After a high-profile flirtation with a Senate race, the actress Ashley Judd announced Wednesday that she would not seek the Democratic nomination in 2014 from Kentucky.
“I realize that my responsibilities and energy at this time need to be focused on my family,” Ms. Judd wrote to her 171,000 followers in a Twitter message on Wednesday afternoon. “Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate.”
Ms. Judd’s interest in the seat, held by Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, drew national attention, a foretaste of the media barrage that one of her champions, Representative John Yarmuth, Democrat of Kentucky, predicted if she took the plunge. Mr. Yarmuth and others hoped it would unleash a gusher of campaign donations from across the country.
But Ms. Judd, 44, who campaigned last year for President Obama, was also the target of fierce pre-emptive attacks by Republicans. Some Democratic strategists in Kentucky also expressed worries that her liberal views would be too unpopular in a state Mr. Obama lost by 23 percentage points in November. The strategists fretted that a loss by Ms. Judd to Mr. McConnell, a five-term senator, would drag down other Democrats on the state ballot and threaten the party’s control of the Kentucky House of Representatives.
Ms. Judd, who spent part of her youth in Ashland, Ky., but now lives in Tennessee, was mocked by Republicans, including the strategist Karl Rove, as a carpetbagger and “radical Hollywood liberal.”
This is terrible news. I first heard of Judd in 2006. I had never seen her, but just assumed she was one of the singing Judds who they kept locked in the attic because she couldn't, um, sing. I've since found out that she is, horrors, an actress.
Now, I've always considered singers to be somewhat neurotic and flighty. But no one, no one brings the inner moron to the fight like an actress. Why, it's rumored that Sean Penn's pet name for her is "The Big Stupid." And he should know.
I'm not sure of the entire backstory on this, but Josh Trevino, who used to blog under the name Tactius, was dragooned into squiring Miss (I just give her that honorific because I know it'd drive her nuts. Well, more nuts.) Judd around on a charity tour of South Africa. Trevino's blog is now defunct, but somebody copied the piece to the Free Republic, and you can read it here . (Someone's browser somewhere along the line introduced some formatting errors -- quotation marks appear as an accented "Ó" so it looks a bit messy, but it's still decipherable.)
Read it and weep, Kentuckians. You could have had her instead of boring old Mitch McConnell. I'm not so sure she would have been an improvement; but vastly more amusing at the least.