Fancy Farm: full of sound and fury

By Richard Nelson

j

August 5, 2013

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I made it to the 133 annual Fancy Farm Picnic on Saturday. When I left home in Cadiz, it looked as if I'd be watching the candidate speeches in the rain but as I arrived, the rain stopped and the sun poked through the clouds. I didn't hear a single politician take credit for the improved weather. If any dared to, I'd have pressed them if they'd also be willing to take credit for the uncomfortable humidity. Government in many respects is a two-edged sword. But I digress.

Of the major political candidates, the GOP star of Kentucky politics, Mitch McConnell, made the strongest showing both by the number of his visible supporters and those cheering in his favor. They were also effective in drowning out the presumed Democratic nominee, Alison Grimes when she tried to speak.  Nonetheless, she held her composure and made it through her speech despite the rough crowd–even the hecklers who held signs with a picture of Barack Obama on one side and a picture of Grimes on the other. They switched the signs back and forth making clear that a vote for Grimes was a vote for Obama, who is wildly unpopular in Kentucky.

Senator McConnell may have more trouble from Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin who gave quite a speech. His supporters rang cow bells to which he said to Senator McConnell: "if you're wondering for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for you Senator." Which reminds me of what a lot of Fancy Farm is about, borrowing a line from Shakespeare if I may: "full of sound and fury signifying nothing.” Not to take away from Bevin or any other candidates who are willing to brave the political arena, but in the land of the free and the home of the brave, anyone can run for office, make a speech or worse yet, make accusations. It is much more difficult to persuade voters to vote for you. to garner their trust, to build an effective campaign organization, to win an election and to govern responsibly. Stay tuned for what promises to be a wild ride between now and the May 2014 primary.

On another note, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer all but announced his run for governor in 2015. And by their presence, so did Democrats Adam Edelen and Jack Conway. Was it just me or did Conway seem angry? Jerry Abramson is expected to make an announcement on his intentions of running in 2015 as well. Crit Luallen may be another possible candidate.

 

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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center