That's the sound of Bill Clinton and Mitch McConnell letting out a sigh of relief. Late Wednesday afternoon, buried in the news of a major Supreme Court case and effectively burying the hatchet on an already contentious Senate bid before it even began, the actress-turned-philanthropist Ashley Judd announced on Twitter that she has decided not to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014, and will instead focus on her family.
After serious and thorough contemplation, I realize that my responsibilities & energy at this time need to be focused on my family.— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) March 27, 2013
Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate.I have spoken to so many Kentuckians over these last few months ~— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) March 27, 2013
~ who expressed their desire for a fighter for the people & new leader.While that won't be me at this time, I will continue to work as ~— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) March 27, 2013
as hard as I can to ensure the needs of Kentucky families are met by returning this Senate seat to whom it rightfully belongs: the people &— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) March 27, 2013
their needs, dreams, and great potential.Thanks for even considering me as that person & know how much I love our Commonwealth. Thank you!— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) March 27, 2013
In a possible nod to the wave of criticism Judd endured from conservative media — including and especially The Daily Caller — Judd encouraged her followers not to "fool with distortion" and visit her website, where she said a full statement would be posted soon.
According to Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post, Judd based her decision partly on Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's Secretary of State, who is reportedly considering entering the run herself. "The timing just wasn’t right," the source told the Post. Grimes reportedly had the support of Clinton and several other powerful Southern Democrats after mounting concerns from within the party — even though mounting attacks from the likes of Karl Rove and McConnell's campaign team indicated that the GOP might make an expensive effort in Kentucky in 2014, and even though Mitch McConnell is the least popular Senator in America.