Monday, May 5, 2008

McConnell Wins at Derby

He may not have cashed a ticket at the track, but Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell nonetheless won at Churchill Downs this weekend.

The Thoroughbred Horse Racing Association took a full page ad in the Daily Racing Form's Derby issue to thank McConnell for his "steadfast leadership and support of Kentucky's signature."

McConnell has led Congress on such issues as the Equine Equity Act (to make the capital gains treatment of horses similar to that of other assets).

I didn't realize that the horse industry's impact in Kentucky was so big in actual numbers until I saw the ad. The Commonwealth's horse industry, according to NTRA, carries a $ 4 billion economic impact, generates 80,000 jobs, and sustains $ 8.8 billion in eco-tourism. Nor did I know that horses are Kentucky's number one agricultural cash crop. (Indeed, I didn't know horses were a crop at all.)

All in all, it was a much better showing for McConnell than those cheesy lapel stickers were for Obama. Hillary, as we know, stuck with identity politics to choose her horse, and probably hasn't slept since poor Eight Bells had to be put down. It would be in poor taste to call John McCain MIA so we'll just say he blew it by not attending. Since his opponents only sent surrogates, it would have been a wonderful opportunity for some "earned media." Besides, I wanted to see what Cindy McCain would wear.

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