Tag Archives: Alison Lundergan Grimes

Worst of the worst

The Hill newspaper has listed its Top 10 worst candidates for the U.S. Senate in 2014.

It’s an impressive gathering covering both political parties.


I have two clear favorites. They’re both Democrats.

* The worst of the bunch has to be Bruce Braley, the Iowa¬†congressman who ran to succeed fellow Democrat Tom Harkin. His foe was Republican Joni Ernst, the hog-castrating tea party golden gal. Braley should have won the seat in a walk. Then he stepped in it big time, by calling Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley “just a farmer from Iowa.”

Whoops! You don’t say “just a farmer” in a state full of farmers. I’ve been to Iowa a couple of times and I’ll tell you I’ve never seen so much corn in my entire life.

Really bad form, congressman.

* Alison Lundergan Grimes finished a close second. She should have won in Kentucky against incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell, who isn’t your garden-variety retail politician. He’s stiff, unfriendly and quite wedded to the Washington, D.C., power structure — the one that has broken down and created so much of the anger and angst among voters. So what did Grimes do to win a spot on this list? She refused on several occasions to say whether she voted for President Obama.

The refusal was as clumsy as it gets. She tripped over her own tongue in trying to explain it all away, giving out an air of phoniness. She seemed to be terribly lacking in authenticity.

That’s my short list. The rest of them noted by The Hill all had their moments of “glory.”

Bring on the next set of winners and losers in 2016. First, let us catch our breath.

A single vote causes confusion

Alison Lundergan Grimes wants to be the next U.S. senator from Kentucky.

She’s taking on a heavyweight, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.

Grimes has much to commend her for the job. However, there’s a strangely awkward reticence that is getting in the way. She declines to say whether she voted for President Obama in 2012.


This is a strange distraction. Come on, Ms. Grimes. What’s the story? Did you or did you not support the president, a member of your very own Democratic Party?

Politics creates such a fickle environment. Little things like this become big things in a heartbeat.

In a way, I¬†understand Grimes’s reticence. Our votes, after all, are supposed to be done in secret. We cast our ballots with no obligation to tell anyone how we vote. Where I come from, that’s a sure sign of liberty. Voters become “liberated” by their votes, giving them more than ample justification to speak their minds on policy issues and the people who carry them out.

However, Grimes is running for a public office. That means her life essentially is an open book. The public is entitled to know to what level they endorse another public figure’s public policy stances.

Thus, her vote becomes grist for comment. It also becomes a target for inquiring minds.

Her reluctance might have something to do with the president’s low standing among Kentuckians. His approval rating is about 30 percent. Grimes has told at least two newspaper editorial boards — in Louisville and Lexington — that she’s a “Clinton Democrat.” She has declined on several occasions to say whether she voted for the president.

This kind of clumsiness angers her base, which she’ll need if she intends to defeat McConnell on Nov. 4.

It’s such a petty matter in the grand scheme. It has become a bigger matter than it deserves to be.