As former President Bill Clinton stepped to the podium following Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes' emphatic introduction, a coal miner whispered something to him.
The miner's advice, the former president told the audience packed inside the Hal Rogers Center, was "don't forget to remind people she's much prettier than Mitch McConnell is."
"You got that right!" a man in the audience shouted.
That was one of many contrasts Clinton tried to draw between McConnell, the U.S. Senate minority leader, and Grimes, the Democrat hoping to unseat him, as he traveled to a part of the state that has seen coal jobs evaporate and laid much of the blame on President Barack Obama.
"I am a Clinton Democrat," Grimes shouted to the approving audience.
For Grimes to win in Eastern Kentucky, she'll need voters to believe that declaration and not that she is "Obama's Kentucky candidate," as McConnell and his allies have asserted repeatedly.
Grimes has endeavored from the start of her campaign to prove herself as a pro-coal Democrat.
On Wednesday, as Grimes and Clinton spoke, members of the United Mine Workers of America sat onstage behind them, serving as flesh-and-blood proof that Grimes had won the group's endorsement.
"Let's get the record straight, senator: I am the pro-coal candidate in this race," Grimes said, arguing that McConnell "hasn't saved or created one coal job" in his 30 years in office.
You may not like Big Dog that much, and you may not like the fact that Grimes is running as a Clinton Democrat when Obama is president. Tough titties, kids. This is how Kentucky politics rolls, and King Coal still calls the shots. That means Grimes is going to have to stump with Bill here and not Barack. She's going to remind voters in the mountains that the last time things were good there is when Bill was in charge, and that since then Mitch the Turtle has given the store away from hard working miners to nasty energy companies who don't give a damn about safety and wages and the people who live here, because they don't.
So yeah, that means playing the Clinton card with gusto, and doing it several times between now and November. Bill Clinton's still real big here, and you play to win.