By Michael Cass / The Tennessean
Actress-activist Ashley Judd has made some noise as a Tennessee
Democrat this year, attending the Democratic National Convention as a
Volunteer State delegate in September and penning a Tennessean op-ed last week calling on controversial Republican Congressman Scott DesJarlais to hang it up.
But Huffington Post political analyst Howard Fineman said on "The
Chris Matthews Show" Sunday that Judd's old Kentucky home could be
calling her north to run for the Senate from there in 2014. The
Democrats' target would be a big one: Senate Minority Leader Mitch
McConnell, a Republican first elected in 1984.
"The Democrats are desperate to beat Mitch McConnell, the icon of
Republicanism in the Senate," Fineman said. "They think they have a
candidate in Kentucky to run against him - no kidding, Ashley Judd,
who's from Kentucky, who's very active politically. They want her. I
know they want her. The money people in Kentucky want Ashley Judd."
"Everybody's going to remember that one," Chris Matthews said as the segment wound down.
Judd, 44, grew up in Kentucky and went to school at its flagship
university, whose so-so basketball team she continues to very publicly
support. (That was sarcasm, UK fans. Put the pitchforks down. I'm just a
poor Georgia fan who needs an occasional laugh.) But she lives in
Williamson County with her husband, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner
Judd told The Tennessean in an interview in August
that Tennessee Democrats had not approached her about running against
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker in tomorrow's election. (Instead, they managed to nominate - and promptly disavow - Mark Clayton.) She said she wouldn't have run even if they had.
"The way I'm doing my service right now is the best use of me," she said.
Of course, Tennessee's other senator, Republican Lamar Alexander,
will be up for re-election at the same time as McConnell. Assuming the
Tennessee Democratic Party can get its act together, let the political
bidding war begin.