Meet the Investor-Turned-Candidate Who Wants to Primary Mitch McConnell

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 24 2013 11:25 AM

Meet the Investor-Turned-Candidate Who Wants to Primary Mitch McConnell

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Good luck.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A Tea Party challenge of Sen. Mitch McConnell makes almost no sense. Think about it—which Republican leader has a better affinity with the Tea Party's strategy? Which one worked harder to deny any GOP buy-in to Obama's 2009-2010 agenda, helping brand it as partisan, and helping swing the House to the GOP?

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

"My advice to people who are frustrated with Washington is that there’s probably a better way to spend your time, effort, money, blood, sweat and tears than trying to have Senator McConnell unelected," said Kentucky Rep. Tom Massie, a freshman who won with the backing of Ron Paul supporters, in March. "I think there are a lot better chances and better use of your time in terms of changing Washington, D.C."

McConnell worked hard to build relationships with the people seen by the media as "Tea Party leaders." But all the opposition really needed was a candidate, and now it's got one—investor Matt Bevin, born lower-middle class in Connecticut, now a multimillionaire in Louisville.

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The hits on McConnell come out of a dusty past. How many Kentuckians remember that McConnell voted for TARP? McConnell does, which is why his first hit on Bevin is that he fiendishly took advantage of "bailouts."

Katrina Trinko, reporting from Kentucky, writes that Bevin's just straight-up denying the hit on tax liens. Anyway, wasn't it a week or so ago that Kentucky conservatives were supposed to hate the IRS?

Correction, July 24, 2013: This post originally misspelled Katrina Trinko's first name.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.