McConnell’s March Madness misfire

BY Terence Burlij  March 25, 2014 at 3:04 PM EST
Sen. Mitch McConnell holds up a University of Louisville Cardinal's magazine during a Capitol Hill news conference in July 2013. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sen. Mitch McConnell holds up a University of Louisville Cardinal’s magazine during a Capitol Hill news conference in July 2013. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

One of these things is not like the other: the Kentucky Derby; Cassius Clay; the University of Louisville; Duke University.

Unfortunately for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, all four of those elements made it into his latest campaign video highlighting Kentucky’s sports traditions.

At the 1:09 mark in the video there is a quick shot of two Blue Devils celebrating their 2010 national championship victory instead of a pair of Kentucky Wildcats.

For McConnell, the timing couldn’t be worse. Bluegrass State basketball powers Kentucky and Lousville are set to face off Friday night in the Sweet 16. It’s also worth noting that McConnell has strong ties to the University of Louisville, with the school being home to his Center for Political Leadership. But McConnell has to walk a fine line in not upsetting the Wildcats faithful. He has already held one event, for example, at Kentucky‚Äôs famous Rupp Arena with former Bush Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The McConnell campaign almost immediately removed the clip. McConnell spokesperson Allison Moore, a Kentucky grad, told the AP the campaign was “horrified by the error.”

Pulling down the video failed to spare the campaign from criticism by McConnell’s Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes. Her campaign blasted out a release saying the video showed McConnell was “irreparably out of touch” with the state.

Grimes, however, has been playing defense with her own NCAA tournament bracket after picking Wichita State to beat Kentucky, and having Louisville falling to Florida in the title game.