Where's the love for The Prez?
Kentucky Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes recently has noticeably refrained from mentioning President Barack Obama or, like many candidates in her party, asking him to campaign with her.
Last week, she even refused to say - to the editorial board of the influential Louisville Courier-Journal - whether or not she voted for him in 2008 and 2012.
Even a commentator on extremist left MSNBC was ready to give up on her Friday.
Grimes, said NBC reporter Chuck Todd, has effectively "disqualified herself" from the race against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
"Is she ever going to answer a tough question on anything?" he said on the network's "Morning Joe" show. "You want to be a U.S. senator? If you ... can't answer that basic question and you come across looking that ridiculous, I think she disqualified herself. I really do."
Grimes' answer to the board's repeated questions about her vote was basically a demurral.
"I respect the sanctity of the ballot box," she said, "and I know that the members of this editorial board do as well."
She also told the editorial board that "Kentuckians know I'm a Clinton Democrat through and through."
Circus in town
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow's comments at a Brentwood, Calif., fundraiser featuring President Obama last week were so emblematic of the clueless, fawning Hollywood left that even celebrity gossip news site TMZ had to comment.
"You're so handsome," she said in introducing him, "that I can't speak properly." Later, she added, "It would be wonderful if we were able to give this man all of the power that he needs to pass the things that he needs to pass."
The "idiocy of Hollywood was in full bloom," TMZ said, adding it was "demeaning" for presidents to act like "circus animals - performing for crowds that will feed them. ...
"It's revolting that celebrities and other rich people feel such a need for self-importance - contributing money but only if they can have their picture taken with the president and tell their friends they had dinner with him."
In public, Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has long opposed legalizing marijuana and called the state's vote to do so in 2012 "reckless" last week, according to The Washington Times, but apparently he told the executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws something different in private and happily accepted nearly $42,000 in donations from individuals and organizations related to pot.
Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said the governor came to NORML with a fundraising pitch, saying he had defended the state's retail pot market with federal agencies and law enforcement.
"This is why most politicians hold such low esteem in American politics: Because they say one thing publicly, and they do another thing privately," he said. "It's entirely the case here."
Hickenlooper's campaign took in $500 from the National Cannabis Industry Association, $250 from NORML board member Paul Kuhn and $1,100 from prominent Denver marijuana attorney Christian Sederberg, records show. And the head of a Denver-based company that makes weed-infused foods and drinks told The Associated Press he threw a fundraiser for the governor in August that raised $40,000.
"To raise money from the industry [and] then throw them under the bus is classic 'Hickpocrisy,'" said a spokesman for the governor's opponent, Republican state Rep. Bob Beauprez.
What's another marriage or two?
Oregon first lady Cylvia Hayes, the fiancee of Democrat Gov. John Kitzhaber, revealed last week she had married an 18-year-old Ethiopian immigrant when she was 29 in 1997, in exchange for $5,000, so the immigrant would not get deported.
"He needed help, and I needed financial support," she said of her "green-card marriage" to Abraham Abraham. "We met only a handful of times. We never lived together. I have not had any contact with him since the divorce finalized in 2002."
The Willamette Week discovered recently Hayes had been married and divorced three times instead of the two she admitted to, and Kitzhaber, running for his unprecedented fourth term, reportedly did not know until last week of her marriage to Abraham, according to KPTV in Portland, Ore.
"My decision to marry illegally felt very, very distant and far removed from the life I was building," she said. "I was ashamed and embarrassed. Therefore I did not share this information even with John once we met and started dating. ... [He] deserved to know the history of the person he was forming a relationship with. The fact that I did not disclose this to him meant that he has learned about this in the most public and unpleasant way."