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Ashley Judd mocked in GOP ad. Will it scare her off Kentucky Senate run?

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is not popular in Kentucky, and a poll puts actress Ashley Judd, a Democrat, within range of defeating him in 2014. The ad is a preemptive strike.

By Staff writer / February 6, 2013

Actress Ashley Judd (c.) gives a pep talk to volunteers for the Obama for President campaign at the Fredericksburg, Va., office on Oct. 21, 2012.

Robert A. Martin/The Free Lance-Star/AP/File

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Did Ashley Judd think running for Senate in Kentucky would be a pleasant experience? If so, that’s an illusion that’s now probably been dispelled. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads "super PAC" has just released a brutal ad that torches Ms. Judd, who’s considering a Bluegrass State bid to unseat Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. It’ll be interesting to see if the spot helps scare her off – or if it lights her competitive fires and draws a response in kind.

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Washington Editor

Peter Grier is The Christian Science Monitor's Washington editor. In this capacity, he helps direct coverage for the paper on most news events in the nation's capital.

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The ad starts with a fake trailer listing production information. Its “client” is listed as “Ashley Judd, really?” The “title” is “Vote for me, you hillbillies.” The “date” is posted as, “Whenever Obama tells her to run."

Then an image flashes on screen of flags, sun streaming through a country porch, and so forth, and the fun really starts. “You know what this country really needs? An independent voice ... for Obama,” says the narrator.

An inset image of Judd voicing support for the president appears, over a caption that says, “Obama=brilliant."

Then the voice continues its mock-serious tone, calling Judd “a leader who knows how to follow," and “someone who will never forget where she came from."

That last line is followed by a clip of Judd saying, “and it just clicked: Tennessee is home.” (It’s true that Judd has split time between a Tennessee ranch and a home in Scotland with her soon-to-be-ex-husband, race car driver Dario Franchitti.)

The spot continues from there, mentioning that Judd’s own grandmother has called her a “Hollywood liberal," highlighting her support for Obama’s health-care reforms (“Obamacare has done so much right for us here in Tennessee,” she says in a clip), replaying clips of her saying “hillbilly” and “radical” several times, and so on.

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