Alison Lundergan Grimes, welcome to the big leagues. Grimes, Kentucky’s 34 year-old Secretary of State, announced she was running against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Monday and has already hit a wall of right-wing opposition.
A potential campaign website, http://www.grimesforsenate.com, just says “GrimesForSenate” in large blue Calibri font with a generic email address below. But the conservative PAC America Rising has ripped Grimes for having “The World’s Worst Political Website,” despite no verification that it is in fact hers. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee could not be reached for comment to figure out if she did have a campaign website. Alisonforsenate.com has been taken as well.
Tuesday morning, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent around an email branding Grimes’ announcement as the “Worst Launch Ever.” The NRSC hit Grimes on everything from the timing (30 minutes later than scheduled), and backdrop (a hand-me-down from her 2011 campaign run for Kentucky Secretary of State), to the hastily constructed toilet paper roll microphone stand. Grimes spoke for less than five minutes Monday and took two questions from the press.
Mitch McConnell, one of the least popular and most powerful senators in the country, is known for his campaign savvy. As my colleague Alex Altman notes, McConnell managed to redirect criticism from himself after rogue liberal operatives bugged his campaign office last spring. The recording, which spurred an FBI investigation, left McConnell intact despite revelations that his team had strategized about ways to mark actress Ashley Judd, a potential rival, as “emotionally unbalanced.” Today McConnell’s campaign released a new auto-tuned political ad (produced so quickly it failed to correctly spell “McConnell”) “What Rhymes with Alison Lundergan Grimes?” The answers: “Not ready for prime time,” “Sticks to party line,” and “Left wing mime.”
The election will be held 489 days from today.