From THE DAILY CALLER:
It’s a tradition stretching back 130 years: Local and national candidates meet annually in Fancy Farm, Kentucky to deliver their best and most colorful one-liners against opponents and scream fiery speeches full of partisan red meat to a raucous crowd hungry to hear rhetorical arrows flung across the aisle.
Every year, thousands gather at the politically themed picnic hosted by St. Jerome Catholic Church in rural western Kentucky to hear rousing political speeches, and the event is known as the unofficial start of the campaign season in the state.
Unfortunately for one of this year’s speakers, Republican Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul, it seemed he missed the memo that he was there to excite members of the audience, not put them to sleep.
Instead of delivering the kind of biting jabs and comebacks that have made the Fancy Farm picnic famous for more than a century, Paul started his speech with a mundane discussion of U.S. tax policy.
Paul continued by reciting a string of numbers that appeared to give the crowd little to scream about.
Then the kill shot: He brought up a think tank study relating to the IRS’ handling of tax returns.
Few were moved, but despite the slow start, Paul suddenly showed a small sign of hope.
“Washington is broken,” he declared. “Government needs reform from top to bottom.”
As if they had been waiting patiently to hear something — anything — that could put them on their feet, members of the crowd finally burst out in a cheer. But with the next thing out of Paul’s mouth, he immediately lost them again.
“It’s not just the tax code. The regulatory code is 79,000 pages long,” he said. “We’ve added 10,000 regulations in the last decade. To comply with these regulations costs us over a trillion dollars.”
“Boring! Boring! Boring!” a group in the audience chanted in unison.
Hillbilly of Hillbilly Report was there and had some observations (and video of the event):
Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul slipped in and out of the event faster than Senator David Vitter can change his diaper. Hell these two guys are slicker than K-Y Gel when it comes to slipping in and out of events and avoiding their constituents and now that Rand is in bed with Mitch they may need some of that Gel.
It didn’t seem to bother Rand Paul or Mitch McConnell to be sitting next to a Congressman, Ed Whitfield, that has accepted money from a known terrorist, and didn’t seem to bother Rand Paul to be sitting next to a Senator that loves to start wars, but finds a way to get out of serving.
Senator Mitch McConnell seems to know everything when he’s on the protected environment of the Senate floor or on fox News, but when it comes to singing “My Old Kentucky Home” (see the video clip below) here in Kentucky he don”t know the words and then he has the gall to say “now whenever I’m in Washington I’m proud to remind people I’m from Kentucky.”
I got the feeling Rand Paul thought he was running against Nancy Pelosi rather than Jack Conway (see the video clip below). Who knows maybe Rand Paul thought he was in California or maybe he thought he was in North Carolina, where his tour bus is licensed.
Jack Conway told it like it is. As many of you know I’ve been critical of Jack, but yesterday I saw a little bit of the the Jack Conway I’ve been looking for.
I was critical of the Democrats in 2008 and 2009 for their lackadaisical participation, but this year was much better. Not yet good enough to suit me but progress is progress. Kudos to the Kentucky Democrats and the Conway gang.
From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
FANCY FARM, KY — The Jack Conway who showed up at Saturday’s Fancy Farm Picnic was not the one who stumbled through the event last year. In 2009, Conway — then locked in a tough Democratic primary for Senate — blurted out “I’m one tough son of a bitch” in response to the screaming hecklers that make a Fancy Farm speech what it is.
This year, the lead up to Conway’s speech was mostly focused on the SOB remark, with “will he or won’t he?” speculation about whether Conway would repeat the unscripted stuff serving as the only real controversy of the day. People needn’t have bothered — Conway delivered a fiery speech that had plenty of tough words for Republican nominee Rand Paul, but none of them crossed the line into PG-13 territory.
But boy, did the speech stick it to Paul. Conway came out swinging, mocking Paul for his early gaffes on the campaign trail and attacking Paul as “a waffling pessimist who wants to be the prince of cable TV.”
“There seems to be an emerging theme for Rand Paul and the Republicans this year,” Conway said. “And that theme is, ‘accidents happen.'”
So began a call-and-response routine with the crowd at the event that called for them to repeat the phrase, which came from Paul’s infamous explanation for the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Conway has already suggested that Paul is too extreme for Kentucky. Now he’s focusing, his campaign says, on the times Paul has been forced to move toward the establishment Republican view on an issue since he handily won his primary running against the mainstream Kentucky GOP, led of course by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Though McConnell stood with Paul all day today and offered strong praise for him both at Fancy Farm and the Republican breakfast Saturday morning, Conway tried to reopen the wounds from the primary, when Paul defeated the man McConnell wanted to win the Republican nomination [Trey Grayson]. Democrats hope that residual anger at the primary among more moderate Republicans could turn them into Conway voters.
“What did Mitch McConnell tell the Republican Party the day after the primary?” Conway quipped in his speech. “Accidents happen!” the crowd dutifully replied.
TALKING POINTS MEMO has some video highlights, featuring Gov. Steve Beshear (D), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R), Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul, and Democratic nominee Jack Conway.
Notice that I was a very good girl, and I didn’t even mention this story!