Monday, October 13, 2014

Afternoon roundup: A new and important TV ad from each campaign; will debate break Twitter?

As supporters gather on the KET grounds for the debate . . .
  • Both major candidates have new television commercials. McConnell went first, with one about the local and national media reaction to Grimes refusing to say whether she voted for President Obama. Grimes followed with one from former Sen. Wendell Ford, making some of the most critical public comments he has ever made about McConnell, with whom he served from 1985 through 1998.
  • The main speaker among the TV clips in McConnell's ad is Chuck Todd of NBC News, host of "Meet the Press," and the ad closes with his line, "I think she disqualified herself. I really do." The Washington Post's Philip Bump writes, "The good news for Grimes is that Chuck Todd is not a voter in Kentucky . . . The bad news for her campaign is that a lot more people are about to learn that this was his opinion — and her position."
  • Ford says, "When I was in the Senate, Democrats and Republicans worked together. Mitch McConnell, he doesn't understand the problems. He’s just been against everything. He’s Mr. No. Alison will reach out. She won’t vote to send jobs overseas like Mitch McConnell is. Alison can work with both sides. I believe in Alison. She is the right person at the right time."
  • McConnell senior adviser Josh Holmes quickly noted on Twitter that the "votes to send jobs overseas" line from an earlier Grimes ad had been dubbed "mostly false" by PolitiFact.
  • The McConnell campaign objected more strongly to a 60-second ad that Politico's James Hohmann reports Grimes is running on Louisville's WMJM, "an urban adult contemporary radio station," that suggests "McConnell is trying to suppress the black vote."
  • In a story titled "11 questions that will decide the Senate," one for each race, James Hohmann of Politico has this one: "Can Alison Lundergan Grimes go three more weeks without saying if she voted for Obama?"
  • Pre-debate tweets: Christopher Otts (@christopherotts) of WDRB-TV says "The winner will be presented with a lump of coal." Michael Steel (@michael_steel), press secretary to House Speaker John Boehner: "Tonight's Kentucky Senate debate will break Twitter."

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