Anyway, the winsome Ms. Judd has set the political arena abuzz by considering a run for the Kentucky Senate seat held by the much beloved (is beloved the right word?) Mitch McConnell. Let’s set aside for a second whether or not the winsome Ms. Judd could take out intergalactic crime lord (is intergalactic crime lord the right term?) Mitch McConnell – and instead focus on the fact that she was born in California and lives in Tennessee.
Some Nancy Negatives will tell you this should preclude Ash from making a go at Kentucky senate seat. Never mind the fact that she spent most of her childhood in the Bluegrass State, she is the official Face Of Kentucky Basketball. When YOU think of Kentucky do you think of Mitch McConnell or John Calipari cheating – er, bending the rules to his advantage – and Ashley Judd in a shapely UK shirt cheering him on? Yeah. That’s what I thought.
In my native state of Iowa, Democrat Tom Harkin and Republican Charles Grassley have had a stranglehold on the two Senate seats since the William Henry Harrison administration. It would only seem logical that this stranglehold would one day have to end, yes? So let’s make believe that Iowa decided to go Kentucky and usurp Tommy or Charlie (take your pick) and turned to a member of Hollywood – this begs the question, who would play our Ashley Judd?
Some people might toss Ashton Kutcher’s name in the ring but a certain percentage of Iowans pretend he’s not really from Iowa, which is to say I’m reasonably certain that within Iowa borders Grassley and Harkin are Mick and Keith and Ashton Kutcher is Nigel Tufnel.
Brandon Routh is Superman except, well, he’s not.
Tom Arnold could run, sure, but he would be eviscerated.
Michael Emerson was the really creepy dude on "Lost" and no one is voting for the really creepy dude on "Lost." (Of all the people on that damn island, Iowa gets the really creepy dude. Why couldn't we have got Claire? Yes, I know Claire's Australian but she's just so......nice. Can we make Claire an Honorary Iowan?)
Annabeth Gish, who may have been born in New Mexico but was a high school graduate in Cedar Falls, would get us the “Mystic Pizza” vote but pizza can’t compete with a Tom Harkin Steak Fry. (Am I right, Christopher Reed?)
Elijah Wood. Hmmmmmm. Intriguing. He is perhaps best known for playing heroic journeyman Frodo Baggins in the LOTR trilogy which might give him some cache with the liberal intelligentsia of Des Moines’ East Village but might not play so well in that part of southern Iowa that’s basically northern Missouri where GOD billboards run rampant.
Ron Livingston. Now we’re starting to wade into prime challenger territory. Livingston has a laid-back everyman vibe that would play well and his breezy speaking pattern would mix perfectly when spouting platitudes about policy. The one real problem is females might not warm to him since he’s the dude that broke up with Carrie by post-it note. (Don’t ask how I know this.)
David Anthony Higgins. A potentially intriguing choice. Perhaps best known for his fine work on “Malcolm in the Middle”, Des Moines’ own son comes across possessing enough likable innocence to deflect any traditional political assault. Imagine him at the podium during a debate, screwing up some question about accidentally using a few of his campaign funds at a riverboat casino, chuckling, raising his hands in an aw-shucks “what-are-you-gonna-do?” manner, and then coolly offering an “Oops.” Everyone would laugh. But could such feigned helplessness hold up in the long run? I'm not so sure. No. We need someone else.
Michelle Monaghan. Hold it, hold it, HOLD IT. This Winthrop native is ladylike……but with the slightest edge. She’s not gonna take any gruff from you, me or any multi-term government flim-flam artist…….but she’s not going to take it with so much grace. She was in a Sofia Coppola movie (that’s 30,000 bonus points). She can convince as a Trucker, a Tom Cruise spouse (not easy, as even the great Nicole Kidman would attest), a private snoop and she can even hold her own with the wisecracks opposite Robert Downey Jr. This is to say she can assume the shape-shifting, tell-me-what-you-want-me-to-be-and-I’ll-be-it chameleon nature of the politician. And I would pay $25 right now to see her “scoff face” when Grassley or Harkin said something dubious. (Monaghan has one of the most underrated "scoff faces" in the business.) She’s cunning, though not dastardly. She’s a sinner, not a saint – yet, still saintly. She can talk sassily and say something. She’d drink at the High Life Lounge with the hipsters, eat the funnel cake at the fair on East Side Night, cut up a steak at 801 Grand with the upper crust and look right at home in all three places. In other words…
Michelle Monaghan, won’t you be Iowa’s Ashley Judd?