Ashley Judd Divorce to Clear Path For Senate Run?

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News that Ashley Judd and Dario Franchitti, her race car driver husband of 11 years, are divorcing has only fueled speculation over her possible U.S. Senate bid.

While conventional wisdom would suggest that a sad personal matter might shelve plans to run for public office, some say in Judd's case it makes it more likely.


Kentucky Democrats want her to run, saying the eighth-generation Kentucky native is an ideal candidate to take on GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014.

The politically active actress was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention this summer, so Sen. Ashley Judd is not a totally crazy concept.

Her impending divorce, while upsetting, may mean it’s more likely she’ll try, not less.

Her husband is Scottish, and the couple also lived part-time in Scotland, which is inconvenient and not exactly a political asset when running in Kentucky.

Now she can bill herself as making a clean sweep of things, including non-Kentucky residencies, and say she’s coming home to the place she belongs.

Despite his powerful Senate post, McConnell is also vulnerable. A recent Courier-Journal Bluegrass poll found that only 17 percent of voters said they'd vote for him.

Meanwhile, 34 percent said they would vote against him, and 44 percent said they would wait to see who McConnell runs against. So the door is open.

Also, there's the increasing possibility that Republican McConnell will face a primary challenge from a right-wing Tea Party candidate, and lose.

Judd against a far-right candidate with less name recognition and establishment power begins to sound like an even more winnable race for Dems.

Not that she doesn't have weaknesses, not the least of which being a Hollywood celebrity in a state where that couldn't matter less to the average voter.

The same star power and visibility it affords her can also hamper her, in other words, along with various liberal positions in a relatively conservative state.

What do you think? Would Ashley Judd make a good U.S. Senator?

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