Let’s just put this in perspective right off the bat: the people who run the annual political jamboree at Fancy Farm are very sensitive about Fancy Farm. And Rand Paul got himself in trouble yesterday with organizers of Fancy Farm for suggesting that beer was served at the event.
In an interview with Sean Hannity, Paul said this about the crowd at the annual political church picnic in the western Kentucky hamlet of Fancy Farm:
“We were in a place called Fancy Farm, which is just a wild picnic where they boo your entire speech…And it’s a very partisan thing, and you do worry about people throwing beer on you and throwing things at you, so it is kind of wild thing to run for office.”
That did not sit well with organizers of the event. “We have never known of any objects being thrown, and especially we’ve never heard of any problems with beer being thrown,” Fancy Farm host Mark Wilson, a parishioner at the Catholic church that hosts the event, told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “It’s the perception that we just have a bunch of rowdy, beer-drinking folks there, and that’s a perception we don’t want at St. Jerome.”
Paul’s campaign apologized for the remark today, an event flagged by Democrats in the state as important for some reason. Most likely because it took the heat off of their Senate nominee, Jack Conway, who found himself on the wrong side of Fancy Farm organizers’ feelings after the 2009 picnic.Conway’s transgression was blurting out a phrase heard often on your average primetime network TV sitcom. “I’m one tough son of a bitch!” he shouted, responding to some hecklers on scene at Fancy Farm in ’09.
The result of that episode was headlines screaming “Conway Cusses At Church Picnic” and resulted in a “no cussing rule” at this year’s picnic. Republicans pushed the incident hard, too, no doubt loving the idea of Conway getting in trouble for offending churchgoers.
Conway’s campaign didn’t leave the beer stone unturned this year. “This is just another example of Rand Paul misleading the people of Kentucky,” a Conway spokesperson told the Courier-Journal.
So, now, Paul has his own Fancy Farm kerfuffle to deal with. Like Conway did after SOBgate, Paul’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, tried to smooth things over with Fancy Farm organizers in his apology today. “Dr. Paul trying to convey just how enthusiastic the crowd was and did not mean to imply there was alcohol being served,” Benton told the Paducah Sun. “Rand has always enjoyed Fancy Farm, thinks it is a wonderful event and apologizes to anyone he may have offended.”
Sounds like the lesson here is its probably best to use the Fight Club rules when it comes to talking about the annual Kentucky kickoff event: Do Not Talk About Fancy Farm.