The best bits of an otherwise lackluster Fancy Farm

08/04/2012 07:43 PM

FANCY FARM — It wasn’t the newsiest, most substantive or energetic of Fancy Farm political speaking events. And the attendance was down by roughly a third from last year.

But the 132nd annual picnic did offer a few stand-outs. Here are the Pure Politics award winners from Saturday afternoon’s event in west Kentucky:

Best series of one-liners: Greg Stumbo

The Democratic state House speaker led off by launching zingers at U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Hopkinsville. He lobbed a trio of jabs at GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and even Senate President David Williams was on the receiving end of a couple one-liners — all in the first three minutes of his speech.

But his most memorable line was a two-fer in defending Gov. Steve Beshear while slamming Romney (2:45 of the video).

Smoothest blend policy and inside political jokes: Jeff Hoover

The House minority leader added some one-liners of his own, although they were really for those insiders who hang on every headline. For instance, he referenced how a hire at the prison in Elliott County could be overturned after the preferred candidate of House Democratic Floor Leader Rocky Adkins got the job over a more qualified person.

And Hoover blended that with some more substantive arguments about why he says Republicans have a case to take control of the state House.

Most eager to talk about the president: Mitch McConnell

President Barack Obama was the star of McConnell’s speech. While not unexpected, McConnell covered the gamut of Republican knocks against the president in just the first three minutes of his eight minute remarks. That includes: Obama’s showing in the Kentucky Democratic primary, health care reform and regulations, to name a few.

Most willing to talk specifics: Kelly Whitaker

Of the 14 state and federal officials and legislative candidates who spoke, Democratic state representative candidate Kelly Whitaker of Hickory was the only one to suggest specific proposals.

Whitaker, who is running for the open 2nd state House District, called for ending legislators’ pension and moving the savings into the state employee pension system. And she suggested another legislative reform as well:

- Video produced by Chris Bratton

Programming note: We’ll have other awards for some of the highs and lows of the weekend’s political action on Monday’s show at 7 p.m. EST and 11:30 EST on Insight’s cn|2.

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