Fancy Farm quick hits:
Mitch McConnell provided by far the best performance art, but only because he pays for it. Even the most rabid Lunsford volunteers couldn't compete.
Mitch brought a posse of baby Nazis from his D.C. office. Some carried triple-decker campaign signs on 20-foot-high staffs. They almost impaled several elderly people wearing republican stickers, and reminded me of those giant standards displayed by Roman emperors.
Other Gestapo-in-training wore long fake black beards and Arab-looking robes and burnooses, wearing signboards that blamed Lunsford, Obama and the Democrats for high gas prices. I sure hope he paid those kids well, because those costumes must have been brutal in the heat. Note to burnoose-wearers: the signboard is not very effective if the words are covered by your trailing headpiece in back and your fake beard in front.
If Heather Ryan doesn't beat Ed Whitfield in November, she should run against Steve Beshear in 2011. Mitch's baby Nazis hung arond long enough to try to scream her down, too, and she let 'em have it. She told the story of how her 12-year-old daughter asking McConnell about Iraq scared little Mitchie so much he got Heather fired.
"So thank you for being such a thin-skinned coward, Mitch," Ryan called out. "Because if you weren't, I wouldn't be here!"
At the Graves County Democratic Party breakfast before Fancy Farm, Ryan's speech was by far the best, beating even Lunsford for red-meat-throwing and drawing a standing, stamping, whistling ovation second only to the one for Lunsford.
Bruce Lunsford, dammit, gave the second-best speech of the day (after Heather.) Despite having to talk over non-stop screaming from Mitch's baby Nazis and their sitters ("Six More Years!"), he gave far better than he got and sounded - much as I hate to admit it - far more Senatorial than Mitch ever has.
McConnell and Kentucky's other Senator, Jim Bunning, read their speeches, barely lifting their heads or changing their tone, while Ryan, Lunsford, Beshear and Mongiardo spoke heads up and eyes forward (no teleprompters at Fancy Farm.)
The republicans don't seem to know who they're running against. The cardboard fan passed out to republicans had a list of republican talking points on one side and a list of republican candidates on the other side. Kentucky dems aren't always well-organized, but we can spot one of our own candidates at a good 10 feet.
McConnell and Bunning both seemed confused about who their opponents are. Neither one of them mentioned Lunsford, Ryan, Beshear, Mongiardo, or any other Kentuckian.
Mitch is running against some guy named Obama who bears no resemblance to the presumptive Democratic nominee but apparently has been going around Kentucky personally raising gas prices.
Bunning is running against long-married grandmother Nancy Pelosi, whose heterosexal, monogamous, child-rearing values scare Jimmy to death.
Ed Whitfield, who never mentioned his actual opponent Heather Ryan, seems to think he's running against Bruce Lunsford. That may be because this supposed representative of Kentucky's First Congressional District doesn't actually live here; his actual residence is - and has been for several years - in Florida. That's 500 miles and at least three states away from Western Kentucky, Ed.
Ed also doesn't know - or doesn't care - that it's illegal to remove another candidate's signs. His supporters couldn't stand that the home-made-in-her-front-yard Heather Ryan signs outnumbered Whitfield's expensively printed signs along U.S. 80 approaching Fancy Farm, so they pulled them up. Cowards. Criminals. Losers.
The Ditch Mitch crowd had some cute signage on U.S. 80: a series of large boards listing Mitch's crimes and corporate cop-outs over the last 24 years. If only the anti-McConnell movement had a candidate worth fighting for.
Climate conditions were 92 degrees and 45 percent humidity - practically sweater-weather for experienced Fancy Farmers used to 100 degrees with matching humidity. The new covered pavilion is not an improvement: the bleachers block the view of the speakers from everyone in the grass outside the pavilion, and the increased body heat from people crammed inside cancels out the cooling effect of shade.
Herald's coverage here, and here, Courier's here. Page One watched KET's coverage and comments here. KET webcast the whole thing.
And Kilowat has great pix here, here, here, here and here.
And of course Jim Pence was there taking video all day long.
Cross-posted at BlueGrassRoots.