Clintons Throw Weight Behind Grimes in Effort to Unseat McConnell

Wednesday, 31 Jul 2013 10:34 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Bill and Hillary Clinton apparently have committed themselves to helping defeat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell by campaigning for Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who on Tuesday officially launched her effort against McConnell.

According to the Huffington Post, the former president filmed a two-minute YouTube video touting the qualifications of Grimes, a Democrat, and plans to make several campaign appearances on her behalf.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, also is on board to help raise money and support for Grimes' challenge.

While not mentioning McConnell by name, Clinton described the five-term Republican as a Washington politician who likes to "just say no for the sake of saying no," and is unable to "reach across lines of party, geography, or philosophy."

He praised the 34-year-old Grimes, describing her as "smart and strong, compassionate and effective, and Kentucky through and through."

Grimes, who has been the Kentucky secretary of state for just over a year, is a family friend of the Clintons, her father having been a longtime ally and former Kentucky Democratic Party chairman.

The Clintons, who are expected to visit the state several times before the November 2014 general election, will take an active role in fundraising, and already have attracted top operatives to Grimes' campaign team, the Huffington Post reports.

The Clintons' endorsement is expected to carry weight in a state that supported the former president in both the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections.

"Hillary is popular in the state, and Bill's numbers are absolutely through the roof," Jonathan Hurst, a top Kentucky campaign adviser, told the Huffington Post.

The campaign is expected to be one of the most highly competitive races of the 2014 midterm elections.

A poll in late May by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found McConnell and Grimes tied at 45 percent. The poll also showed McConnell with a 44 percent approval and 47 percent disapproval rating.

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