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McConnell, Grimes Race Gets Raucous Down on the Farm

PJM reports from Kentucky's most famous political picnic as Paul jumps into fray with anti-Dem poetry.

by
Rob Longley

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August 2, 2014 - 8:12 pm
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(For complete 2014 midterm coverage, get your campaign fix on The Grid.)

FANCY FARM, Ky. — They came ready for a war of words and they got it. And then some.

A record crowd of more than 20,000 spectators — including thousands clad in T-shirts professing their support for either Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell or his opponent, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes — flooded this tiny hamlet Saturday for the annual Fancy Farm Picnic, a 133-year-old piece of Americana that takes center stage in Kentucky politics the first weekend of every August.

The event, a mandatory stop for any statewide candidate on the stump, has become famous for the kind of raucous rhetoric and insult-laden political theater that was de rigueur in American politics a century ago. The crowd at the Fancy Farm Picnic is as much a part of the show as the candidates themselves, cheering and heckling as the jabs fly between the contenders.

This year’s picnic drew twice as many spectators as usual — along with twice the number of national media outlets — due to the high-profile U.S. Senate race between McConnell, the Senate’s minority leader, and Grimes, Kentucky’s secretary of state. The contest is one of a handful of competitive races nationwide that could decide control of the Senate.

Saturday’s event was the first time McConnell and Grimes have appeared together in this year’s campaign, and each did their best to out-trash talk the other in their allotted time (each speaker has about five minutes to say their piece. Those who go over the limit here get an ignominious hook — their mike turned off to the strains of the Rolling Stones’ “Time is on My Side.”) Both candidates also did their best to make the most of the national attention that was focused not only on what they had to say, but on how they reacted to their rival’s taunts and the mixed crowd’s reaction. For both, Fancy Farm is a far cry from the typical, highly orchestrated campaign events before handpicked friendly crowds.

After surrogates from both parties, including Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and Republican state Sen. Stan Humphries, got the crowd going with their own partisan volleys, the main event began with Grimes. She took the stage to boos from one side of the packed Fancy Farm pavilion and wild cheers from the other.

“Welcome to Mitch McConnell’s retirement party!” she hollered enthusiastically.

Grimes didn’t mince words, taking aim at the 30-year incumbent by ticking off a series of issues, each one followed by the mantra-like chant of “Mitch McConnell doesn’t care.”

“When it comes to supporting seniors, Mitch McConnell doesn’t care,” she said. “Seniors deserve a senator who will fight for Social Security, not one who will try to disable it.”

Women, too, are getting short shrift from McConnell, Grimes argued.

“When it comes to women being treated equally, Mitch McConnell doesn’t care,” she said, continuing the theme. She then turned to her opponent sitting a few feet away and said, “Women in Kentucky and nationally are here to send you a message, senator: 76 cents on dollar not equal pay. … This is not a woman’s issue. This is a family issue.”

Students, unions and coal miners are among the other groups the incumbent “doesn’t care” about, Grimes said.

Kentucky’s beleaguered coal industry is a sensitive issue in the campaign. Republicans say Grimes would only help President Barack Obama implement proposed environmental measures that would scale back the use of coal and, the GOP says, cost thousands of industry jobs.

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Top Rated Comments   
Please Kentucky, a vote for Grimes IS a vote for OBAMA and REID and PELOSI. Do the right thing, please.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Senator McConnell and Speaker Boehner persuaded every single Republican in the Congress, in both the Senate and the House, to vote against Obamacare. Not a single Republcian voted for Obamacare.

This was the most important vote in the past 5 1/2 years, and McConnell and Boehner did a masterful job of putting the Obamcare disaster right in the laps of President Obama and the Democrats in Congress.

As a result of this party discipline, the U.S. Senate lost the ability to modify the bill that was sent to them from the House when Senator Scott Brown was elected to take the seat of the deceased Senator Ted Kennedy. As a result of this new gridlock in the Senate, the bill that was signed by President Obama had even greater pitfalls and fatal flaws than it would have had otherwise. These egregious flaws are leading directly to the unravelling by Executive Order by Obama's own hand of the most important and most destructive piece of legislation to be enacted in my lifetime.

So yeah, go ahead and fire Senator McConnell. You know more about politics and resisting tyranny than he does.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
The coal industry will survive Grimes, the GOP won't survive more McConnell.
If abandoning McConnell costs the GOP the Senate -- a possibility not a certainty -- so be it.
The nation will survive and maybe thrive.
That depends partly on whether your fat ass is stuck in the armchair again.
McConnell's toxic, well past his sell-by date, and he's gotta go.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (26)
All Comments   (26)
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McConnell will crush any conservative who challenges GOP Inc, or their Shamnesty cronies. Rand Paul is another Rubio, except Rubio has better hair, and Rubio's father isn't crazy as a March hare. Bite me GOP. Let Grimes win.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
But Grimes blunted that criticism Saturday when she announced her endorsement by the United Mine Workers. SNIP

Uh, they backed FCMABBHO in 2008. Look where that got them. They'd rather toe the Prog line than look out for their members.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whatever it was that Rand Paul recited, it was not a limerick. A limerick is a five-line verse with an AABBA rhyme, and a very specific meter.

Paul's rhymes and meter/scansion are all over the place. He may be a decent legislator, but as a rhymester he's a slob---and if he paid someone on his staff to come up with that, he wasted his money.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
No mention of Obamacare in these Mitch excerpts. I thought that his difference with the Tea Party was a matter of "tactics" only. Is not mentioning Obamacare at all in a head-to-head matchup with his opponent part of his deceptively brilliant "tactics" to get it repealed?
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's nice. I think I will drive up and cast a vote for Ms. Grimes, I mean it worked for the R's in Mississippi, right?

FU McConnell...
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Best thing about Fancy Farm is the food. Wonderful there are about 60 BBQ pits each in full use. Pork chicken and mutton. Excellent. Oh Mitch wins in a walk.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Please Kentucky, a vote for Grimes IS a vote for OBAMA and REID and PELOSI. Do the right thing, please.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
The coal industry will survive Grimes, the GOP won't survive more McConnell.
If abandoning McConnell costs the GOP the Senate -- a possibility not a certainty -- so be it.
The nation will survive and maybe thrive.
That depends partly on whether your fat ass is stuck in the armchair again.
McConnell's toxic, well past his sell-by date, and he's gotta go.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'll take McConnell over Reid anyday. In fact Mcconnel did very good service keeping the repubs unified to resist obamacare.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh man I just love your "So be it" crap! As if that is all it means. No my friend it means allowing obama his last two years with a divided government to do what he wants. Just because McConnell gets re-elected does not mean he gets to be Senate Majority Leader. No more than Boehner will get to be the Speaker next term. But to even think of letting the Senate stay under Reid's control is to give up on your country over a personal dislike of McConnell. Hold your nose and pull the lever for the KY midget.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
The nation will not thrive and perhaps not survive a Democrat Senate. I call Democrat shill. Their only hope of prevailing is to suppress conservative votes.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
If abandoning McConnell costs the GOP the Senate -- a possibility not a certainty -- so be it.

Hey, Moby! You forgot to preface that with the usual false flag: "I'm a lifelong Republican, BUT --"

The time to vote against McConnell was the primary election. You're either clueless or a Democrat ... or possibly both, of course.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Judging by the timeline, hit a live one.

No, I'm not a life-long Republican; I've often voted R but have always tried to vote for the man not the party. I'm probably best described today as an Independent, a dirty word to people like you. On occasion, I've been wrong: I did vote for Jimmy Carter, an act of folly now used, by me at least, as a tool to calibrate human stupidity.

The best time to vote against McConnell and his creepy cohorts? -- yesterday, today and tomorrow.

You ask voters to close ranks around the desiccated turds comprising today's GOP leadership. Again. Ain't gonna happen. Too many voters out here in the real world are saying 'Fool me once...' and they won't go along.

You present the Nov. elections as a historic chance to put the GOP back in the driver's seat. It's actually a chance to take out the garbage, to clear the path for national redemption that begins in earnest in 2016, not this year.
You're either too dim or too rotten to know that but frankly, Who cares? You guys hunt in packs and don't do well alone. Also, you're outnumbered.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
You have to female and a liberal to even suggest such crap. Can you name one single Demorat Senator that has voted against obama on any major issue? NO! They all talk tough until they get elected and then reid gets to them and they become one of the loyal Dems that go along with reid and obama on every issue. Speaking of "Trash" what do you think occupies the WH and the Senate now?
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Take out the garbage by electing Democrats? You are insane. And probably a Democrat shill. But I repeat myself.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Too bad I can't like this like a Democrat votes. (early and often for those of you from Loma Linda...)
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
What baloney.
The GOP will not survive two more years of ORP, (Obama, Reid, and Pelosi). And the PRIVATELY owned coal industry will probably not survived ORP either. And a vote for Grimes is an enthusiastic endorsement of ORP.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Senator McConnell and Speaker Boehner persuaded every single Republican in the Congress, in both the Senate and the House, to vote against Obamacare. Not a single Republcian voted for Obamacare.

This was the most important vote in the past 5 1/2 years, and McConnell and Boehner did a masterful job of putting the Obamcare disaster right in the laps of President Obama and the Democrats in Congress.

As a result of this party discipline, the U.S. Senate lost the ability to modify the bill that was sent to them from the House when Senator Scott Brown was elected to take the seat of the deceased Senator Ted Kennedy. As a result of this new gridlock in the Senate, the bill that was signed by President Obama had even greater pitfalls and fatal flaws than it would have had otherwise. These egregious flaws are leading directly to the unravelling by Executive Order by Obama's own hand of the most important and most destructive piece of legislation to be enacted in my lifetime.

So yeah, go ahead and fire Senator McConnell. You know more about politics and resisting tyranny than he does.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let me edit that 15 line 3 paragraph diatribe down for you.

Waaaaaaaaaaah!
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
You want Harry Reid to be Senate majority leader for Obama's last two years?
Deciding what may come to the floor for votes?
I am a Tea Party Tea Bagger whatever they throw at me, but we must do what we can legally to stop BHO. A Senate majority may mean I don't have to violate oaths I have taken. Purity or defeat? Is that your mantra?
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think you do not understand the oath you took.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not a purist but a pragmatist. It matters little if Reid merely presides over the senate -- as long as he's crippled and hounded to a standstill. McConnell is the wrong tool for that job.

Your oaths are ultimately a matter of conscience; I believe you know that.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can you explain standstill? Do you consider that over 400 bills from the House are sitting on his desk now a standstill or a block to any reform of anything? The man has changed all of the rules of the Senate and not one Dem complained for more than a minute. In fact there is no Senate as we have known it any longer. Crippled? What the hell does that mean? He has TOTAL control of the Senate now and with just a few less Dem votes he will still have total control of it. Are you pleased with the way the country is being run now? Well a vote for Grimes will keep it that way for another two years!
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just as with shiites and sunnis, I wish they could both lose.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe in Syria.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
which is what the U.S. will be in a very short time and then your ignorant azz will be pining for "the good ol' days"
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
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