Retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Amy McGrath on Friday, Dec. 27 made official her challenge to Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) seemingly eons-held seat. That same day, McGrath proudly gushed: “Honored to have Martha Layne Collins, the first and only woman governor of Kentucky, and my mom, one of the first women to graduate from U.K. med school, to sign my papers as I filed to run for Senate.”
Maybe she feels that these ladies’ political street cred will be absorbed through osmosis as she steps into the ring to take on the Senate majority leader. More importantly, though, the woman has amassed a loyal following and seems to enlist a common-sense approach – somewhat unusual for a Democrat in these progressive “free stuff” days. It was a Marine mentality and approach to her campaign that had McGrath narrowly losing, last year, to incumbent Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) in a race for a House seat.
But taking on the likes of McConnell – a man who is the longest-reigning Republican leader in the U.S. Senate with five terms under his belt – may be yet another losing battle.
It appears McGrath may be counting on the dwindling popularity of the good senator from the Bluegrass State, who is frequently shamed by frustrated conservatives as a Republican in name only (RINO). McGrath is using McConnell’s past obstruction of President Donald Trump during the first two years of the latter’s time in office. Say what you will about the Dems but Trump had a supermajority at his fingertips and it was the Republicans in Congress who blocked his progress. McGrath is needling the president and McConnell by reminiscing over those tumultuous first few months, saying:
“If you think about why Kentuckians voted for Trump, they wanted to drain the Swamp, and Trump said that he was going to do that. Trump promised to bring back jobs. He promised to lower drug prices for so many Kentuckians. And that is very important. And you know what? Who stops them along the way? Who stops the president from doing these things? Mitch McConnell.”
That was July 2019: A 180-degree difference in tone since McGrath claimed, days after the 2016 election, that Trump’s victory felt like a repeat of 9/11. Has this politico suddenly decided that the president is good for Kentuckians, what with bringing back jobs, lowering unemployment to historic levels and all that silly nonsense, or is this change strategic? After all, in McGrath’s home state, Trump stomped his 2016 opponent by 30 points.
McGrath’s detractors say she plays whatever tune may suit the audience. Matt Whitlock, an adviser for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, tweeted his dismissal: “McGrath will tell out-of-state donors and liberal activists that Trump winning felt like 9/11. At home she’ll pretend she’s running to work with him.”
But the campaign stands firm, claiming their Marine is combat ready to take out the RINO and “work with a president of any party who is willing to put the interests of working Kentucky families ahead of special interests.”
Meanwhile, another Democrat has come out of the woodwork and filed to run for McConnell’s seat. He’s a farmer (and rural people are all for Trump), an educator, a former news editor, and – to top it all off – a Marine. His name is Mike Broihier and he may give his fellow veteran, Ms. McGrath, one helluva run for the gold medal.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.