While examining Mitch McConnell’s first television commercials for the 2008 election cycle David Hawpe brings up the absurdity of McConnell’s self-comparison to former Sen. Alben Barkley.
Turns out Mitch isn’t keen on playing with facts and likes to ignore information that could make him look like the Red Chinese Money Broker that he is. And he’s not the second Kentuckian in history to lead his party in the Senate. The second would be Earle Clements in the 1950s. But who cares about facts? Definitely not the Dear bowtie-wearing Senator.
McConnell wants to draw a connection between himself and Barkley because the latter was not only powerful but also a popular, avuncular figure in Kentucky politics, especially in Western Kentucky, which has been a key to McConnell’s success. The truth is that one can draw more and better parallels between McConnell and Clements.
Both qualify as cool, crafty and reserved figures. Both built the state machinery that has dominated their respective parties for significant periods of the modern era. And both were county judges.
…Clements, unlike fellow Western Kentucky Democrat Barkley, was not widely loved. McConnell, unlike his Republican predecessor John Sherman Cooper, also isn’t widely loved.
And let’s not forget that Alben Barkley II– who is prominently featured in the new McConnell ads– has some major experience in the sexual harassment department. He was found guilty by the state Personnel Board of trying to make a sexytime or two with a secretary in his office.
Does McConnell think everybody has forgotten that Barkley II, as state secretary of agriculture, was involved in a sensational sexual harassment incident? A secretary in the ag commissioner’s office, Ann Hester, told the Personnel Board that Barkley once asked her to be his “lover,” that he asked to look down her blouse, that he put his arm around her waist and hugged her, and that he often told her she looked “sexy.”
Birds of a feather, boys and girls. Birds of a feather.