Retired Marine fighter pilot Lt. Col. Amy McGrath announced her longshot bid to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell yesterday, and naturally Donald Trump took to Twitter.
How much of a longshot is the progressive Democrat in Deep Red Kentucky? Even left-leaning (if it leans any further it will fall over) Vox.com summed up her announcement like so: “McGrath’s viral candidacy for Congress fell short in 2018. Now she’s running against the most powerful senator in Washington.” That’s the kind of encouragement most longshot candidates could do without.
And it isn’t like Kentucky’s sixth district, where McGrath (a Kentucky native) ran for Congress in 2018, is completely hostile to Democrats. Democrat Ben Chandler represented the people there from 2004-2013, surviving even the yuge GOP surge of 2010. Despite a very well-funded campaign, lots of favorable media attention, and a genuine war hero record including 89 combat missions bombing al Qaeda and Taliban targets, McGrath still lost to incumbent Republican Andy Barr by more than four points.
Maybe her politics make her a bad fit for Kentuckians. At a fundraiser during her futile ’18 bid, McGrath was caught on tape telling her audience, “I am further left, I’m more progressive, than anybody in the state of Kentucky.” The audio of that statement was used to devastating effect by Barr’s campaign, and will no doubt come back to haunt her again in 2020.
And did McGrath really compare Trump’s 2016 election win to the deadly and devastating terror attacks of September 11, 2001? On a personal level, yes she did. Here’s the video of her at a forum two years ago, expressing what can best be described as an election-killing case of Trump Derangement Syndrome:
It’s easy to predict that McGrath will raise a lot of out-of-state money again, garner all that lovey-dovey media attention again, and then go down to major defeat again. That would make for a sad and unnecessary capstone to a 20-year career of honorable military service, but Trump Derangement Syndrome doesn’t lend itself to wise decisionmaking.