A year after Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones made waves essentially roasting politicians onstage at Graves County’s Fancy Farm Picnic, the event’s leaders have chosen a speaker with conservative credentials as the next master of ceremonies.
Scott Jennings is a columnist for the Louisville Courier-Journal and was deputy White House political director for President George W. Bush. He’s also worked for Mitt Romney, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Congressman Brett Guthrie.
The Dawson Springs native says he’s still working through what his onstage strategy will be, but he’s already written a few jokes. He said he enjoyed Jones' performance as emcee last year.
“The new tradition of maybe having an emcee that’s maybe a little bit of one persuasion or the other on the political spectrum is interesting because it gives, in alternating years, both parties a chance to roast a little bit," Jennings said. "I thought Matt did go a little tougher on the Republicans.”
Jennings said the Senate race between Rand Paul and Jim Gray should draw the most attention at the 136th annual picnic, which also serves as a fundraiser for St. Jerome Catholic Church.
“Although I have to say my view is, it’s a lot sleepier so far than the McConnell-Grimes race was at this time in 2014," Jennings said. "Back in 2014, when we were headed to Fancy Farm, that felt like we were heading into the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. It had been a slug fest for months and months and months. This race has really, in some ways, not even gotten started yet.”
“We are thrilled to have Scott join us for the 2016 St. Jerome Picnic at Fancy Farm,” said Mark Wilson, Fancy Farm political speaking chair, in a news release. “While many Kentuckians know about our world-famous picnic with its 10 tons of hot and spicy BBQ and hot and steamy weather, we think having someone with his charm and humor and interest in Kentucky and U.S. politics and history will bring expanded awareness and enhancement to our festivities and political speaking event.”
The picnic is set for Saturday, August 6.