The governor’s race has barely started, and Andy Beshear has thwarted Daniel Cameron on two big issues: coal and cops.
No doubt Cameron figured to bash Beshear as a foe of both.
But the United Mine Workers and several coal operators lost no time in endorsing Beshear, a moderate Democrat, for a second term as governor.
Cameron, the Trump-endorsed, hard-right Republican, was probably set to bash Beshear as anti-police. But recently the governor attended a Richmond memorial service honoring seven Kentucky law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2022.
“They demonstrated courage until the very end, and for that, the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky is eternally grateful,” Beshear said at the service held at the state Law Enforcement Memorial.
AG (Beshear’s previous job) is the state’s top law enforcement officer. But Cameron was a no-show at the ceremony, prompting KDP spokesperson Anna Breedlove to accuse him of skipping “adding names of fallen officers to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial.”
Jabbed Breedlove, “Daniel Cameron is once again missing in action.”
(A big group of other first responders, Kentucky International Association of Firefighters, also has endorsed Beshear.)
Cameron and Beshear won their primaries in blowouts. While Cameron hasn’t begun his campaign with much of a bang, Beshear has hit the road, barnstorming the state by bus, firing up the faithful from Pikeville to Paducah.
Naturally, the Republican Party of Kentucky was unimpressed, belittling the blitz. Party spokesperson Sean Southard crooned what will almost certainly be a familiar tune: “Joe Biden and Andy Beshear both campaigned as moderates but they’ve catered to the whims of the far-left wing of the Democrat [sic] Party.”
This old freelance journalist has interviewed a slew of real-deal socialists, going back to Brian Moore, the Socialist Party USA candidate for president in 2008. Every one scoffed — or burst out laughing — at Republican claims that the Democrats are a far left or socialist party.
Before the primary, polls showed Beshear leading Cameron and the AG’s closest challengers. So it could be that the GOP’s standby “socialist” slam might not work this time, and that Cameron’s constant reminders that he’s Trump-anointed might not score him many points beyond his party’s MAGA base.
If it turns out that it really is “the economy stupid,” the voters might indeed rehire a governor who’s enjoying big-time job growth on his watch. John and Jane Q Citizen seem to be giving Beshear high marks, too, for handling the COVID crisis. His emergency executive orders helped keep thousands of Kentuckians out of the hospital and the cemetery during the world’s most lethal pandemic in a century.
There’s also Beshear’s on-the-spot leadership in the aftermath of deadly tornadoes in western Kentucky and flooding in the eastern part of the state. (Biden accompanied Beshear on visits to both parts of the state and named the stricken counties federal disaster areas.)
About all Cameron’s got is demagoguery, dissembling, and doting on The Donald, all of which did get him elected in one of the most crimsoned of Republican Red states four years ago.
But pinning the socialist tail on the Democratic donkey, shifting his pander machine into warp drive, and never missing a chance to burnish his MAGA creds might not be enough for Cameron to keep the captain of Team Andy from making history by becoming the second Beshear to win a second term as governor.