Friday, September 20, 2013

Sen. Mitch McConnell suddenly looking vulnerable?

The conventional wisdom has it that Sen. Mitch McConnell’s seniority, his vast war chest of “campaign contributions,” and his bloody take-no-prisoners campaign style render him invulnerable in his reelection effort this year, particularly against a Democratic opponent who’s a youngish, relatively inexperienced woman.

But wait! LEO Weekly’s “Fat Lip” column, headlined, “Inside the PCAF poll showing Grimes beating McConnell 46-40, reports, “Lake Research Partners polling memo for the survey released by the Public Campaign Action Fund last week … showed Alison Lundergan Grimes already ahead of Mitch McConnell 46 to 40 percent and further detailed how McConnell’s support for unlimited campaign contributions and his 2008 vote to bailout some of his biggest contributors — Wall Street banking interests — is toxic among Kentucky voters.

What? Could Mitch McConnell possibly be vulnerable after all?

I’ve known Mitch since we were both much younger men. I’ve seen him campaign as a campus politician at U of L, as a local politician in Louisville, and as a senator, and perhaps the most surprising thing is that he has never really changed all that much. He’s always been about winning at all costs;  always all about Mitch, and always very, very hard to pin down.

I still treasure a revealing quote when I was interviewing Mitch as a local news reporter and he was a local official, “Jefferson County Judge-Executive,” the approximate equivalent of Louisville’s suburban mayor.  I was being persistent and not accepting his customary practice of responding to a specific question with a completely unrelated answer. Finally, exasperated, he said, “Robin, I don’t care how many different ways you ask me that question, I’m still not going to answer it.”

That’s Mitch. And maybe, just maybe, this is the election year when what goes around finally comes around.