A Day with Kentucky's Senate Candidates

On Thursday September 3rd, both candidates for US Senator from Kentucky visited Northern Kentucky.  Rand Paul visited with members of the NKY Chamber of Commerce.  Jack Conway attended a rally at the opening of the Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign office in Erlanger.  I had an opportunity to attend both events and wanted to share my thoughts.

Disclaimer:  Drinking Liberally as an organization does not support or endorse any candidate.  The follow are my personal views on the two candidates.

Rand Paul Luncheon

My first visit with the candidates started with a luncheon for Rand Paul.  The luncheon was organized by Legacy, the young professional organization which is part of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.  The format for the forum was question and answer using pre-screened questions that were submitted by Legacy members.  The questions were asked of Dr. Paul by Northern Kentucky Enquirer politics reporter Amanda Van Benschoten.  Legacy had reserved seating for 80 persons but it appeared that a few tables had empty seats.  The event was free for legacy members and $25 for the general public.

If after reading my post on the event, if you would like to hear more, I've recorded audio from the event.  It's not the best quality recording but it's all there., all 38 mins of it.

When thinking about how best to write up a review of Rand Paul's discussion with Legacy, I thought the best way to present it would be using the old technique of the compliment sandwich.

Compliment 1:  During one discussion of cutting spending, Rand Paul became one of the very view Republican candidates I've heard that admitted that military spending needed to be examined and reduced when looking at total spending.

The Critism:  For the most part, Rand Paul did nothing to differentiate himself from other Republicans.  For someone who is portrayed by his supporters as a Washington outsider that is going to step in and make major changes in Washington, he continued to make the same promises that Republican's have been making for the last 30 years.  During the approximately 30 minutes of speaking he mentioned cutting taxes, smaller government, reducing spending, fighting for a balanced budget amendment, and term limits.  While his website admits that other Republicans have been unable to do things such as balancing the budget while in power, he does not provide any plan of his own to do this.

I took special notice of how, during one part of his speech, he cited the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation as credible sources.  I had my biggest "laff" when he cited the ideological thought experiment, the Laffer Curve as a source for his economic policy.

Again, in summary, same old Republican promises with the same old lack of a plan to deliver them.

Compliment 2:  Ummmm, Dr. Paul had a nice dark jacket / khaki pant combo going on that looked professional yet comfortable.

Jack Conway Event

The Jack Conway event had an different format and a different focus.   Attorney General Conway stopped by to rally supporters at the opening of the Kentucky Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign office in Erlanger.  The event featured several speakers.  First Julie Smith-Morrow, who is running for the State Senate seat in KY District 24, spoke about her campaign.  In addition, US House of Representative candidate in the 4th district, John Waltz, spoke to the crowd about his campaign to defeat Geoff Davis in November.

Jack Conway took spoke after a brief introduction.  His focus was on rallying the approximately 80 supporters and encouraging them to donate and sign up to volunteer for the campaign.  Jack Conway's speech focused on addressing some of the many areas where he and Rand Paul do not agrees.  Conway, as Attorney General, was especially animated when talking about Rand Paul's promise to cut funding for drug enforcement.  In addition, Jack Conway poked a little fun at a couple of incidents where Rand Paul couldn't remember why Harlan Kentucky was famous and seemed to think the town of Hazzard Kentucky was famous for the Duke's of Hazzard.

While there was not a lot of information on the issues involved in the campaign provided to those in attendance, the event was an excellent rally that served it's purpose of motivating his supporters.  While the conservative media in Cincinnati did not provide equal coverage of this event compared to the Rand Paul luncheon, it was clear that there were a large group of motivated individuals out who were ready to get to work on his campaign as well as the campaigns of John Waltz and Julie Smith-Morrow.

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