The two largest newspapers in Kentucky, The Lexington Herald-Leader and The Louisville-Courier Journal published editorials on Sunday endorsing Alison Lundergan Grimes for the U.S. Senate snubbing 30 year veteran Senator Mitch McConnell.
The race has been tight with the latest polling showing McConnell with a slim lead of just over 4 points, very close to a statistical tie taking the margin of error into account.
The Herald Leader endorsement opens:
“As targets of probably the costliest U.S. Senate race ever, Kentuckians should do themselves — and the country — a favor by electing Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Grimes has tirelessly reached out to every corner of the state. She has shown that, as the Senate’s first Kentucky woman, she would bring energy, focus and independence to helping build a more secure future for Kentuckians and other average Americans.”
The editorial board points out that McConnell has amassed his power by becoming “a perpetual-motion money machine” doling out the dollars in return for favors.
The problem is not that McConnell has amassed so much power but in the way that he has used that power:
“McConnell has sabotaged jobs and transportation bills, even as Kentucky’s unemployment exceeds the nation’s and an Interstate 75 bridge crumbles over the Ohio River. He blocked tax credits for companies that move jobs back to this country while preserving breaks for those that move jobs overseas. He opposed extending unemployment benefits, while bemoaning the “jobless” recovery. He brags about resolving crises that he helped create.”
The piece goes on to say that he has been singularly obsessed with standing in the way of the president and denying him any major successes to the detriment of not only Kentucky but the entire nation.
The endorsement in the Courier-Journal begins by saying that on November 4 Kentuckians can choose to go with the familiar and re-elect McConnell:
“Or Kentuckians can risk crossing the threshold into the future by voting for a young, relatively untested Democratic challenger who nonetheless offers intelligence, energy and clear potential to take on the job as Kentucky’s next U.S. senator.
We urge voters to choose the future and elect Alison Lundergan Grimes.”
The piece admits that Lundergan Grimes has run a somewhat cautious campaign attempting to walk a narrow line between the state’s more moderate Democrats and its more conservative Democrats trying to avoid alienating either faction of the party.
As an example of that “excessive caution” reached its peak when she refused during an interview with the paper’s editorial board to say whether she had voted for Obama or not adding:
“But Ms. Grimes, to her credit, was willing to appear before this newspaper’s editorial board, fielding an hour’s worth of questions in an interview that was streamed live online and remains archived on the C-J website. She did this fully aware that Mr. McConnell’s campaign could — and did — seize on snippets to use in political attacks.
Mr. McConnell, in turn, never accepted a similar invitation dating back to early September to appear before the C-J editorial board, thus shielding himself from scrutiny as well as any potential for attack ads based on his responses. Kentuckians should take measure of that: Thirty years in the Senate, and no comment.”
h/t: Huffington Post