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Trey Grayson embraces the establishment

In an election where candidates are running away from the "politician" label as fast as they can, Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) is going against the grain -- touting his support from the Kentucky political establishment in hopes of overcoming the outsider challenge from ophthalmologist Rand Paul in tomorrow's Kentucky GOP Senate primary.

"I'm proud that my conservative record has won the support of Mitch McConnell and so many others," says Grayson in the commercial as images of McConnell, Rep. Hal Rogers, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum are shown on screen.

(In Grayson's closing ad, he touts his work as Secretary of State -- another potential no-no in an environment where service in elected office is seen by many voters as a strike against you rather than an argument in your favor.)

According to a source familiar with the Grayson camp, the endorsements -- particularly of McConnell and Hal Rogers -- tested extremely well with voters as independent validators of the Secretary of State's track record of conservative accomplishments.

But, in an environment where voters have adopted a throw the bums out mentality -- those willing to say they will cast a ballot to re-elect their own member of Congress are at historically low levels in Washington Post/ABC News polling -- it's hard to see how the backing of a cavalcade of elected officials (particularly people like Santorum who most Kentucky voters almost assuredly have not heard of) helps Grayson's cause.

We'll know tomorrow night whether the strategy paid off. What's clear: this is the purest example in the cycle so far of a clash between the party establishment and the tea party movement. Both Grayson, on the establishment side, and Paul, on the tea party side, have embraced their respective wings of the party and, in so doing, have turned the Kentucky race national.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 17, 2010; 1:39 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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I love that the 'Baggers are nominating the son of a career politician at the same time pretending they are cleaning up Washington. lol what a joke the Tea Party is.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | May 18, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Paul will win easily in the General Election. Washington and the MSM elite completely misjudge the anger and worry most American's have about "free trade" and jobs outsourcing. The polls have 61% of voters concerned about having their job outsourced and a whopping 81% of voters wanting Congress to do "whatever it takes" to not just end outsourcing, but to reverse it. 75% will support trade tariffs, punitive taxes on investors and investments, even denying any tax breaks or *all* tax write-offs for companies that outsource. This is THE issue and Paul is opposed to outsourcing, will end the H1-B and L-1 visas completely. Voters have been warning, for some time now, that they will accept just about anything else from a candidate if he or she will end the job drain. Now, I think the Democrat's understood this. I campaigned for Obama and the pamphlets I handed out stressed those issues. Of course, immediately upon taking office he appointed Geithner and Summers and invited a bunch hi-tech CEO's to the White House. We, then, understood hat we had been lied to. Now, of course, it is too late and Democratic candidates across the board are going to reap the wind. They richly deserve it. Those replacing them can ban abortion, force gays back into the closet, repeal healthcare, bomb Iran, do pretty much whatever they want of they will only end free trade. Note to Obama and the few true believers hanging around -- you blew it.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | May 18, 2010 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one that sees the connection between the tea party and the red shirts in Thailand? Both have been dismissed by the media and the government as "country bumpkins", poor folk", "rednecks" and worse. I have a better term..."commoners", average people, just trying to survive. I have one message for both the US and Thailand..."listen to us now or hear us later"

Posted by: jeal10 | May 18, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

nice to be here.


Posted by: dbriangordon | May 17, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse


Attacking posters he claims to ignore:


Posted by: bumblingberry | May 17, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

So now we have burnout-boi's latest hysterial obsession, over Kagan's sexuality. We can all look forward to around-the-clock unintelligible hysteria demanding to know if she's gay.

Obviously, she isn't, but even were she a flaming bull-d|ke, who cares? What kind of snoopy nosy busybody gives a crap? This is America, not Iran.

Meanwhile, zouk will do his own stunningly repetitive derisive drivel, predictable as sunrise and seasons.

These guys are paralyzed.

Posted by: Noacoler | May 17, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Kagan playing her OWN version of "don't ask, don't tell?"

OK, she might be laughing.

However, is this appropriate for a Supreme Court nomination process?




Posted by: 37thand0street | May 17, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Embrace the dark side, Trey, and together we will rule Washington as Majority Leader and Senator!

Posted by: JakeD3 | May 17, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

These endorsements are less about helping the candidate and more about the endorsers garnering attention and political capital. Santorum is missing a marble or two, but surely he knows that no voter is going to give a crap who he endorsed. It's more about ingratiating himself to top brass and saying "please don't laugh me out of the room when I make the retarded decision to run for Prez"

McConnell and Cheney have been endorsing the establishment guys and they haven't had a great success rate. But Demint hasn't been all that hot either with his far right picks. Not that I think any of them really have the candidates' best intentions in mind, but I'm guessing that if they did want to do right by the candidate, they should just keep their distance.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 17, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

If the polls are to be beleived this is too little too late. Although I will say that I think Paul will be a much easier opponent for the Dems so I am happy about that.

Posted by: AndyR3 | May 17, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Trés élitiste!


How does Solicitor General Kagan defend against THIS?


• If you are "targeted" by a rogue fusion center program for your politics, your comment to a political blog may appear only on a "spoofed" page visible over your connection, not on anyone else's.
OR (see "stories)

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 17, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

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