The din of horns at a World Cup Soccer match would be no match for the boos and cheers at the 130th annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Kentucky. Crowds came out to watch political heavyweight Senate hopefuls Rand Paul (R) and Jack Conway (D) trade one-liners, as they stated their platforms for the general election and officially kicked off the campaign season in a true Kentucky rite of passage.
A flip of a coin chooses who will speak first and a time limit is designated to keep candidates from becoming too longwinded. If they go over their allotted time, a band will interrupt and cut off the candidate like at the Academy Awards. Conway won the toss and opted to speak, first laying out what he considers one of his opponent's shortfalls, his callousness.
"There seems to be an emerging theme for Rand Paul and the Republicans this year, and they state it simply as 'accidents happen.' What did Rand Paul say to the families along the Gulf Coast who lost their jobs and their way of life because of BP? Accidents happen. What did Rand Paul say to the widows of Kentucky coal miners? Accidents happen....What did Mitch McConnell say to the Republican National Committee after the primary? Accidents happen."
Conway went on to discuss his plans for 11,000 new jobs and his focus on cracking down on crime as the state's district attorney. He also labeled Paul as "risky and scary," even unwilling to support veterans.
"Rand Paul even opposes the American's with Disabilities Act, which provides for basic rights for when are disabled veterans return home from these wars, Rand Paul plays to your fears rather than your hopes."
Republican nominee Rand Paul laid out his plan for smaller government with a visual aid, eight supporters carrying boxes to simulate how large the tax code is. Paul began his attack on Conway by associating his opponent with the president and the recession.
"President Obama thinks like Jack does that we can borrow our way out of the recession, it won't happen. President Obama believes that jobs are created by government, we believe that private individuals men and women create jobs," said Paul.
He continued on with his calls for less government with another jab at the administration. "With every new crisis the left calls for more government, listen to them chant, more government, more government, more government. We are operating a government that drifts from crisis to crisis, Rahm Emanuel says let no crisis be wasted, take every crisis and use it to expand govt. this kind of thinking is destroying America."Another prominent theme and running joke of the day was referring back to Conway's gaffe at last year's picnic when he told the audience that he is "one tough son of a b***h.""Everybody knows that Jack had to eliminate certain words from his Fancy Farm dictionary. You know seven words that you can't say on television. In addition, there are six more words you won't hear him say, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid," said Paul.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was also on hand and couldn't help but get in on the fun of taking a poke at Conway. "Normally, I detest more regulation, but this year we're on seven second delay on Jack Conway's speech."
Conway battled back with his own stinging swipe at Paul and the GOP. "This is an important election," Conway said, "it's not about me and it's not about a waffling pessimist who just wants to be the prince of cable TV."