Three weeks ago N.Y. Times reporter Trip Gabriel reported that the liberal-minded Ashley Judd is probably going to run against Mitch McConnell, the blustery, Obama-hating Senate Minority Leader, for U.S. Senator from Kentucky. Now the well-sourced Howard Fineman is reporting that the 44 year-old Judd “has told key advisers and political figures that she is planning to announce her candidacy for U.S. Senate this spring.”

Fineman hears that Judd “has 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.”

Judd is an ardent Obama-supporting progressive on most social issues, which doesn’t exactly make her a natural among Kentucky’s conservative-leaning voters. “But [she] was born to campaign,” writes Fineman. “A fighter by nature, she has a quick wit and the ability to raise far more money — not to mention engender more free national and local media — than all of McConnell’s past Democratic foes put together. She is fearless, and would not necessarily lose a bar fight if she got into one, which she is about to do.”

In other words, Fineman knows and likes her as far as it goes.