the last possible second.

  36. 36
    feebog says:

    Each day when I put my feet on the ground and my heels on, it’s about kicking butt for the people of this state

    Love that reference to heels. Kind of a dig at the sexists out there. I am even more optimistic than most of you. An incumbent in the low 40s and behind or tied in most of the polls 8 months out? Not good.

  37. 37
    karen says:

    @Turgidson:

    ALG is careful not to say anything nice about Obama, which is understandable

    When you said that it made me think of Blazing Saddles and the woman who gave the pie to Sheriff Bart then says, “Of course, you’ll have the good taste not to mention that I spoke to you.”

  38. 38
    amk says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Sargent is gone from wapo?

    eta: never mind.

  39. 39
    Cervantes says:

    @GRANDPA john:

    made the interviewer look like the asshole he is with his both sides do it crap

    That’s Philip Rucker. They’ve just moved him from the White House beat to being national political correspondent. He’ll also be covering HRC’s campaign (assuming she runs). Aren’t we lucky?

  40. 40
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I was thinking about that yesterday. I notice that she is ugly, and I am repulsed by her visually, but I think I react that way in part because she is such an ugly hateful person on the inside.

    She looks, to me, like the product of too much alcohol and too many cigarettes and too much hate.

  41. 41
    WaterGirl says:

    @feebog: The reference to heels, for me, immediately brings to mind the great quote:

    “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels.”

    Not sure why, but it also brings Ann Richards to my mind, which is also a good thing.

  42. 42
    Grung_e_Gene says:

    But, but, but OBAMA(ghazi/care/IRS)!!! is going to be a Glibertarian / Both Sides / Rovian Cry for decades and sure to join the Pantheon of Right-Wing sputters to be dusted off when the next criminal or abuse of authority Scott Walker/Chris Christie comes to light.

  43. 43
    Bitter Scribe says:

    In every poll I’ve seen, McConnell is thumping her.

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