Friday, February 7, 2014

Last Call For The Rand And Mitch Shuffle

So Rand Paul launched another broadside on Bill Clinton today.  Can you guess why?

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) escalated his criticism of former President Clinton, saying any candidate who has accepted money from the former president should return it. 
Paul said Democratic candidates who accept money from Clinton have some “explaining to do” when it comes to women’s rights. 
Paul has become increasingly critical of Clinton’s past affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, calling it “predatory behavior” on numerous occasions.

“They can’t have it both ways,” Paul said on C-Span’s “Newsmakers” set to air Sunday.

And so I really think that anybody who wants to take money from Bill Clinton or have a fundraiser has a lot of explaining to do. In fact, I think they should give the money back,” Paul said. “If they want to take position on women’s rights, by all means do. But you can’t do it and take it from a guy who was using his position of authority to take advantage of young women in the workplace.”

Now, why would Rand Paul say this, and say this now?  Who is he going after?  Officially, he's responding to Sen. Claire McCaskill (herself a proxy for the Clintons in this case) but she won her re-election bid in 2012 and has another four years before she faces voters again, so that's not the real reason.

If you think it's Hillary Clinton, that too is incorrect.  That's still two years out.  Again, the question is why attack Bill Clinton now in earlt 2014, and why is Rand Paul specifically the one?

That's easy.  His real target is Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Former President Bill Clinton — known as the “Big Dog” — will come to Louisville this month for a campaign event for Grimes, who is running for the U.S. Senate and trying to topple Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. 
“We are very excited to have President Clinton coming into town to make his first campaign stop of this election cycle,” Grimes said in an interview Friday. 
“I was elated when he called and said he wanted to make this race his top priority,” she said. 
Grimes said Clinton, 67, will campaign for her on Feb. 25. Jonathan Hurst, Grimes’ adviser, said details of the visit will be released in the coming days.

I've said before that the Clintons have been good friends to Jerry Lundergan, Alison's father and former Kentucky Democratic Party head.  The Clintons are very, very popular in here in Kentucky.  Paul is helping out Mitch The Turtle by attacking Clinton and Grimes for him.  Pretty soon, those calls for "Democrats" to give the money back and stop having fundraisers with Big Dog will be directed personally at Grimes herself.

Clinton is Grimes's strongest card in her hand.  Rand Paul is Mitch's strongest card.  And if Rand Paul wants to take on the Big Dog, let it happen.  Paul's got so many nasty associations in his closet that he'll lose in seconds.   

This is gonna be fun.

Money Can't Buy You Empathy, Apparently

A couple of videos for your StupidiVid Friday viewing pleasure, first up, a TedX talk from social psychologist Paul Piff on how people behave in a rigged Monopoly game where one person (determined by a coin toss) is clearly rich and has all the rules favoring them, and the other player doesn't.  Here's a hint: lots of money turns people into complete jackasses with all the empathy of a hunk of volcanic pumice.

Second, a Bloomberg News piece on billionaire investor Sam Zell, on why the one percent is better than you are.  Here's a hint: lots of money turns people into complete jackasses with all the empathy of a hunk of volcanic pumice.

The more money you have, the less empathy you have, period.  Nothing new there, but it's worth reinforcing.

The Turtle In Trouble?

The newest Lexington Herald-Leader/WKYT Bluegrass poll for Kentucky's Senate race this year finds Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes up 4 points over Senate GOP minority leader Mitch McConnell, 46-42%, and the news gets worse for him:

In an especially troubling sign for McConnell, his job-approval rating was two points below the approval rating poll respondents gave President Barack Obama, who remains deeply unpopular in the state. Only 32 percent approved of McConnell, compared to 34 percent for Obama. Both men won a disapprove rating from 60 percent of those surveyed. 
With women and young voters, McConnell trails Grimes badly, losing the women vote 49 percent to 37 percent and the 18-34 demographic 43 percent to 34 percent. 
Among voters who identified themselves as politically "moderate," another key demographic, 55 percent said they had an unfavorable view of McConnell, compared to 15 percent for Grimes. In the General Election match-up, Grimes holds a 20-point advantage over McConnell among moderates. "McConnell has the support of conservatives and Grimes has the support of liberals, both of which are to be expected," according to SurveyUSA's analysis of the poll. "But Grimes outperforms McConnell five-to-three among moderates, and on this rock she builds her church."

As much as this is NOBAMA GO BACK TO KENYA country here in Kentucky, to see the same level of hatred directed at Mitch the Turtle is really, really something.  But I wouldn't put too much stock in McConnell's terrible approval rating:  He's stomping Matt Bevin, his Tea Party primary challenger, in this poll by 26 points, and given these numbers against Grimes he's got at least 10% of Kentucky voters willing to vote for him even though they don't approve of him anymore.

In other words, Republicans and Obama haters will gladly vote for Mitch again, but this will be a tough, tough race for him.

If this race is about Mitch McConnell, he loses.  If this race is about Barack Obama, Grimes loses.

Read more here:


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