I don't think a candidate should be criticized for changing their mind on an issue every once in a while but for Jack Conway to come to Western Kentucky and claim to be the Conservative candidate well that is a stretch for me. The good folks at West Kentucky Journal of Politics & Issues reported that Conway was campaigning as the Conservative choice. You can read their full report at www.westkypolitics.org
I gave credit to Conway's campaign in 2007 for doing a much better job with their media in the General Election. If you remember Jack slapped on some boots and boarded a tractor to lessen the Liberal Louisville image. Remember "Jack's Got Your Back"--It worked!
In the past year Lt. Governor Dan Mongiardo has worked Western Kentucky as hard any candidate since maybe Grady Stumbo or Wallace Wilkerson. It would be hard for anyone to claim that Mongiardo does not line up well with most Rural Kentuckians on most issues. I'm glad to see that Conway is coming to the middle on issues but in all fairness you can't blame the Mongiardo Campaign for taking him to task on his quick exodus from the left after the upset in Massachusetts. Mongiardo's Campaign called his conversion "An Extreme Make Over" in a press release this week.
Now is Rand Paul just smarter than everyone else-capitalizing on a message & platforms that ended up being dead on? I don't know but but he gets an "A" for timing anyway. The interesting thing about the Kentucky Senate race for the Democrats is that you have to be able to win a Primary without losing the General Election in the process. This is not an easy thing to do because unless you have your own millions to spend then Democrats are forced to raise money like a Liberal and run like a Conservative. It sounds like hypocrisy but as a Southerner, hypocrisy is probably our finest trait with the exception of our hospitable demeanor.
Again, I'm glad that Conway is getting right with God & West Kentucky as they say, but Jack could be going down a dangerous road if his shift ends up being disingenuous. Kentucky is a diverse place with contrasting political opinions. People in the Golden Triangle support certain issues as vehemently as we do certain issues in Western Kentucky. So who is right then? I don't know but I will assure you that God and myself will figure that out one day and we will let you know.
Mongiardo has every right to call into question Conway's shift and the media has a responsibility to inform the voters where each candidate stands. Conway is correct and probably smart to focus on jobs, the economy, deficit reduction & a health care reform package we can afford and live with. Rand Paul has been running on these issues for a long time while Trey Grayson and everyone else slept. Conway has a harder row to hoe than Mongiardo. Conway does not expect to win Western Kentucky but he must get his fair share of vote out of here and still leave himself room issues wise to have a chance in November. Mongiardo has an easier road because Urban folks in Kentucky or more apt to vote for Mongiardo in November than Rural folks for Conway.
In truth- it is going to be a tough going for either candidate come November. People are mad and folks down here like to get even when there angry. As I like to say, West Kentucky would rather vote against somebody as opposed to voting for someone. I don't blame them though, the Democrat Party has done a poor job or maybe a good job of opposing the political and religious beliefs of most Rural Kentuckians.
Candidates such as Jack Conway or anyone else for that matter need to be forthcoming and truthful on all the issues. I noticed at Conway's website he does not talk about very many issues that are important to Rural Kentucky. Jack has shown that he is pretty good at dating the issues but he is going to have to marry some if he is going to have any success in Rural Kentucky. People who disagree with you can still respect you and even vote for you if they know that your sincere in what you believe.
There is an ever growing gap between the political thought of Urban Kentucky and Rural Kentucky. The results in Massachusetts have caused the Democrats to vellicate. Now that they are convinced that even Urban America is not happy with a Liberal Democrat Agenda- everyone is changing their make-up. It's OK by me to change your position or switch directions but candidates like Jack Conway need to discuss all the issues important to Rural Kentucky not just the ones that smell good to him on a windy day.