Saturday, October 10, 2015

Now that's political entertainment

Mitch McConnell and Allison Grimes go at it old-school-style in a tight Kentucky senate race.

Now that's political entertainment


Hope you caught some or all of the smack-down over the weekend in the tick-tight Kentucky U.S. Senate race.

It was Democratic challenger Allison Lundergan Grimes v. GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell at the annual Fancy Farm Picnic, an event held in the small village of Fancy Farm in Western Kentucky since 1880.

It wasn't exactly a traditional debate. Both candidates rolled out a series of one-liners to a crowd estimated at 5,000 packed with sign-waving, booing and cheering supporters of each.

Here's a sample of media coverage.

The race, a two-point dead-heat, is among the most closely-watched in the nation as Democrats battle to hold Senate control and Republicans fight to take over the upper chamber and thereby, since the House is expected to remain Republican, run the Congress.

Grimes, 35, is Kentucky's secretary of state, an office she was elected to in 2011. McConnell, 72, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984.

The two clash over womens' issues, coal issues, Obama, time in office v. experience in politics and more.

Each took the microphone at the event. Each sat nearby while the other spoke. Grimes went first.

She said McConnell's approval rating is the same as her age.

She said, "If Mitch McConnell were a TV show, he'd be `Mad Men,' treating women unfairly, stuck in 1968 and ending this season."

McConnell, for his part, pushed to nationalize the race in a state where President Obama is very far from popular.

He called the President "a disaster," adding, "I guess that's what we get for electing someone with no experience. He was only two years into his first job when he started campaigning for the next one. Sound familiar?"

He also hit Grimes for lack of experience in foreign affairs. He said, "We can't afford a leader who thinks the West Bank is a Hollywood fundraiser."

You watch the event, shown live on C-Span Saturday, here.


Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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