Saturday, August 23, 2014

Roundup: Grimes using short version of opening TV commercial; reporters analyze the week

A quick roundup and catch-up:
  • Alison Lundergan Grimes is running a 30-second version of the one-minute television commercial that started her general-election broadcast campaign.
  • Courier-Journal Washington correspondent Jim Carroll writes in the paper's weekly summary of the race that the candidates' two joint appearances this month remind us that they have very different messages and styles: "McConnell is attempting to nationalize his bid for a sixth term, while Grimes is seeking to make the contest Kentucky-centric." He also offers a review of their Farm Bureau performances: "In the small room and on the webcast, she came off as a bit strident and rehearsed. McConnell "obviously had prepared his key talking points as well. The only interplay between McConnell and Grimes came in the digs they had pre-cooked for each other."
  • On KET's "Comment on Kentucky" Friday night, Sam Youngman of the Lexington Herald-Leader said the Kentucky Farm Bureau forum was a mirror image of the Fancy Farm Picnic in that "Mitch McConnell probably had a better day." But later in the show, talking about the stark contrast of a young woman and an old man, he said, "You never know what role optics like that will play in an election that's this close."
  • Regarding questions about whether Grimes paid her father's company enough for rental of her campaign bus, Youngman said, "At the beginning of the week I thought this was a yawn of a story. . . . When I started paying attention was when different stories came out of the Grimes campaign." He said average voters don't care about such things, but they raise issues of trust and Grimes is still largely unknown to many voters. Phillip Bailey of WFPL said the espisode "raises issues of how [a] Senator Grimes would behave," and "This isn't the first time" that her "relatively inexperienced campaign staff" has "fumbled," quashing their momentum.
  • Shane Goldmacher of the National Journal, who broke the story about the political donations to McConnell that followed his lunch with the CEO of Delta Air Linessums up the dueling complaints against the candidates: "It's unlikely either complaint will be resolved quickly. Instead, both parties are likely hoping to generate negative headlines about the other. The Senate Ethics Committee rarely issues any public statements and the gridlocked FEC is generally not fast to act on complaints it receives." That's the Federal Election Commission.

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