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Senator Ashley Judd?

Actress Ashley Judd is reportedly considering a run for the United States Senate.

POLITICO (“Ashley Judd exploring Senate run”):

Ashley Judd vs. Mitch McConnell?

It might not be as far-fetched as you think.

The Hollywood movie star and eighth-generation Kentuckian is seriously exploring a 2014 run for the Senate to take on the powerful Republican leader, four people familiar with the matter tell POLITICO. In recent weeks, Judd has spoken with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) about the possibility of a run, has discussed a potential bid with a Democratic pollster and has begun to conduct opposition research on herself to see where she’s most vulnerable in the Bluegrass State, sources say.

Whether Judd jumps into the race remains far from certain. She’s reportedly also weighing whether to wait until 2016 to instead take on freshman Sen. Rand Paul, sources say.

But if Judd does become a candidate, she would be the biggest celebrity to run for the Senate since Al Franken’s successful 2008 bid for the Minnesota seat. And her entrance would add a level of star power to a race that was already poised to be the highest-profile in the country with the Senate Republican leader up for a sixth term in 2014.

“She is doing all the things that a serious candidate exploring a race should do,” Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) told POLITICO after speaking with her. “I think there are a lot of people, and I was one of them, who wanted to let her know that her candidacy would be an exciting prospect for us. That’s what I wanted her to know. A lot of the labor unions, they were telling me that too.”

I can’t imagine Kentucky is ready to dump the leader of the Senate’s Republicans in favor of a liberal neophyte who doesn’t even live in the state. But Judd does bring enormous name recognition and fundraising ability. And she’d likely be good in TV commercials.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Tony W says:

    After Palin – sure, why not?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  2. Boyd says:

    And in the time-honored words of Paris Hilton, “She’s hot.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    But Judd does bring enormous name recognition and fundraising ability. And she’d likely be good in TV commercials.

    You know, I just might move to KY just so I can see some of those commercials…. Then again, I would see some of Mitch’s too. Uck. :-(

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. Zandar says:

    I’ve lived in Kentucky for almost a decade now.

    As much as I’d love to get rid of Mitch, and Ms. Judd is a qualified Harvard Kennedy School of Government graduate…her stance on coal/mining/the environment means she loses by 20 points, guaranteed.

    She’s a non-factor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  5. john personna says:

    There is all that Congo, human trafficking, work. It shows a certain kind of seriousness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Hell, merely from being exposed to the Yankee Trader realities of Indycar racing and to Hollywood’s money making machines Judd probably has got 2x the business and financial sense that Obama had when he was elected to the Senate. So not only could we do worse we’ve actually done worse. And then some.

    Plus at this stage of the game, with the U.S. headed full bore towards becoming Europe West, with more crime and blight to boot, politics here might as well literally become a beauty contest. It’s all in any event window dressing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  7. anjin-san says:

    2x the business and financial sense that Obama

    Herbert Hoover was a brilliant businessman. How did that work out? Ronald Reagan had pretty much zero business experience, and supposedly uber-capitalist conservatives worship him.

    You really need better talking points.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  8. anjin-san says:

    After Palin – sure, why not?

    Aside from both being attractive women, where is the equivalence? When Judd speaks, she sounds intelligent and educated. When Palin speaks, she sounds like an ignoramus who has been smoking meth…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  9. Al says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Speaking of business sense, have you shorted the US Government yet?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. MBunge says:

    Whether she can win or not, she would certainly be able to raise money and is plenty telegenic. Since there’s pretty much no way McConnell can be less helpful or more obstructionist, why not try and give him as hard a time as possible?

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  11. Rafer Janders says:

    Don’t forget that Judd is married to NASCAR and IndyCar drive Dario Franchitti, which would give her a bit of a boost with that demographic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. Barfour says:

    The Tsar has spoken. You’re really funny, your majesty, or how ever you wish to be addressed. Many people ignorantly talked about Obama’s lack of business knowledge and experience during both his presidential campaigns, all the while ignoring how he brilliantly managed his campaigns and have handled the job of president. How else could he have beaten Hilary Clinton, both Clintons actually, the toughest possible opponent he could have met in the primaries. Look at how he managed his campaign compared to Mitt Romney, the supposed business and management expert who was coming to Washington to fix things. Obama has shown time and again that he is highly intelligent, very knowledgeable, an excellent manager and he can be trusted to make the right judgement.

    About the senate race in Kentucky, it is very unlikely that Ashley Judd will beat Mitch McConnell in 2014. Kentucky is a very reliably red state for national races, it will take a huge Democratic wave for her to win and even that may not be enough. She probably have a slightly better chance of beating Rand Paul in 2016.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  13. @anjin-san:

    Ronald Reagan had pretty much zero business experience

    I’m betting the former head of a major national union has a lot of business experience.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. anjin-san says:

    I’m betting the former head of a major national union has a lot of business experience.

    According to conservatives, being the head of a union makes you a quasi-commie, not a businessman…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. MM says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: You know (allegedly) has incredible business sense? Mitt Romney. The guy who borked his GOTV software completely and seemed to think the solution to every roadblock in his campaign was “throw more money at it”.

    Business people are often very good at one thing, but this fetishization of business people as being brilliant at everything they could ever possibly touch is getting ridiculous. Donald Trump, for all his craziness, is a good business person, as even through several bankruptcies, he has always managed to make himself wealthy again.

    Giving Trump any actual governmental authority over anything would be a nightmare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. de stijl says:

    @Zandar:

    her stance on coal/mining/the environment means she loses by 20 points, guaranteed.

    She could try to run against Massey.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. de stijl says:

    @Zandar:

    her stance on coal/mining/the environment means she loses by 20 points, guaranteed.

    She could try to run against Massey. Besides, the Dems have to run someone against McConnell – better Judd than some schnook nobody getting tossed to the wolves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. An Interested Party says:

    Hell, merely from being exposed to the Yankee Trader realities of Indycar racing and to Hollywood’s money making machines Judd probably has got 2x the business and financial sense that Obama had when he was elected to the Senate.

    Oh please…any fool who probably voted twice for the first MBA president of the United States (and the complete economic disaster that cretin unleashed) really has no business criticizing the business acumen of any other politician…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. bill says:

    is she the hot one or the fat one?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    is she the hot one or the fat one?

    Why do you care? Neither one of them would give you the time of day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. bill says:

    @anjin-san: the hot one would, the fat one too! don’t be jealous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0