Get Excited: Ashley Judd Will Probably Run For Senate

Daniel Doherty

3/10/2013 11:00:00 AM - Daniel Doherty

This scoop is a few days old, I guess, but nevertheless worth reporting on a slow news weekend:

Ashley Judd has yet to officially announce her political aspirations, but a source with intimate knowledge of the situation tells FOX411's Pop Tarts column the actress is preparing herself to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his Kentucky seat in 2014.

"At least in Ashley's mind, it is happening," said the insider. "She has devoted herself to many important causes and stepped away from the Hollywood spotlight so this seems like the logical next step. I don't know if she will be successful, but her heart is in the right place."

Judd, 44, has reportedly been meeting with well-financed Democratic donors, and last week ventured to Washington D.C for more public engagements.According to Don Peebles, Chairman and CEO of The Peebles Corporation, a member of President Obama's National Finance Committee, and Vice-Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, a Judd run is likely much more than a Hollywood fantasy.

"There looks to be a lot of noise around her running and she's been active in commenting on politics of the day so it is certainly possible," he said. "Senate Minority Leader McConnell's approval ratings are low, and a lot of reports show that he is vulnerable to a challenge. While Kentucky leans right, it is not as conservative as most of its neighbors and the voters of Kentucky may be looking to send a message that they don't feel fairly represented by Minority Leader McConnell."

Some of the Hollywood actress’ past comments have been quite jarring, and one wonders how she’ll be able to explain them away to average blue-collar Kentuckians. On the other hand, Allahpundit notes that this isn’t the worst recruiting decision Democrats could make. After all, she’s a relatively famous -- and smart -- Hollywood liberal with a penchant for moral grandstanding. What else could Democrats ask for in a candidate?

But more to the point, it seems that getting elected nowadays to high national office is less about resume and credentials and more about celebrity status. I don’t believe former Governor Mitt Romney lost his presidential bid because voters thought he was unqualified; he lost because people didn’t think he “cared” enough about them, among other reasons, and his opponent was much more charismatic and likeable. One of the things that makes Judd an attractive candidate, then, is that she’s very likeable -- at least with her base -- and can raise tons of money in Tinseltown. And since Mitch McConnell is one of the least-liked Senators on Capitol Hill, perhaps she has a chance to unseat him. Worse things have happened.

UPDATE: Did Judd just make it official? Not quite.