August 7th, 2010
05:31 PM ET
10 years ago

McConnell, Paul and Conway compete for Fancy Farm bragging rights

(CNN) - The major powerbrokers of Kentucky politics gathered Saturday for the annual Fancy Farm Picnic, a rough and tumble political event in which candidates serve up their best stemwinder and hope it's not drowned out by the raucous audience.

At this year's event, Senate hopefuls Rand Paul and Jack Conway were joined onstage by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and much to the delight of the crowd, the three heavyweights each took their turn slinging one-liners.

If a candidate overruns their allotted speaking time at Fancy Farm, they are shooed offstage by a band, just like the Academy Awards. And the gathering is probably the only political event in the country that features an opening prayer that includes the line: "Lord, may our words be gracious and tender today, for tomorrow we might have to eat them."

Last year, the event gained notoriety after Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway overstepped the established rules and used a forbidden word, telling the audience he is "one tough son of a bitch."

Paul, an ophthalmologist from Bowling Green, will face Conway in November's general election.

On Saturday, the candidates went to town, with Paul and McConnell focusing just as much on the Democratic establishment in Washington as they did on Conway.

And even though McConnell had endorsed Paul's opponent for the party nomination, the veteran senator delivered a full-throated endorsement of the Tea Party favorite.

"We need Rand Paul to keep us from drowning in a sea of debt," a very animated McConnell said before adding, "Rand Paul has spent his entire professional career helping people out of ambulances. Jack Conway has spent his professional career chasing ambulances."

Conway was not to be outdone, however, delivering a biting line about Paul.

"This is an important election," Conway said. "It's not about me and it's not about a waffling pessimist who just wants to be the prince of cable T.V."

Rhetoric at Fancy Farm can become overheated, but the event plays an important role in Kentucky politics, serving as the unofficial kickoff to the general election campaign season. Saturday's event is the 130th time the event has been held.

Filed under: 2010 • Jack Conway • Kentucky • Mitch McConnell • Rand Paul
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. carlos

    the two retards from the party of NO should be under the bus, they do not belong anywhere else.....

    August 7, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. CabrasKid

    So shocking! The 2008 Republican Vice Presidential candidate is raising money for the Republican party! Mr. Riley, do you wake up in a new world every day?

    August 7, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. Keith in Austin

    Conway is toast!

    August 7, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  4. mary

    They are proud of not helping the president clean up their mess!!! They are hoping the country fails so they can regain power, how sad!! I think a lot of americans will remember and not vote for these clowns!!!

    August 7, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  5. Haren

    With righty and white supremacist like Angle who wanted to use second amendment, it is better for Michelle and Sasha to take vacation outside of USA.

    August 7, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. save the economy. Vote R.

    Sounds fun. I'd like to see the band shoo a politician off stage.

    August 7, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  7. ed fl

    Their biggest ASSET is Sorry Sarah the GOP new Bi lingual spokes person for the GOP and Tea party. Biggest problem is her limitation as a bilingualist .She specializes in the one word specialty called [COJONES.] not sure how much she actually knows what she is talking about.

    August 7, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  8. George of the jungle

    sounds like a good venu for our repo brothers. They are good at on liners. Actually on worders NO NO No

    August 7, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  9. George of the jungle

    aaaah southern politics. Bunch of good ol boys. Most are repos or tea baggers.

    August 7, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  10. Tyler

    As one who would love to see a Democrat hold a Senate seat in Kentucky, I hope this boosts Conway's poll numbers. And yes I live in Kentucky so I can speak about this issue.

    August 7, 2010 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  11. ENKY

    I love the "party of no" talk. Where were you in 2000-2004 when it was the Dems blocking Bush's major initiatives with filabuster after filabuster? Obama had a 60
    Vote majority much of the past 2 years. He didn't need any republicans anyway. That's why these past two years have been all about the spending. The republicans have only done what they could not to push this country over the mountain of debt!

    August 8, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |