Thursday, August 07, 2014

He who doesn't live in his district shouldn't throw stones

Because Mitch McConnell's family moved from Alabama to Kentucky when the future senator was a teenager, the Democrats pushing Alison Lundergan Grimes as his potential replacement in the U.S. Senate have hit on what, to them, seems to be an ideal campaign issue. They are mentioning the state of his birth as evidence that he's some sort of outsider, and he can't relate to Kentuckians as well as the native-born Lundergan Grimes can.

And, as if on cue, the attacks on McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao, have already begun. Since she's a native of China, any accomplishments she has achieved can be discounted. That's why it didn't take any time at all for McConnell to feature her in television advertising after this past weekend's Twitter rampage by the laughable Kathy Groob, who fancies herself as some sort of female Democrat strategic powerhouse but in reality is shunned and scorned even by members of her own party.

(If the Democrats want to promote Lundergan Grimes' lineage as something that matters in this fall's election, we welcome that, because it just gives us even more reason to talk about her corrupt father's history and tie that unpleasant fact around her neck to weight her down).

But in a day filled with irony, one of the prominent Democrats who was trotted out yesterday to prop up Lundergan Grimes' lagging campaign pegged the meter.

Greg Stumbo, the speaker of the state's House of Representatives, called McConnell as a "carpetbagger," an obvious reference to the fact that he was born in and spent his single-digit years in a state other than Kentucky.

Seriously? The man who doesn't even live in the district he purports to represent is calling someone an outsider?

For the uninitiated, Stumbo is a native of Floyd County, and he represents that county in the House. And it's true that he still owns a house near Prestonsburg. But he actually lives in Lexington, where he works as a lawyer. Whenever he's been in Frankfort on business and goes home for the day, he gets off the interstate in Fayette County instead of continuing east on I-64 to the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway to Prestonsburg.

Alison Lundergan Grimes really ought to be ashamed of the surrogates she's using in her bid to unseat Kentucky's senior senator. But when she's a part of the good ol' boy network that produces politicians like Bill Clinton, Stumbo and her father, it's impossible for her to divorce herself from them.

When Greg Stumbo sells his home in Lexington and moves back to Prestonsburg, then he'll have a little more standing on which to discuss McConnell's place of birth. But for now, he ought to take a little lawyerly advice and remain silent.

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