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Top Links: Meet Matt Bevin, the Kentucky man indirectly responsible for Senate gridlock

Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin scares the 2014 out of Sen. Mitch McConnell — the question is why?
/ Source: MSNBC TV

Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin scares the 2014 out of Sen. Mitch McConnell — the question is why?

Top Story: Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin scares the 2014 out of Sen. Mitch McConnell — the question is why?

  • Meet Matt Bevin: The most powerful man (not) in the Senate. (Alex Pappas)
  • Bevin just announced his intent to challenge Mitch McConnell in the 2014 Kentucky GOP primary — a development that’s worried the Republican senator for months. (Robert Costa) and (John Stanton)
  • So much so, in fact, that “Democrats say McConnell’s concern over a primary threat has led him to mount what they call unprecedented obstruction of Senate business this year.”
  • McConnell is so worried about Bevin that he’s ordered a six-figure ad-buy. (Manu Raju)
  • And he’s already hitting Bevin — or “Bailout Bevin” — for accepting bailout money for a family factory that burned down in Connecticut. (Talking Points Memo) and (Politico)
  • Oh, yeah, that’s right. Bevin’s a carpetbagger. Which, for those of you who don’t know, is a serious charge in the South.
  • Why McConnell has elevated Bevin to the rank of “kraken” is a bit of a mystery, though. For starters, Mr. Tea Party himself, fellow Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, threw his support behind McConnell months ago. (Robert Costa)
  • Heck, McConnell’s even got Paul’s campaign-manager/nephew-in-law — yes, that’s right, “campaign manager/nephew-in-law” — running his 2014 campaign. (WFPL)
  • And of two of the bigger forces willing to support Tea Party insurgents, the Jim DeMint-founded Senate Conservatives Fund has announced it is merely “open” to supporting Bevin … (Senate Conservatives Fund)
  • … while the Club for Growth – which has supported successful primary challengers like Ted Cruz for Senate – has announced it’s sitting on the sidelines for the time being. (The Hill)
  • And did we mention McConnell’s got money? Lots and lots of money. (The Hill)
  • Of course, that’s not to say that Bevin doesn’t have some dry powder to use against McConnell. The majority leader, for one, has his own bailout history for Bevin to sink a knife and fork into — one conservatives are only happy to remind voters about. (RedState)
  • Bevin: “He votes for every bailout, he votes for every piece of pork, he is a huge fan of earmarking … Folks like Mitch McConnell have made a career of greasing the wheels for themselves and for others.” (The Daily Caller)
  • Interestingly, one of the things Bevin is hitting McConnell on is the majority leader’s support of the Patriot Act. (Bluegrass Politics)
  • Which means this race may be a first glimpse of how electorally powerful an issue like government surveillance is, now that we already know it polls poorly. (MSNBC)