Who won Fancy Farm?
My news director would say I did, because I logged nine hours of overtime. Yet, the Paul and Conway campaigns are both laughing at the suggestion that anyone but their own candidate would claim the Fancy Farm crown.
In an e-mail blast to supporters, Conway Campaign Manager Jonathan Drobis writes, "Jack Conway simply dominated Rand Paul."
Drobis says Paul's speech was so boring that some people wondered if he had started in the wrong place, and that Paul "made a mad dash for a waiting car -- escorted by security -- to avoid taking any questions afterward, and some of his supporters were even nearly asked to leave because they were scaring children."
"How long can Conway continue to make wild claims like these before his camp loses all credibility?" responded Paul Campaign Manager Jessie Benton, "Any objective observer saw that Dr. Paul had a strong showing at fancy farm. Jack Conway couldn't even get Lt. Gov. Mongiardo to show up and speak on his behalf. The left was caught red handed playing dirty tricks and they still could not win the day."
Benton counts among the alleged "dirty tricks" a mock supporter of Paul who held an anti-immigration poster in one hand and a Rand Paul fan in the other, an aluminum foil cap on his head. Affixed to the poster with duct tape was a Dora the Explorer pinata. I asked "Tyler" who he really was supporting in the race, if he had to swear his allegiance, and he said Paul.
UPDATE: I interviewed "Tyler" on Saturday. The video of that interview will be posted on the WHAS11 Political blog on Tuesday.
The conservative website Mediaite has video that shows "Tyler" later marching with the Conway campaign, shouting "We Back Jack."
What others are saying:
The Capitalist Banner writes:
Instead of resorting to running on his own merits, Jack Conway resorted to chicanery and trickery. His campaign had a supporter pose as a Rand Paul supporter as he walked the crowd at the church picnic making racial slurs and derogatory comments directed toward immigrants.
The Daily Caller website writes:
(Paul's) talk of trillion-dollar deficits and soaring debt failed to resonate with a crowd that braved the 90-degree Kentucky heat for the chance to hear some old-fashioned partisan mudslinging.
Conway, who spoke before Paul, seemed to know his audience better than the ophthalmologist from Bowling Green.
Conway had dozens of supporters on scene, as well as help from teachers and teamster union members who packed the crowd with yellow Conway t-shirts.
Paul was well-represented, too, but interestingly not by the group most associated with him. I could find no organized group of tea partiers at Fancy Farm, though there were a few tricorn hats here and there. It was a surprise, and even a Republican official on scene acknowledged that there seemed to be a poor showing from the tea party groups that helped Paul steamroll the establishment GOP to win his party's nomination this year.