Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
What my (sadly late) best friend used to call the Lexington Herald-Liberal will endorse Lt Col Amy McGrath Henderson,¹ USMC (Ret.) in the general election for the Senate seat currently held by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY); unless Mrs Henderson winds up with a successful Democratic primary challenger, that’s a sure bet. So, when Mrs Henderson has as bad a campaign rollout as she did, for the Herald-Leader — the newspaper’s real name — to actually say so means that it’s even worse than people thought:
By Daniel DesRochers and Lesley Clark | July 11, 2019 01:43 PM | Updated 2:00 PM
It has been a rough 48 hours for former Marine Corps pilot Amy McGrath. Within hours of her campaign’s launch, McGrath has already taken to Twitter to reverse and apologize for an early gaffe.
“I know I disappointed many today with my initial answer on how I would have voted on Brett Kavanaugh,” McGrath said on Twitter. “I will make mistakes and always own up to them. The priority is defeating Mitch McConnell.”
But McGrath’s answer about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh Wednesday wasn’t her initial one. During her first campaign in 2018, she opposed Kavanaugh even before he was accused of sexual misconduct by Christine Blasey-Ford, arguing that he was a partisan and he was against women’s reproductive rights (McGrath’s campaign says she never reached a definitive conclusion about his nomination).
The gaffe, which came as she was getting criticism for being too liberal by Republicans and not liberal enough by Democrats, threatened to undercut the very feature that helped win her a national following during her 2018 race — her authenticity. After marketing herself as a straight-talking outsider who rejects partisan politics, McGrath’s attempts to walk the fine line between maintaining her Democratic base and winning over Democrats or moderate Republicans who voted for President Donald Trump and dislike McConnell were fraught.
There’s more at the original. But seen as “not liberal enough by Democrats”? This is the same Mrs Henderson who was caught on tape, at a 2018 campaign fundraiser in Massachusetts — far away from the Kentucky media and Bluegrass State voters, but not so far away that it went undiscovered — saying “I am further left, I am more progressive, than anyone in the state of Kentucky.”
But now Mrs Henderson is saying that she will work better with President Trump than Senator McConnell!
Democrat Amy McGrath is apparently running on some kind of platform that Kentucky loves Trump she she’ll somehow work better with him than McConnell?
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) July 9, 2019
Really? Would Mrs Henderson, a Democrat, have saved the Supreme Court seat previously held by Justice Antonin Scalia from being filled by an appointee of President Obama’s, the way Mr McConnell did? Would Mrs Henderson have ‘nuked’ the filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees, getting Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh approved, the way Mr McConnell did? Would the woman who stated that the feeling she had when she learned that Mr Trump had won the election was comparable only to what she felt due to the September 11th attacks work more closely with the President than the Senate Majority Leader?
Mrs Henderson is simply a liar. She tried running as a moderate Democrat in her losing campaign against Representative Andy Barr (R-KY 6th), and it didn’t work for her. And Kentucky voters statewide are more conservative than those in the Sixth District.
The Herald-Leader article stated that her “authenticity” “helped win her a national following during her 2018 race.” No, that’s wrong. In 2018, Mrs Henderson was a ‘résumé’ candidate, with a strong military background which supposedly would help her with Kentucky voters, and the left were throwing all of the money they could into races they saw as competitive, to flip the House of Representatives to Democratic control. Mr Barr, though a solid conservative, isn’t a particularly dynamic congressman, and the left believed that Mrs Henderson had a real chance . . . and they showered her campaign with money.²
It still didn’t work.
There are other potential Democratic candidates:
- Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville;
- Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones; and
- House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, who recently lost the Democratic primary nomination for Governor
McGrath still managed to bring in $3.5 million in the first two days of her campaign, a haul larger than some presidential candidates who appeared on-stage at the Democratic debates last month, and her support from national Democrats does not appear to have dwindled.
That’s a decent chunk of change, considering that the primary election is ten months away, and there are potential candidates out there who have actually won elections in the past. The donors are making the same mistake as they made in 2018, thinking that her background as a fighter pilot somehow means votes. She’s a money magnet for the shallow-thinkers on the left, but, as she proved in 2018, spending a clear pile of money doesn’t guarantee victory.
Mrs Henderson really is a politician in one way: she’s a liar. She’s just not a very good one. Either the “straight-talking outsider who rejects partisan politics” lied to the people at the Massachusetts fundraiser and the Democratic voters in the 2017 primary debate, or she lied in the 2016 general election campaign, and is lying now. There’s really no sense in hazarding a guess as to which ones are the lies; it’s simply the fact that she is a liar that’s important.
She is attempting to recover from that mistake she just made concerning the Brett Kavanaugh nomination and confirmation. Really, the only way she could have lied about that is if she didn’t know her own mind.
¹ – The candidate goes by Amy McGrath, not having enough respect for Eric Henderson, her husband, to have taken his name. At my personal website, The First Street Journal, we do not go along with that kind of disrespect, and thus we refer to her as Mrs Henderson.
² – In the 2018 campaign for the Sixth District seat, according to campaign reports filed on December 31, 2018, Mrs Henderson raised $8,542,352, spent $8,274,396 and had $267,956 remaining on hand. She outspent Mr Barr by a considerable amount, his campaign having raised $5,238,577, spent $5,580,477, with $134,679 remaining on hand.
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