Mini-Tuesday

I’m a little embarassed by the fact that in twelve or thirteen posts yesterday I didn’t get around to mentioning it was a primary day in Kentucky and Arkansas. You will forgive me, I hope, a lack of excitement about the “story” of the president’s weakness in these two states (and in other border states with large fossil-fuel energy industries and relatively few African-Americans), since I’ve been reading about it since the 2008 primaries. Yes, it’s a bit odd for an incumbent president to get under 60% of the vote in his own party’s primary anywhere, but this is, as Politico‘s Charles Mahtesian puts it, Obama’s “region of doom,” and I’m sure his campaign is happy all these states will have just one more opportunity to register their lack of regard for Barack Obama.

The one interesting result from last night was a surprisingly easy primary win for a protege of Rand Paul’s in an open Republican congressional district in Kentucky. But Paul had some outside help. You think Super PACs are having an impact on presidential politics? Check this out from the Louisville Courier-Journal:

[Thomas] Massie came into the race largely unknown in the district’s population center of Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties but was able to overcome his lack of name recognition by scoring a couple of big name endorsements and getting the backing of several tea party organizations.

He also got more than $500,000 worth of backing from a super PAC called Liberty for All, which was funded almost entirely by a 21-year-old Texas college student with an inheritance. The group ran ads supporting Massie and criticizing Webb-Edgington and Moore.

Marc Wilson, a supporter of Webb-Edgington, criticized the group after the ballots were counted

.

“It’s a shame that a Texas libertarian super PAC could come in and invade the Republican Party to buy a congressional seat,” he said.

Wow. Wonder if the kid down in Texas turned in a term paper to his poli sci class entitled “How I bought a congressional seat in Kentucky.”

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.