9.27 mcgrath

It's something that I never could have expected.

There it was, though.

I opened up a text message to find a photo, which featured a screenshot of a campaign commercial by Sen. Mitch McConnell.

And there was my name and my words.

"McGrath's commercials are painfully ineffective — Richmond Register, Nathan Hutchinson."

I wasn't sure how to react.

It caught me completely off guard.

Two months later, it still seems odd to look at that photo, which I have saved on my phone.

I didn't write that column ("It's hard to feel bad for Amy McGrath" — June 4, 2020) to garner any attention.

Not at all.

It was just my opinion.

I didn't think anyone would notice.

They did, though.

And trust me, I got some negative feedback.

There were a couple of canceled subscriptions and one reader, who refused to even speak with me and called me "disgusting."

My own mother didn't react all that favorably.

I sent the screenshot of McConnell's ad to her and the response was a red-face emoji and three words "angry mom face."

Sorry, mom.

That column was not meant to be an endorsement of McConnell.

Not at all.

It was really more focused on the floundering campaign of his challenger — retired Marine Amy McGrath.

Her television commercials in particular.

At a time when candidates can't get out and campaign in the normal way because of COVID-19, ads have become even more important.

As noted by McConnell, I found McGrath's television spots to be painfully ineffective.

She completely ignored her primary opponent, and perhaps as a result, almost lost to a little-known progressive state representative from Louisville who ran on ideas like a universal basic income and social justice.

McGrath raised more than $10 million, but beat Charles Booker by about only 15,000 votes.

Even more money has poured into her campaign since then as the Democratic National Committee cranked up its routine effort to "Ditch Mitch."

It happens every six years.

Turn on your television and within a few minutes you will see an ad for McGrath or McConnell.

You can't miss them (even though we all wish we could).

Amazingly, McGrath's ads seem to be more pathetic than they were during the primary season.

There's no focus and even less substance.

The McGrath campaign has flooded the market with dozens and dozens of 30-second spots that attack McConnell from every angle on seemingly almost every topic.

McConnell is old. McConnell doesn't care about Kentucky. McConnell wants to take away your health care. McConnell hurts hemp farmers. McConnell isn't doing enough for coal miners. McConnell didn't help stop COVID-19. McConnell opposes equal pay for women. McConnell has been in Washington D.C. too long. McConnell is a puppet for cooperate donors.

What's the message?

There's not one.

It's all just a mish mash of unconnected accusations that have very little substance and even less resonance.

Perhaps that's the strategy.

Just to throw everything at McConnell thinking something will stick with each segment of the voting public.

Could be.

If it is, it is just too disjointed to make any real impact.

Even worse, McGrath's ads really don't provide you with any real reason to support her.

She has been in the political spotlight in this state for the past three years and her campaign still revolves almost entirely around two things — her military career and her family.

McGrath needs to give people more if she hopes to pull off a historic political upset.

It won't happen.

McConnell has recycled the same tactics Andy Barr used against McGrath when she ran for congress in 2018.

His television spots are very effective (even though they are just as annoying) because they continually hammer home the exact same message — that McGrath is too liberal for Kentucky, a state which Donald Trump won by almost 30 points in 2016.

McConnell's team stays on point, while McGrath's campaign still seems to have no direction at all.

So, I said it before.

I'll say it again.

McGrath's commercials are painfully ineffective.

They may have actually gotten worse.

And you can quote me on that.

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