Commonwealth Journal

Columns

May 22, 2014

Grimes needs to take a firm stand on Obama

Somerset — Alison Lundergan Grimes is in a really tough spot. First of all, she’s squaring off against a GOP juggernaut in longtime U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell this fall. And, secondly, she finds herself linked to the most unpopular president ever in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Instead of taking a firm stand on her feelings on President Obama and his controversial health care plan, Grimes is not only sitting on the fence — she’s handcuffed to it. "No matter who the president is, I won't answer to them. I'll only answer to you." That’s what Grimes promises in her TV ads. It’s a nice sentiment — but do we really buy it? Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a pro-McConnell group, launched a two-week air assault that says Grimes is backed by Obama's allies from Hollywood and elsewhere. "Michelle Obama let the truth slip out at a new York City fundraiser, calling Grimes' election critical to President Obama's liberal agenda that's hurting Kentucky," the commercial says. Grimes certainly didn’t help distance herself from Obama when she refused to give reporters a straight answer about her feelings on Obamacare. Asked two times whether she'd have voted for the 2010 healthcare overhaul, the Kentucky Democrat told The Associated Press: "I, when we are in the United States Senate, will work to fix the Affordable Care Act." Grimes added: "I believe the politically motivated response you continue to see from Mitch McConnell in terms of repeal, root and branch, is not in reality or keeping ... with what the facts are here in Kentucky." The law Republicans call "Obamacare" presents a delicate issue for Grimes, who won the Democratic Senate primary on Tuesday. Kynect, Kentucky's state-run health insurance exchange made possible by the law, is wildly popular. More than 400,000 people have either signed up for an expanded Medicaid program or purchased private insurance plans with the help of government subsidies. But Obamacare remains unpopular in the state, mostly because President Barack Obama himself is unpopular here. "I am not and will not be for taking away insurance that 400,000 Kentuckians just recently got access to," she said. In his victory speech after Tuesday's GOP primary, McConnell said a vote for Grimes would be "a vote for Obamacare and a president who sold it to us on a mountain of lies." The wily McConnell— who has portrayed Grimes as “Obama’s cheerleader” — will continue beating that drum until votes are cast in November. Grimes might have her guard up. But it’s pretty clear she’s going to have to throw some punches to let Kentuckians know whether she stands with Obama or not. This will be a huge factor in whether or not she can displace one of the most powerful men in Washington. JEFF NEAL is the news editor at the Commonwealth Journal. You can reach him at jneal@somerset-kentucky.com

1
Text Only
Columns
  • mug shot.jpg Batmania arrives at Somernites Cruise

    What excellent timing. Last week, the real Batman (that would be Adam West), the real Robin (that would be Burt Ward) and the real Catwoman (that would be Julie Newmar) converged on the Comic-Con in San Diego to promote the long-awaited DVD/Blu-Ray release of the beloved Batman ABC-TV series, which ran from 1966-68.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug shot.jpg Stanziano left behind a grand legacy

    It should be no surprise that Mark Stanziano was an Oakland Raiders fan. Back in the day, Raiders owner Al Davis always looked for the good in a football player— regardless of their sometimes less-than-sparkling reputation.

    July 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • The great Hobby Lobby debate
    It’s a common joke among those of us in the libertarian set that liberals are pro-choice when it comes to reproductive rights — and anti-choice when it comes to everything else.
    Rarely is that borne out so much than in the Hobby Lobby contraceptives case.

    July 4, 2014

  • 002 CHRIS NEW MUG.jpg Without the past, there is no present

    June 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug shot.jpg Political correctness is running amok

    Once again, political correctness is running amok. This time, it’s the bureaucrats in Washington trying to force Daniel Snyder to change the name of his National Football League team.

    June 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug shot.jpg 20 years since the fall of a national hero

    If you were a child of the 70s, you probably were a fan of O.J. Simpson. The angular running back with smooth-as-silk moves and power to boot was the first African-American athlete who really transcended racial barriers.

    June 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug shot.jpg A little guidance on the safety of our teens
    If you’re the parent of a teen, there’s good news. Your child is less likely to drink and smoke these days, and less likely to fight at school. Unfortunately, they’re also likely to text behind the wheel when they reach driving age, and they’re much more immersed in video games, the Internet and their handy smartphone.
    These results were gleaned from a test of 13,000 U.S. high school students last spring. This survey has been conducted since 1991.

    June 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Coal can’t be king in Kentucky forever

    “We’re going to be screwed no matter what,” a mechanic in Wooton, Ky., told me last year. We were talking about the coal industry and how it might be regulated in the future.

    June 13, 2014

  • 002 CHRIS NEW MUG.jpg Grads leave high school well-prepared for life Tonight, the current crop of seniors from my high school alma mater receive their diplomas. ‘Tis the season for graduations, and Somerset High School will be saying goodbye to the class of 2014. Next weekend, Pulaski County High School and Southwestern High School will do likewise.

    May 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug shot.jpg Grimes needs to take a firm stand on Obama Alison Lundergan Grimes is in a really tough spot. First of all, she’s squaring off against a GOP juggernaut in longtime U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell this fall. And, secondly, she finds herself linked to the most unpopular president ever in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Instead of taking a firm stand on her feelings on President Oba

    May 22, 2014 1 Photo

News Live
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks