DEMOCRATS MEET IN DENVER
The Democratic National Convention in Denver is underway and Kentuckians are in the thick of things.
The Kentucky delegation is staying just across the street from the convention center and it's an easy walk to most of the happenings.
I've been in contact with some at the convention who acknowledge some questions hang in the air as the speeches get underway. The biggest is ... How united will Democrats be after Denver?
Kentucky has 60 delegates to the convention and most are pledged to Hillary Clinton who got 65% of the vote in the May primary. Governor Steve Beshear (who delayed his trip to announce 4,000 new jobs courtesy of an electric car plant) will lead the Kentucky delegation and he is an Obama "Super Delegate." But Beshear will presumably have to announce to country that Kentucky awards most of its delegates to Clinton. (Of course, there will probably be some move to nominate Obama by acclamation or something similar before he speaks.)
After his jobs announcement Monday, the governor was asked if Obama could carry Kentucky where he did so poorly in the primary and where polls show Republican John McCain with a double digit lead. Beshear said Obama could do well in Kentucky, but he he said the Illinois senator needs to come to Kentucky and campaign. The governor says Obama's poor showing so far is because Kentuckians "don't know him." Beshear says he'll seek an opportunity in Denver to urge the campaign to send Obama and his running mate, Senator Joe Biden to Kentucky for some retail campaigning.
The governor also said Hillary Clinton supporters are "disappointed" by her defeat... but he predicted Democratic unity after the convention.
Despite the cuts to budget requests by the state's major universities and resulting tuition hikes, many are reporting enrollments are up. EKU is reporting a 3% increase over the first week of classes last year. UK is also trending toward a record.
Obviously, young people realize the importance of higher education and are heading off to school. Politicians might do well to realize that these are the voters of tomorrow.
On 'Kentucky Newsmakers,' UK President Lee Todd says the state obviously needs more revenue to invest in education. He says a cigarette tax increase makes sense to him... but he also said it's not his role to tell political leaders how to get the revenue... just to communicate that it's needed.
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