All the Latest News on Ashley Judd/Mitch McConnell/Rand Paul…

If you haven’t yet subscribed to The Recovering Politician‘s KY Political Brief (click here RIGHT NOW to do so — It’s delivered daily to your inbox FOR FREE!), here’s what you missed over the past few days about the potential epic 2014 U.S. Senate battle between Ashley Judd and Mitch McConnell, as well as the potential 2016 presidential bid of Rand Paul:

ASHLEY JUDD : Actress, Activist Planning To Declare Candidacy, Sources SayHoward Fineman – “Judd told one close ally that she plans to announce her run for the Democratic nomination for the 2014 race “around Derby” — meaning in early May when the Kentucky Derby brings national attention to Louisville and the Bluegrass State. … “I know she knows she has to declare soon,” said one source, a highly placed elected official who declined to be identified because he was discussing private plans. …”She could always change her mind,” he added. “I changed my mind twice before I finally declared. But as of now it is a done deal.” She has discussed her plans, sources say, with former Gov. Wendell H. Ford, the 88-year-old dean of Kentucky Democrats, among others.” [HuffPo]

How Ashley Judd Can Win – BuzzFeed – “If Ashley Judd wants to get serious about running for U.S. Senate, she’ll have to do in Kentucky what her predecessors — and she has many — did before her to get out of Hollywood and into politics. Clint Eastwood and Sonny Bono; Arnold Schwarzenegger and Fred Thompson; Al Franken and, of course, Ronald Reagan all faced the same suggestions that they were just lightweights playing their latest roles. But they all won, according to the people who ran their long-shot races, by following roughly the same formula: starting early, staying local, and preventing their celebrity from weighing “like a huge tire around the neck” on the campaign trail.” [BuzzFeed]

Ashley Judd Will Have to Launch Charm Offensive to Overcome Liberal Past [US News & World Report]

What is Ashley Judd’s foreign policy? [Foreign Policy]

What Ashley Judd could learn from Al Franken [National Journal]

2014 DERBY Are Clinton and Ford holding out for Grimes as the Democrats’ 2014 Senate candidate? [CN|2 Politics]

Possible McConnell challenger denies any role in trading scandal at former firm [The Hill]

RAND PAUL op-ed: My filibuster was just the beginning – The Washington Post – “If I had planned to speak for 13 hours when I took the Senate floor Wednesday, I would’ve worn more comfortable shoes. I started my filibuster with the words, “I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA. I will speak until I can no longer speak” — and I meant it.

‘I wanted to sound an alarm bell from coast to coast. I wanted everybody to know that our Constitution is precious and that no American should be killed by a drone without first being charged with a crime. As Americans, we have fought long and hard for the Bill of Rights. The idea that no person shall be held without due process, and that no person shall be held for a capital offense without being indicted, is a founding American principle and a basic right. …

‘At about 6:30 p.m., something extraordinary happened. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who has been recovering from a stroke, came to the floor to give me something. I was not allowed to drink anything but water or eat anything but the candy left in our Senate desks. But he brought me an apple and a thermos full of tea — the same sustenance Jimmy Stewart brought to the Senate floor in the movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” That was a moment I will never forget.” [The Washington Post]

Rand Paul: GOP party leader or destined for Ron Paul backwater? [Christian Science Monitor]

When Rand Paul Ended Filibuster, He Left Drones On National Stage [NPR]

Rand Paul will be a major player in 2016 [WaPost]

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