Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Opinion

May 21, 2014

OUR VIEW: Warming up national spotlight for state

GLASGOW — It’s hard to overstate the national significance of the foreseeable political future in Kentucky. It’s not inconceivable that a year from now, the state’s longtime Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell will have been ousted from office while Kentucky’s less-seasoned senator, Republican Rand Paul, is making a push for the White House.

The uneasy political relationship between Paul and McConnell has already fueled scads of state and national copy – including just this month a lengthy report by Rolling Stone magazine – and there’s no reason to believe the prose will stop flowing anytime soon. McConnell, although fresh off a primary thrashing of tea party challenger Matt Bevin, is entering a campaign against Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes that many observers think could be the toughest of McConnell’s career. Nationally, pundits are eyeing the McConnell-Grimes race as an indicator of the nation’s mood entering the 2016 presidential campaign.

Meanwhile, Bowling Green’s Paul, who was nearly unknown a half-decade ago, has proven quite skilled at keeping himself in the news. In turn, his profile has risen to the point that a serious run for the GOP presidential nomination isn’t a laughable thought, even if it still feels – at least at this moment – like a long shot.

For better or worse, our state, which in recent decades has often been far from the epicenter of national politics, could be a driving force behind the approaching upcycle in national politics. Whether Kentucky is actually ready for the scrutiny that comes with such a campaign remains to be seen, but if current trends hold, we figure to be in for quite a ride.

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