(Fancy Farm Picnic 2022: Who, What, When, Where)
At a small crossroads of people and their way of life, called Fancy Farm, political history was made when a lone Democratic candidate named Charles Booker defeated a massive army of powerful Republicans.
With the absence of kingmaker Mitch McConnell and the "would be" next presidential candidate, Senator Rand Paul, the Republican Flags were placed high for (1) State Rep. Richard Heath, (2) State Senator Jason Howell, (3) Congressman James Comer, (4) AG Daniel Cameron, (5) Sec. of State Michael Adams, (6) Auditor Mike Harmon, (7) Treasure Allison Ball, (8) Ag. Com. Ryan Quarles, and (9) State Rep. Savannah Maddox.
Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives David Osborne served as the event Emcee.
The exact moment of the event, when history was made, occurred just after Booker had followed the new director of the Kentucky Democratic Party, Colmon Eldridge. Both men had delivered powerful words of what they wanted to be a new Kentucky.
When, next, Cameron was introduced to the crowd, most of the reporters noticed that he was receiving a very weak reception from the gathering. Of the 1,000 plus Republicans there, it sounded like less than 10 to 20 clapped when he took the stage. He spoke for 5 minutes of his record against the Governor, of his endorsements by Senator McConnell and former President Donald J. Trump.
Throughout his remarks, a loud vocal crowd of about 50 to 70 Charles Booker fans dressed in dark blue t shirts, with bright white lettering for Booker kept repeating "Breonna Taylor!" The response to Cameron was so great and effective; that most of what Cameron was trying to say was shouted down.
Within seconds of Cameron leaving the podium, walking back to his seat, Charles Booker jumped to his feet, large over 6 ft frame of a man, leaning into the air to Cameron, feet braced with his right arm shooting up into the air and ending with a powerful clenched fist.
With a powerful full throated voice, he called to his supporters, "Say her name, Say her name, Breonna Taylor!"
The entire arena of supporters, even those who had just come for fun and good barbeque got caught up in the moment. Yes, it was the same kind of rare seconds when fate smiles upon a new chosen leader of men and women. Hundreds of voices kept repeating with him, her name.
Shown at right, Lanetta Nikki Cooper of Gospel Ministry Church in Louisville, chanting the name of the young woman shot by police in Louisville in March 2020.
For those of us reporters who covered elections from John F. Kennedy and his brother, Robert Kennedy, to the present, the same type of "tingling electricity" was now flowing through this crowd.
At this precise moment, Booker became the symbol of hope in a time when many had giver up all hope. He offered up new leadership much like the Kennedys had. His hope was presented within the arms of compassion.
The thrill of so many Booker t-shirts, signs, and banners made even the most jaded political reporters set up straight and take notice. Many turned, with cameras held high for that special "money shot" to go into their publications Sunday edition's front page.
Against this birth of a new wave of hope, passion, and determination to make life better, the Democratic Party now had shown to the world the sound and look of new leaders for the hard battles of elections in 2022, 2023, and 2024.
On stage with Booker was Colmon Eldridge, new Chairman of the Democratic Party. With him were Hank Linderman, Democratic candidate for the 2nd congressional district and David Osborne, candidate for the 1st Congressional district.
The instant results on stage were that the entire Republican roll call of office holders, who wanted to stay in power, no matter what, all of a sudden looked very boring. There was no energy from them.
It was not supposed to be like this at this year Republican Homecoming and Powerfest gathering at Fancy Farm.
And then, things got worse. The last Republican speaker of the day was the state Rep. from Northern Kentucky, Savannah Maddox, shown at left.
Within her five minutes, she spoke about her energy for being the ultimate outsider to Mitch McConnell's plans for total and absolute political control of Kentucky. She is now the head of a new political movement calling itself the Freedom Party, that is the next chapter being written in the history and future of the Kentucky Tea Party.
Maddox stressed that she and her supporters were not going to take any prisoners. They would not only seek statewide power through local elections, but she was announcing her plans to run for governor in 2023.
This was the moment for a new wing of the old Republican Party being challenged by a group of "reformers for freedom". In the eyes of Maddox and her followers, this group of tired looking and sounding Republicans, on stage with her looked like and labeled as "Chamber of Commerce" Republicans, who now looked old and tired.
Maddox wasted no time in calling them out. They wore the face of common conservative clothing and hair styles. A stranger to Kentucky would swear that this gathering was part of a Central Kentucky Fraternity of the Bluegrass Wealthy.
She shot from the hip. said, "they look at like the least interesting men in politics." The response from the crowd was instant. The room erupted into hundreds of people laughing at her folksy truism. What people thought she had said was that "these men were a collection of very boring people!" The crowd went wild.
Charles Booker energy captured the day at Fancy Farm. He was the winner for the day. Savannah Maddox energy was like watching lightning bug being caught in a jar. This energy would be best served in the future and would become part of the nightmares Mitch McConnell must now face.
Honorable mention on having a strong speech at Fancy Farm would go to Jimmy Ausbrook, the Democratic candidate for the 1st Congressional District of Kentucky. He spoke about what personnel courage was. He shared the modern situation of the gay community in Kentucky. From that, he flowed into the plight of poor and suffering Kentuckians in this new economic reality.
Probably, the big loser at this year Fancy Farm Picnic would be Senator Mitch McConnell. The art of Kentucky politics just got more complex than McConnell can deal with right now.
McConnell now has to worry about (1) a rouge ex President danger to the Republican Party (2) fight to control all of the Congress after the Mid term elections and (3) keeping Rand Paul on a very short leash from damaging the image of the Republican Party.
McConnell now has to fight to renew his power over Kentucky politics. In the coming months to elections his biggest fear is that Maddox will become a new image of Donald Trump from the 2016 National Presidential Elections.
Once again the beauty of speech, the excitement of political armies meeting on the field of battle, the wonderment of a West Kentucky massive tourism event framed by hot air, hot bar-b-quo and hot bingo, all gave new meaning to the power of this gathering at a little town in West Kentucky called Fancy Farm.