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

01/21/2013 01:52 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 has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or


  • viewer wrote on January 21, 2013 02:23 PM :

    I dont know if Judd is the answer. Money is the problem now , and I’m tired of hearing the Dem’s say they need to match Mitch in fundraising. If you got substance in your message the public will back you. We are tired of he said she said campaigns. They do it so we have to do it. These 30sec commercials dont work anymore for politicians or voters. Get the message right and you will have the public.

  • viewer wrote on January 21, 2013 02:38 PM :

    What is the difference in Mitch’s NRA money and Judd’s Hollywood money ??? They both play a big roll in violence in this country. Neither has no reason to play innocent in their impact on society. We are getting suckered again into picking between less evil. IMO

  • waybert17 wrote on January 24, 2013 11:34 AM :

    Do you have to live in Kentucky…to hold a Kentucky office?

  • John wrote on January 28, 2013 10:52 AM :

    It’s kind of funny to see someone imply that Hollywood causes as much violence in this country as the NRA. Creating action movies does give you the means to enact violence. The NRA does.

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