Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled his first 2014 re-election campaign ad and in it, his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, is featured front and center. In the ad, she references attack ads from the “far left” which recently negatively referenced her Chinese-American ethnicity.
What she is talking about is less of an “attack ad,” so much as a racist tweet (which has since been deleted). The offending tweet drew a connection between Chinese-American Chao and the outsourcing of jobs to China.
“This woman has the ear of @McConnellPress – she’s his #wife. May explain why your job moved to #China!” said the tweet from Progress Kentucky on February 14.
Chao says in the ad: “You’ve seen the ads attacking my husband. As Mitch McConnell’s wife, I’ve learned to expect them. Now far left special interests are also attacking my ethnicity, even attacking Mitch’s patriotism because he’s married to me. That’s how low some people will stoop.”
I think it’s interesting how Mitch McConnell’s first ad doesn’t prominently feature McConnell himself, nor does it say anything about him except that he’s a patriot, married to Elaine Chao, and they both “love Kentucky.” The ad seems very reactionary– which is really funny because it’s the first ad of the campaign, and perhaps it signals that he’s very concerned about his re-election and staying the highest ranking Republican in the Senate. Says the Fresno Bee, “It’s an example of how the 71-year-old McConnell, facing a prospective challenge from actress Ashley Judd, is taking no chances even though the general election is more than 18 months away.”
As to the Progress Kentucky tweet? Obviously, it was a terrible idea for them to send out a tweet about China in relation to Elaine Chao’s ethnicity. I suppose the tweet could have simply referenced Chao’s work as Labor Secretary, but the whole series of unsavory tweets just showed that Progress Kentucky needed a lesson or two on twittiquette and how to properly use hashtags.
h/t: Chris C