Ashley Judd Will Not Invest Time, Money, and Cultural Capital to Lose a Senate Race

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Photo: Riccardo S. Savi/Getty

Olympus Has Fallen actress/"First Lady" Ashley Judd has decided not to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his Kentucky seat, she announced today in an overlong series of Twitter updates. "Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate. After serious and thorough contemplation, I realize that my responsibilities & energy at this time need to be focused on my family," Judd wrote, as if she were resigning from office. "I have spoken to so many Kentuckians over these last few months who expressed their desire for a fighter for the people & new leader. While that won't be me at this time, I will continue to work as hard as I can to ensure the needs of Kentucky families are met by returning this Senate seat to whom it rightfully belongs: the people & their needs, dreams, and great potential. Thanks for even considering me as that person & know how much I love our Commonwealth. Thank you!" Smart choice.

As our own Jonathan Chait warned last month, "it's a trap!" As if it weren't bad enough being a politically untested member of the Hollywood elite, "Kentucky is a really conservative state. It's incredibly hard for Democrats to win statewide races in states as conservative as Kentucky ... Democrats are going to lose the Senate race pretty much regardless." Putting a famous person up there, while attracting some money, would just make the loss uglier.

When Howard Fineman reported a few weeks ago at the Huffington Post that Judd was "planning to announce her candidacy" this spring, he quoted a source saying, "I know she knows she has to declare soon. She could always change her mind ... But as of now it is a done deal." All despite the actress herself saying, "I am not sure who is saying this stuff, but it is not I! I'd prefer as a fan of your journalism that you stay accurate and credible. We told everyone who called us yesterday these stories are fabrications." He should have listened.