On paper, Amy McGrath was a stellar recruit for Democrats in Kentucky: A young, female veteran who could raise huge amounts of cash to boost her chances. At the very least, she could really make Republicans sweat about their Senate Majority Leader's re-election. Then again, also on paper, McGrath had all of those assets in 2018, brought in a staggering fundraising haul, and still lost, in the least deep red GOP-held seat in the state. And now she's running statewide. Despite NBC's best efforts to roll out her campaign with maximum fanfare and effort, things quickly went awry, as we noted last week. Team Mitch's "welcome" video telegraphed exactly how they intend to define their opponent, early and often: As a hardcore anti-Trump liberal. And she's done all their heavy lifting for them, in her own voice, using her own words -- including likening Trump's election to the deadly terrorist attacks of 9/11. Following her Kavanaugh flip-flop-flip debacle, it was also revealed that a core claim in her introductory video was supported by highly misleading 'evidence:'
Amy McGrath apparently trying to set a new low for worst campaign rollout ever. Her launch video implied that McConnell was ignoring pleas from constituents, but turns out the letters cited in the video were postmarked that same day. https://t.co/tfFqF3hmgy— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) July 13, 2019
The video implies that McConnell never responded, but it appears the letters were sent Tuesday, the same day that McGrath announced her bid for the Democratic nomination to challenge him. A spokesman for McConnell told CQ Roll Call on Friday that the senator’s Louisville office received three of the four letters featured in the video on Thursday. They were postmarked on Tuesday...McGrath’s entrance in the race was highly anticipated by Democrats after she raised $8.5 million in an unsuccessful challenge to Rep. Andy Barr last year. With numerous candidates sharing her Twitter announcement to their followers and encouraging them to help her oust McConnell, McGrath raised $2.5 million during the campaign's first 24 hours. But she stumbled out of the gate when she told the Louisville Courier-Journal she would have voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and then retracting that position after a firestorm of criticism from fellow Democrats.
McConnell never responded to the letters! That we literally just mailed! What a monster. McGrath again demonstrated her ability to pull in large sums of money from donors, but almost everything else about her rollout was a fiasco. So much so, in fact, that she bailed on a scheduled MSNBC interview with a friendly host over the weekend. The anchor, who helped McGrath attract major attention by sharing her opening campaign video, did not seem pleased:
McConnell's campaign -- which is infamously savage and ruthless -- responded:
Get your pair before Amy changes her mind again.— Team Mitch (@Team_Mitch) July 12, 2019
The local press is also being quite unkind, writing that McGrath kicked off her campaign by firing a "missile at her own foot," as opposed to the man she's challenging. Some critics are already hearing murmers of discontent about whether she has earned the right to be the party's annointed candidate:
The first 36 hours of @AmyMcGrathKY’s launch have NOT been a good confidence builder for @KyDems.— Philmonger (@phillipmbailey) July 11, 2019
Already hearing from several officials and consultants who are saying @RockyForKy or @KySportsRadio Matt Jones have to enter the primary — "@SenSchumer be damned!” #KYSen
I'll leave you with the following quote: "She probably can't recover from this:"