I often wonder if politicians hear what comes out of their mouths, or if they are aware of how dumb their campaign commercials sound. Fortunately examples are never hard to find. There is a special election being held in the 56th Legislative District in Kentucky. There are three candidates, Republican Lynn Crews, Democrat James Kay, and independent John-Mark Hack.
The Republican, Lynn Crews, has been running ads attacking James Kay, and saying, among other things, that his first job out of law school was working in politics. Shocking. The only problem with that argument is that a number of prominent Republican politicians from Kentucky worked in politics right out of school. Senator Mitch McConnell, for example, worked for U.S. Senator Marlow Cook (R. KY) after graduating from law school. He then worked in the Ford Administration, and served as the Judge-Executive of Jefferson County from 1979 to 1985, before his election to the United States Senate, where he has served ever since. If McConnell has ever worked in the private sector, he doesn’t mention it on his senate web site biography. (http://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Biography)
And then there is Representative Andy Barr. Barr worked as an intern form Senator McConnell, and then after graduating from college worked as a legislative assistant for Missouri Congressman Jim Talent. Barr then went to law school, and after graduating worked for about two years in private practice at a law firm in Lexington. He represented Ernie Fletcher’s one time running mate Hunter Bates in a dispute over his residency, and then after Fletcher’s election he joined the Fletcher administration, where he served in a number of positions. After Fletcher’s defeat he returned to private practice, until his election to Congress in 2012. If my math is correct Barr has spent nearly as much time in politics as in the private sector.
Why then is working in politics such a bad thing?
But the real question is whether Crews even thought about what his ad said. How could he, with a straight face, complain about a candidate with little or no real experience in the private sector without realizing that someone was going to point out that Senator McConnell has no appreciable experience in the private sector?