In a move that should surprise no one, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had his negative ad machine loaded and ready for attack even before Louisville businessman and Tea Party favorite Matt Bevin’s (R) announcement this morning that he is declaring a primary challenge to the veteran senator’s seat. Dubbing his opponent with the catchy moniker of “Bailout Bevin,” the McConnell campaign released this ad:
Mitch McConnell is taking stupid to a whole ‘nother level as he seemingly forgets that he is blasting Matt Bevin for taking advantage of a bailout provision that McConnell himself ?authored and pushed through the Senate. Indeed, Senator Wishy-Washy even called it “one of the finest moments in the history of the Senate.??(Source)
McConnell hasn’t enjoyed popularity for quite some time. A December 2012 poll showed him to be?the most unpopular senator?– his approval rating was only 37 percent. Matt Bevin is counting on McConnell’s unpopularity and his poor Senate performance and has kicked off his own campaign with an ad that depicts Mitch McConnell as a failure. As reported by the Washington Post, the ad says:
?McConnell has voted for higher taxes, bailouts, debt ceiling increases, congressional pay raises, and liberal judges.? Bevin, on the other hand, is described as a ?successful businessman, father of nine, veteran, conservative, Republican.”
So in other words, our great hope for a McConnell defeat is a man who’s likely the male version of Michelle Bachmann. Nice. I think we can expect Bevin to be a genuine threat to Mitch McConnell because of the early momentum the McConnell campaign has shown in attempting to smear Bevin even before he declared his candidacy. Also, they’re dropping a ton of cash into this endeavor. The ads alone are in the six-figure range.
Here is the problem. As Matt Bevin said in his ad, “we can do better [than McConnell].” Yes, certainly we can. But before we all pick up our pom-poms and champagne and begin celebrating McConnell’s first solid opponent, let’s remember that we aren’t going to do better if we get a Tea Party candidate in Mitch McConnell’s seat. Bevin’s primary attack on McConnell is focused on painting the senator as a deal cutter. Really? Wow. If he sees Mitch McConnell as a deal cutter, what can we expect from Bevin himself? Further gridlock? This is a no-win situation unless Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is able to pull off a 2014 win.