GLASGOW — Matt Bevin knows he’s going to have to convince a lot of Republicans it’s time for a change if he’s to unseat powerful five-term incumbent U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in the 2014 Republican primary.
He’s behind in name recognition.
He trails in fundraising.
He lacks McConnell’s organization and the backing of the party establishment, an establishment pretty much constructed over the years by McConnell himself.
But Bevin displayed another potential problem here Saturday – he can’t pass up a good discussion of his ideas and government philosophy, even if it means he doesn’t get to as many potential voters.
That was evident as Bevin made the rounds among the crowd attending the East Barren County Volunteer Fire Department fish fry just a few miles east of Glasgow. It was clear Bevin delighted in meeting people and in talking to them about his ideas.
But it wasn’t unusual for him to spend 15 minutes or longer at one table, talking to one or two people while the line queued up for catfish and baked beans moved on and people came – and went.
“He loves it,” said David Dickerson, the former Barren County Republican judge/executive who is active in the local tea party and who invited Bevin to Saturday’s event. “He genuinely enjoys meeting and talking to people. But I keep telling him he needs to move along and meet more people.”
Bevin sat down with current Barren County Judge/Executive Davie Greer and her husband, Jerry, and got straight to the point.
“So, you’re Republicans – how do you think Republicans (in Washington) are doing?” Bevin asked.
“I’ll tell you one thing,” said Jerry Greer, “they’re not helping themselves up there.”
Greer said he was speaking of both Democrats and Republicans, not just Republicans, although several national polls released last week indicated a growing majority of Americans place most of the blame for the government shutdown and partisan gridlock on the Republicans in Congress.