Monday, May 12, 2008

W. Bruce, Tough Guy

W. Bruce Lunsford told AP reporter Bruce Schreiner that this election will be different -- that is, Lunsford will finally win one, and against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, no less.

Lunsford boasted,

"People ask me, `Are you ready for McConnell?"'

"My question is, is he ready for me? Because he hasn't had much
in the way of tough races, and this is going to be a race where
he's going to be held accountable."

Maybe Lunsford was busy too busy moving assets from failing corporations to notice election results. Lunsford's assertion that McConnell "hasn't had much in the way of tough races," is just laughable.

Recall that McConnell handily beat Steve Beshear with 57 percent of the vote in 1996 -- even as Bill Clinton carried the Commonwealth. That's the same Steve Beshear whom Lunsford could not beat; Lunsford only got 21 percent of the vote against Beshear. If Lunsford really regards Beshear as not a tough opponent, that only underscores Lunsford's own weakness as a candidate. After all, McConnell won more than twice as many votes against Beshear as Lunsford did.

Reporter Schreiner makes a few errors about electoral history, as well. He attributes McConnell's first election to the U.S. Senate to Ronald Reagan's coat tails. In fact, an oddity of Reagan's reelection in 1984 was that Reagan had no coat tails: McConnell was the only Republican to knock off an incumbent Senator that year.

When McConnell first sought reelection in 1990, Reagan was gone. McConnell ran in a political environment that -- like today -- included rising energy costs, a volatile Middle East and a very unpopular Republican president, who happened to be named Bush. And McConnell's opponent, Harvey Sloane, was considered a "dream candidate."

The national backdrop is again difficult for Republicans. But Lunsford is no dream candidate. To the contrary, Beltway Democrats like Chuck Schumer had to flatter the millionaire Lunsford into running just so the national party could pass on sending money to Kentucky. That's hardly a vote of confidence from his own party.

Lunsford's trash talking about being McConnell's first "tough race" explains why Lunsford has lost every race he's ever ran: his ego clouds his vision of reality.

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