The reëlection campaign of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) went into a tailspin on Monday with the emergence of a leaked photograph showing the Senator reading what appears to be an advanced science text.
The picture, which appeared on the gossip site TMZ, shows a visibly absorbed McConnell reading a scholarly volume entitled, "The Man-Made Causes of Global Warming."
For McConnell, who has repeatedly punctuated his public statements on climate change with the claim that he is "not a scientist," the scandalous photo threatens to torpedo his reëlection bid.
In the hours since the image was leaked, McConnell has plummeted between five and seven points in statewide polls as voters demanded to know what he was doing with the type of book only a scientist would read.
Swinging into damage-control mode, McConnell appeared at a hastily called press conference in Lexington and offered a terse denial. "It is true that I was holding the book, and that the book was open. But I was not reading the book," he said.
Unfortunately for the Senator, that statement may be too little, too late for Kentucky voters, many of whom view McConnell's apparent dabbling in science as a betrayal.
One of those voters, Republican Harland Dorrinson of Lousiville, put it this way, "In Kentucky, the only thing worse than being a scientist is being a scientist and lying about it."
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