Monday, July 13, 2015

Jack Is Back

When Kentucky's Democratic Attorney General, Jack Conway, lost his U.S. Senate bid to Republican Rand Paul in 2010, MSNBC's Chris Matthews predicted that Conway, despite being caught in the anti-Obama wave of that year and making a few missteps of his own in his campaign against Paul, had a solid political future ahead of them.  I begged to differ.  Remembering that the Republicans are the party of rising stars and the Democrats are the party of shooting stars, I expected Conway's political prospects to be diminished.
I was wrong.  And I may yet be proven all the more wrong in November.  Conway is the Democratic nominee for governor of Kentucky this year, and while GOP rising star Rand Paul may not win the Presidency in 2016, Conway may actually win his race.  He's running to replace outgoing governor Steve Beshear, who started the Kentucky health insurance exchange and has brought change to Kentucky's economy as a result. 
Conway is liberal on some issues and conservative on others.  He supports tax credits for companies that create jobs in the state. He noticeably takes a middle ground on climate change (he supports cap-and-trade but also supports protections for the state's coal industry), and he supports legalized abortion, which he says "should be as rare as possible, but should be kept safe and legal."  He's big on guns but also supported the passage of the Affordable Care Act that made Kentucky's state exchange possible. He's down the middle on immigration, saying that he can support legalization for some illegal immigrants but adds that citizenship priorities should be given to legal immigrants.
In short, Conway is a moderate Democrat who should appeal to Kentucky voters.  The trick, of course, is to have the right stands on the right issues to be in line with the state's political center.  Theoretically, Conway could be liberal on Issue A and conservative on Issue B when it should be the other way around, and he could easily get it backwards on too many other issues. I don't think so, though; he seems to have the right temperament for the Bluegrass State.  And if the 46-year old Conway wins on November 3, it'll only show how politically astute Chris Matthews is, and it will also show that even a Kentucky Democrat can get a second chance.
Unless that Kentucky Democrat's name is - let's all say it together - Alison Lundergan Grimes.      

No comments: