“Mitch McConnell liked to call himself Darth Vader in the Senate,” New York Times politics reporter Trip Gabriel observed. “Looks like Amy McGrath will run as Luke Skywalker.” This remark is an ominous portent. Former Democratic House of Representatives candidate Amy McGrath’s decision to take on the Senate majority leader next November has already triggered the instinctual impulse among the journalistic class to affix white and black hats to their subjects. If history is any guide, McGrath will enjoy media coverage disproportionate in scope and lacking in dispassion relative to her objective chances of winning at the polls.
On paper, McConnell is vulnerable. He’s unpopular at home and faces new accusations of scandal. But if McConnell is vulnerable in the next election cycle, McGrath is poorly positioned to take advantage of those vulnerabilities.