In defeat, Bevin finally showed some humility

Jeff Neal

Gov. Matt Bevin showed us a different side on Thursday.

After learning that his requested recanvass of last week's Election Night results changed nothing, Bevin was humble.

Instead of being a sore loser and refusing to concede an election to Andy Beshear -- a man who had become Bevin's bitter enemy -- the governor was gracious. He certainly displayed more humility than we have ever seen from him.

And it was refreshing.

"We're going to have a change in the governorship based upon the vote of the people," Bevin said at a news conference. "I truly want the best for Andy Beshear as he moves forward. I genuinely want him to be successful, I genuinely want this state to be successful."

For people who truly wanted Bevin to get four more years in Frankfort, this has to be a little maddening.

They have to be thinking -- why now, and not months ago when Bevin was maligning educators?

I believe with all my heart that had Bevin been a little more diplomatic -- and a lot less caustic -- with Kentucky's teachers, he never would've lost to Beshear. Not today. Not in a million years.

Kentucky has been trending from Democrat to Republican for several years now. Throw out Lexington and Louisville, and Kentucky is very, very red. And it did show last week, as the GOP sailed to victories in five of the six races for state offices.

The lone loser was Bevin. Despite an 11th-hour appearance by President Donald Trump. Despite a heavy push by Congressman Hal Rogers and other well-respected Republicans around the state.

With all that going for him, Bevin still lost.

That sent a very strong message to the governor. While other Republicans dominated, voters chose to show him the door.

Perhaps that message has been received. Certainly if Bevin holds any further political aspirations, he has some fences to mend. And a positive attitude toward the transition to the Andy Beshear administration is a good place to start.

"Every single facet of our administration that is desired is ready, willing and able" to assist in the transition, Bevin said on Thursday.

It's odd that in defeat, Bevin finally became a man we can all admire.

Perhaps he does realize that losing his office to Beshear is not on the teachers. It's not on the voters.

Bevin has no one but himself to blame. He found out last week that he was a man most Kentuckians just could not stomach.

For Bevin, that had to be a very tough lesson to learn. It will be interesting to see where Bevin goes from here -- and if he will remember this lesson in his future endeavors.

JEFF NEAL is the Editor of the Commonwealth Journal. Contact him at

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