Yes, Ashley Judd has a shot. Her photo next to that of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s is a stark juxtaposition that confirms the need and the nation’s gradual movement toward a more diverse government that reflects a sharing of power among the diversity of gender, racial and religious backgrounds of our nation’s people. In determining whether or not to make the run there are questions that only she can answer in making her decision, such as:
1. Does she have the stomach and nerves of steel for a campaign that will be in a more glaring and extended spotlight and microscope than perhaps she has faced in brutal Hollywood?
2. Is she willing to make the even greater sacrifices to her privacy and family than she makes now as an actor?
3. How will she fashion a pure public service platform from her celebrity/actor platform as an advocate for better human conditions and change?
Those who have gone before her – Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Franken and other lesser known celebrities from the music world have successfully made the transition from acting and entertainment to statewide and Congressional elective office. It would be refreshing to see a woman of Ashley Judd’s caliber and standing as an actor make that move as well.
If she surrounds herself with an effective team, she will likely succeed. Like those before her (and probably with greater skill), she is an actor who has shown great capacity to empathize with a character and convey that character’s emotion and approach to solving problems. Her skills in empathizing, emulating and in turn empowering and evoking empathy and action from her viewers transfer effectively to success in elective office.
If Ashley Judd can successfully and to her own satisfaction devise a means to address the three questions posed, she will be a tough competitor for Mitch McConnell. She may be the best candidate positioned to give Senator McConnell the comeuppance he deserves for his statements and actions that are often both thoughtless and heartless and not reflective of the minds and hearts of the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky or of our nation.
First published on Politico’s Arena on December 4, 2012
Postnote: McConnell must be getting nervous. He’s commissioned and touts a poll to make Judd look less favorable. See more here.