Ashley Judd’s biggest problem: Her history of bizarre comments
She has spoken out against having kids, saying it is “unconscionable to breed” while there are so many starving children in the world.
She has criticized the tradition of fathers “giving away” their daughters at weddings, calling that practice “a common vestige of male dominion over a woman’s reproductive status.”
She has even compared mountaintop removal mining to the Rwandan genocide, and has criticized Christianity as a religion that “legitimizes and seals male power.”
Yet actress Ashley Judd is seriously contemplating a Senate run in Kentucky, a conservative-leaning state where such liberal comments would be mocked and viewed as, well, bizarre.
If Judd decides to challenge Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell for his Senate seat next year, Republicans and their well-funded super PAC allies have warned that Kentuckians will see and hear these comments over and over again on television and the radio.
By getting in the race with this sort of baggage, Judd runs the risk of being portrayed as a Todd Akin-esque candidate — meaning voters simply decide she’s unqualified to serve as a senator, because her comments are so outrageous and extreme that people can’t bring themselves to vote for her.
Here is a sampling of some of Judd’s most stunning comments:
— On her decision not to have kids with her husband: “It’s unconscionable to breed, with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries.”
– On her comparing mountaintop removal to the Rwandan genocide: “President Clinton has repeatedly said doing nothing during the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 is the single greatest regret of the Presidency. Yet here at home, there is full blown environmental genocide and collapse happening, and we are doing nothing. Naturally, I accept that I set myself up for ridicule for using such strong terms, or perhaps outrage from human victims of slaughter.”
– On fathers giving daughters away at weddings: “To this day, a common vestige of male dominion over a woman’s reproductive status is her father ‘giving’ away her away to her husband at their wedding, and the ongoing practice of women giving up their last names in order to assume the name of their husband’s families, into which they have effectively been traded.”
– On the coal industry, which employees thousands of Kentuckians: “The era of coal plant is over, unacceptable,” she tweeted in October.
– On how Christianity “legitimizes” male power over women: “Patriarchal religions, of which Christianity is one, gives us a God that is like a man, a God presented and discussed exclusively in male imagery, which legitimizes and seals male power. It is the intention to dominate, even if the intention to dominate is nowhere visible.”
– On men: “Throughout history, men have tried to control the means of reproduction, which means trying to control woman. This president is a modern day Attila the Hun.”
Judd, who has reportedly met with officials at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, is giving signs that she’s gearing up for a run. (RELATED: Judd to deliver speech in Washington on “women’s reproductive health”)
And a political ally — Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth — told ABC News: “I would be surprised if she doesn’t run at this point.”
But Democrats appear to be nervous about a run.
“If she runs, I think that it would be a catastrophe for a lot of downballot races in Kentucky,” Jimmy Cauley, a Democratic strategist in Kentucky, told Roll Call recently.
Likewise, political observers are doubtful of a Judd candidacy.
“In fact, in a midterm election during President Barack Obama’s second term, Ashley Judd would have about the same chance of getting elected to the Senate in Kentucky as Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., would have of being elected president of EMILY’s List,” Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report wrote in November.