Actress Ashley Judd is giving consideration for a possible 2014 US Senate run in Kentucky against GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
It's not uncommon for celebrities to later on take on a role of politics. Notable examples are Al Franken, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Ronald Reagan. Al Franken, currently a US Senator of Minnesota, was known for performing on “Saturday Night Live” as Stuart Smalley. Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of Hollywood's biggest stars let alone action stars, served as the governor of California. Ronald Reagan, an actor in his prime, was elected as United States President to be succeeded by his then-VP George H.W. Bush. In 2003, during the California recall election against then-Democratic incumbent Governor Gray Davis, porn actress Mary Carey ran for governor as a publicity stunt. Schwarzenegger ended up getting elected as governor. In short, there's no shortage of celebrities running for political office.
Another celebrity is entertaining the idea of running for United States public office. It may seem surprising but not so surprising at the same time. That celebrity is notable actress Ashley Judd who has an extensive resume of film and TV credits. Such roles were “Kiss the Girls,” “Double Jeopardy,” “Tooth Fairy,” and “Dolphin Tale.” She even had the starring role of the TV series called “Missing.” Judd has a film called “Olympus Has Fallen” in post-production and a film called “The Identical” that's currently in filming.
As an eighth-generation Kentuckian, Judd is eligible to run for political office in Kentucky. According to a few people that are familiar with the situation, Judd is giving serious thought to entertaining a possible run for the United States Senate. It will be for the upcoming 2014 elections. As Politico reports, Judd has already talked this over with Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Not only did Judd talk with people, she has started to conduct research on her opposition. In this respect, Judd's carefully doing her homework.
However, it is unknown if Judd will actually go through it. At the moment, Judd is thinking about either running in 2014 during the US Senate and US House elections or running in 2016 where there will be another US Presidential Election. Also, there is the matter of the Democratic primaries. If Judd runs and becomes the Democratic nominee, she'll challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell if it's for the 2014 Elections. If it's for the 2016 Elections, Judd will run against GOP Senator Rand Paul.
Politico reports that Democrats are mixed on the prospect of Judd running. There are Democrats that want Judd to run because she could raise a lot of funds and energize the base. If running in 2014, Democrats are concerned about how it will be difficult to take down McConnell. It is reported that McConnell is primed and ready to take on any Democratic opponent. Regardless, Democrats are concerned that Judd will be too liberal and out of touch with the state.
In 2016, running against Rand Paul might not be as easy. Paul, a freshman Senator, got much support from the Tea Party Movement. Hypothetically, if Judd is the Democratic nominee chosen for 2016, this could mobilize the Tea Party Movement against her.
An article on Slate says that Judd could beat McConnell in 2014 by doing the following: leaving Hollywood, really getting serious about issues important to Kentucky, and calling out sexism.
A blog on Washington Post gives skepticism about Judd's chances and successes in politics. It points out Judd's lack of actual hands-on political experience; the blog also points out that Kentucky is a very red state.
In this respect, Judd would have to depend on her master's degree from Harvard in public administration which she received in 2010. Plus, she would have to depend on her years as a progressive political activist. Also, her experience as a global ambassador for YouthAIDS could be useful when it comes to foreign policy, healthcare, and education. Currently, she has a leadership seat for the Washington DC-based non-profit called the International Center for Research on Women. That could prove useful if implementing women's rights as part of the campaign platform.
Keep in mind, this is still hypothetical. Judd is giving serious consideration for a US Senate run. But, it doesn't necessarily mean she'll go on with it. If she does run, there's still the part where she has to make it through the Democratic primaries.
If she ultimately does decide to run, an article on Care2 gives three things Judd can learn from Franken. The three things are: running for the right reasons, run a campaign that's all about the issues, and actually do the job as a US Senator.
Freshman Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, when on radio station WMAL, slammed Judd's consideration for a US Senate run. If Judd decides to run in 2016, she'd go up against Paul. Paul said that Judd was “too damn liberal” for the United States let alone Kentucky. Also, he accused Judd of “hating the coal industry” which is a crucial industry in Kentucky. Also, Paul attacked Judd for splitting her time between the States and in Scotland. He suggested that Judd run for British parliament instead.