Sen. McConnell launches first campaign ad - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Sen. McConnell launches first campaign ad

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Kentucky's senior U.S. Senator has come out swinging as he fights to keep his job. Sen. Mitch McConnell has launched the first ad of his re-election campaign.

The nearly 3-minute Internet ad prominently features President Obama, who is not popular in Kentucky.

Also in a starring role, Ashley Judd, who is considered -- right now -- McConnell's most serious potential challenger. Kentucky's Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes -- mentioned in some circles as a possible McConnell opponent -- is featured in the ad as well.

"We wanted to have some fun with the indecision and the difficulty that Obama and national Democrats are having finding someone to carry the President's flag in Kentucky," said McConnell Campaign Manager Jesse Benton.

But Democratic consultant Bob Gunnell says the ad also makes it clear that McConnell's campaign may be a bit nervous about a potential run by Ashley Judd.

"She brings instant money, instant name recognition, instant credibility. She's in line with national Democratic view, not necessarily Kentucky Democratic views," said Gunnell.

That's what the McConnell campaign tries to highlight in the ad: Judd's progressive views.

"While she has some very interesting views, many of her views are very much out of step with what Kentuckians believe," said Benton.

The the ad also mocks the only declared Democratic candidate, little-known Ed Marksberry, and Democratic fundraiser, Matthew Barzun, the former ambassador to Sweden.

McConnell is using humor with an edge.

"Sen. McConnell from his very first race when he ran for county judge used humor as a way to go after his opponent. He does have a way of making you laugh. Now, if you're the butt end of the joke, you probably don't laugh about it," said Gunnell.

This first ad appears only on the Internet, but McConnell's campaign says it plans to use all platforms to get out his message. They'll have plenty of cash to do it. McConnell has a war chest of more than $7-million.

The campaign has also launched a website: www.ObamasKentuckyCandidate.com.

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