The Chatter: Judd rubs shoulders with Ky. politicos, stokes more talk of 2014 run

01/21/2013 12:52 PM

While just showing up isn’t enough to guarantee success in politics, it was enough for actress Ashley Judd to generate a buzz among Kentucky Democrats that she might run for U.S. Senate in 2014.

Judd attended the Kentucky Society of Washington’s Bluegrass Ball on Saturday night ahead of President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

“I think the fact that she was there was a great signal that she’s really thinking about it,” said U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, told Pure Politics Monday before a conference call about the inauguration.

Yarmuth said he was seated at the table next to hers and asked if he could make a political reference when he addressed the crowd at the non-partisan event. She said “go ahead.” And Yarmuth said he told the crowd he “wasn’t here campaign manager” but was willing to give her political advice about taking on Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Judd told the Courier-Journal’s James Carroll on her way into the ball that she was still “taking a close look” at running.

“The people of Kentucky need a fighter,” she told Carroll and a reporter from Politico. “And certainly going back 10 generations, I’ve got some fighters from those hills in my family.”

Judd arrived at the inaugural function later than most guests.

And according to Judy Clabes, editor and publisher of the online Kentucky Forward publication, Judd didn’t mingle much and might want to “ask for a retake” on getting a first impression with Kentucky politicos and donors in the room.

Clabes wrote:

If Ashley Judd wants to be taken seriously as a senatorial candidate, facing one of the toughest pros in the game, she has to put on a serious game face, dress and act the part. She has to work the crowd. She has to mingle and engage with people who will take her seriously … This doesn’t mean not being herself. It means not being a caricature of herself.

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

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