The Reviews Are In: Grimes Senate Kick-Off "Underwhelming"

Jul 2, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes

It's safe to say this isn't the start Alison Lundergan Grimes--or her supporters--had in mind when they envisioned their effort to take out Kentucky's powerful senior U.S. Senator, Mitch McConnell.

Grimes ended months of speculation Monday afternoon when she announced she will seek the Democratic party's nomination for the 2014 Senate race. But in doing so, she raised as many questions as she answered.

One of Kentucky's best political reporters, Ryan Alessi of cn/2's "Pure Politics", says supporters who met with Grimes in Frankfort Monday before she announced her decision described the meeting as "unorthodox,” “unprecedented,” “fascinating” and, at times, “surreal.”

According to Alessi, Grimes seemed to be undecided on whether or not to run during the pre-announcement meeting, and asked those in attendance what they thought she should do. After meeting for nearly an hour, the consensus formed that Grimes should run for Senate.

The Washington Post describes Monday's announcement as "underwhelming", while pointing out Grimes began the event more than 30 minutes late, spoke for less than five minutes, and took only a few questions from reporters before leaving the stage.

The banner behind Grimes at her announcement was from her 2012 Secretary of State campaign, as opposed to her 2014 Senate run. Her announcement wasn't promoted on her Facebook page or Twitter feed.

As of Tuesday morning, her Senate campaign had no website up and running.

Still, some Kentucky political operatives told the Post the campaign has plenty of time to recover, raise the money it needs to challenge McConnell, and take its case directly to Kentucky voters. They point out the announcement came on a relatively slow news day and was the top story for many important news outlets in the Bluegrass State.