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Secretary of State Trey Grayson has started his new job at Harvard. He talked about his decision and his possible return to electoral politics on WFPL.

He also wrote a goodbye letter to his former constituents.

And he talked to CN2 about his departure, too.

Former Congressmen Lee Hamilton and Ron Mazzoli discussed statesmanship on State of Affairs Tuesday. The conversation touched on the roles the media and the two-party system play in encouraging divisive politics and heated rhetoric.

Current Congressman John Yarmuth, outgoing Secretary of State Trey Grayson and U of L professor Jasmine Farrier discussed similar issues Monday, and had slightly different takes on a few of the points made on State of Affairs.

Outgoing Secretary of State Trey Grayson was interviewed on NPR this morning about his friendship with Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

The night before Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot, she sent an e-mail to an old friend: Kentucky’s Secretary of State Trey Grayson, a Republican. She told him she wanted to talk to him about ways to promote centrism and moderation.

Kentucky Secretary of State (and former Senate candidate) Trey Grayson is resigning to become director of the Harvard Institute for Politics. Governor Steve Beshear has appointed Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker to replace Grayson.

Here are the details.

Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh attended Saturday’s Republican unity rally with Rand Paul, Trey Grayson and Mitch McConnell. You can read his report on WFPL.

Ed Kilgore at FiveThirtyEight has an analysis of the polls in the U.S. Senate race, and he says the Rand Paul phenomenon may not be all it’s cracked up to be, though Paul will likely win.

Anything other than a Rand Paul romp to victory tonight would be a major upset. Grayson has not led Paul in any public poll (other than one released by his own campaign) since last fall, and the most recent surveys, by PPP and the Republican firm Magellen Strategies, have both shown undecided voters breaking overwhelmingly for Paul. PPPhas Paul up 52/34, and Magellen shows him up 55/30. Paul’s only area of weakness, according to Magellen, is in the 5th congressional district, the “mountain Republican” area of eastern Kentucky where ideological conservatism, particularly as expressed in Paul’s hostility to federal programs benefitting Kentucky, has never been very strong. But Grayson’s likely margin in the 5th can’t offset landslide Paul wins in much of the rest of the state.

Media interpretations of the Republican Senate primary will be interesting. Given Paul’s parentage and quasi-libertarian views, the results will likely be taken as further evidence of an anti-incumbent, “insurgent” mood fed by unhappy independent voters. But a couple of cautionary notes on that meme: Kentucky has a closed primary system with a very early cutoff date for registration changes, so independents are quite literally not going to be a factor in Paul’s win or in the Democratic results, for that matter. Furthermore, there’s no incumbent in the race, and the actual incumbent, Jim Bunning, has endorsed Paul. And while Grayson’s impending loss is indeed humuliating for Mitch McConnell, it’s not at all clear the contest is some sort of referendum on his leadership. According to the latestPPP survey, Paul voters want McConnell to remain in his leadership post by a 58/22 margin.

In fact, PPP suggests that what’s feeding the Paul surge is a segment of self-conscious Republican voters who want their party to move ideologically to the right. According to PPP’s Tom Jensen:

32% of likely primary voters think the party is too liberal and Paul has a 71-21 advantage with them that accounts for almost his entire polling lead. With the other 68% of voters who don’t think the party is too liberal Paul is ahead only 45-41.Paul’s status as the candidate of “movement conservative” Republicans rather than tea-party independents or self-conscious libertarians, is buttressed by the endorsements he received from Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint and (in a reversal of an earlier Grayson endorsement) James Dobson.

In any event, you should take some of the hype you will hear tonight about Rand Paul’s “insurgency” with a grain of salt.

Republican Senate candidates Trey Grayson and Rand Paul are trading barbs on everything, including views on 9/11. The latest video from Grayson compares Paul’s views to his father Ron Paul‘s views, and then compares both the Pauls’ views to Reverend Jeremiah Wright‘s views. (Am I missing anyone’s views?)

And speaking of 9/11, Grayson is asking Paul to pull his ads that use images of 9/11.

“Rand Paul should immediately take down this ad,” Grayson said.

Paul’s campaign manager, David Adams, responded by calling Grayson’s request to pull the 9/11 ad “nonsense.”

In his TV ad, which includes somber video of smoke billowing from the World Trade Center, Paul expressed his outrage at the 9/11 attacks and criticized Grayson for questioning Paul’s patriotism in a TV ad that Grayson launched last week.

The Grayson ad says Paul “even wonders whether 9/11 was our fault.” It shows Paul at a Blue Grass Policy Institute Forum in 2009, where he said “maybe some of the bad things that happen are a reaction to our presence in some of these countries.”

Paul was paraphrasing a quote his father, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, said in a 2007 presidential debate. The elder Paul said U.S. foreign policy fueled anger among radicals.

The squabble between Paul and Grayson is not the first time the use of 9/11 images has been an issue. During President Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign, Bush was criticized by relatives of the terrorist strikes, who contended Bush was exploiting photos of the tragedy for political gain.

What are your thoughts on this debate? Is the Rev. Wright video still relevant?

Magellan Data has apologized for improper polling techniques in their recent senate poll. From Page One:

Magellan Data, the pollster who released the latest alleged data showing Rand Paul 21 points ahead of Trey Grayson, has released this statement:



Magellan is admitting to just about anybody who asks that this poll was conducted solely to get on the radar of other GOP candidates.

If they can’t get the field of candidates right in a race that’s so widely publicized, how on earth are we supposed to trust that, oh, telephone numbers are dialed correctly?

Obviously Rand Paul is ahead of Trey Grayson – but this is a mess.

Here are ads from Republican Senate candidates Trey Grayson and Rand Paul.

Your thoughts?

Rand Paul‘s supporters like to criticize Trey Grayson for not being conservative enough when it comes to spending, but now Paul is being criticized for not being conservative enough on social issues. The site Too Kooky For Kentucky criticizes Paul’s libertarian beliefs and calls up his alleged support for the legalization of drugs like LSD and marijuana. A lot of the arguments are against Paul’s father, Texas Congressman, former Republican Presidential candidate and internet celebrity Ron Paul, with the site assuming that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

When I interviewed Rand Paul earlier this year, he said he was in line with his father on many issues, but differs mostly in matters of national defense. The Too Kooky site seems to rely on Kentucky voters being turned off by the parts of Paul’s small government platform that liberals often agree with.

Paul, however, has taken a turn toward social conservatism with a recent pledge to do whatever he can in the Senate to end abortion. That’s definitely in line with mainstream Republican views, but it might hurt Paul’s credibility with true libertarians. While the libertarian vote doesn’t seem to be an overwhelming force in Kentucky, many supporters may find a contradiction in Paul’s call to limit government involvement in everything but this one issue.

Is Paul pandering? Are you a libertarian who agrees with him on abortion?

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