UNKNOWN CANDIDATE MAKES MOST OF HIS CHANCE ON STAGE

When you’re poll numbers are around 4% and your fellow Democrat is known by almost everyone and is polling at around 80%, you better make the most of your chance to share the stage with him. Mystic business Merrick Alpert did his best to distinguish himself from the state’s attorney general of 20 years Richard Blumenthal.

Alpert showed he could handle the camera, appearing well-spoken and at ease. The issues were a different story. Blumenthal was ready with statistics and a firm grasp of all the issues raised. A veteran of press conferences and TV appearances in general, he defended his record of using lawsuits to “level the playing field.” Alpert claimed lawsuits never created a job.

If you didn’t know, Alpert spent time on the ground as a peacekeeper in Bosnia (he only mentioned it a half dozen times). But Blumenthal noted his time in the marines as a counter.

All in all, Alpert did the best he could, accusing Blumenthal of approaching issues with “incrementalism,” not the bold action he would take. It wasn’t enough. Blumenthal came away appearing prepared and ready to step into Chris Dodd’s shoes as everyone expected.

Conventional wisdom among politicos in the state was, “Why would Blumenthal share a stage with a guy no one knows?” Well he did and came out just fine.
*
Tonight the Republican candidates seeking Chris Dodd’s US Senate seat will debate. Their debate will also be held at the University of Hartford and broadcast live on FOX 61-TV at 7pm. Linda McMahon, Peter Schiff and Rob Simmons will be on the stage.

One again, the Hartford Courant, FOX 61 and the University of Hartford should be congratulated for getting the candidates on stage and broadcasting it live.
*
Speaking of Linda McMahon, her campaign is out with a new TV ad that highlights her life story. It doesn’t hide from—in fact it features—her role in the development of the wrestling empire WWE. It also highlights the tough times (financial and otherwise) she and husband Vince McMahon went through before engineering the rise of the multimillion wrestling operation. It also includes McMahon’s charitable work. This could mark a new approach for McMahon. Rather than run from the WWE, she is embracing it. It will be interesting to see how Rob Simmons responds.