The Shad had a long, personal conversation with a top Connecticut Democrat recently and the topic of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s longer-term future in politics came up. The Dem Higher-Up told me that he wouldn’t be surprised in Malloy ended up on the national political scene in one role or another.
Let me say right away that I came out and asked Malloy’s top advisor, Roy Occhiogrosso, if Malloy had any national aspirations or would he consider a cabinet post if offered. Occhiogrosso emailed back, “No and no. He loves the job he has.” Simple enough, but if the stars align, it could happen.
Of course, this is all speculation but speculation in politics is fun (at least to me). If you look for them, there are signs that Malloy could be interested—eventually. Consider:
1. Malloy has made multiple trips to Washington, DC, getting face time with Obama administration officials. He has been getting to know current cabinet officials and he is active in governors’ associations. He’s made more trips out of state on governmental business than any governor in memory. Then again, Jodi Rell skipped just about every chance to promote the state in the nation’s capitol when she was governor.
2. Malloy instantly made himself a national figure in certain circles when state employee unions finally accepted the concessions deal. Starkly contrasted with fellow governors’ slash and burn approach to labor, you have a friend in Malloy. National labor leaders won’t forget that it was Malloy who took the different path and avoided layoffs (except the state police who still don’t get it).
3. Malloy’s fiery speech to a gathering of Democrats in New Jersey prompted this Shad entry. It was clearly partisan and accomplished to things: He made himself known to out of state Dems and not on strictly labor issue; and he got to poke New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in his ample belly by cranking up Dems right in Chistie’s backyard.
4. Malloy’s frank assessment of US Rep. Ron Paul on MSNBC (“He’s an idiot”) was no accident. He paused and chose the words. It made national news and was a departure from Malloy’s usual reserved manner.
5. Malloy has shown he does not back down from a fight and seems rather ambitious. Remember, he lost his first gubernatorial primary to John DeStefano, waited it out, then came back and won the office. The view here is that Malloy will eventually seek something national; a cabinet post or even a vice presidential bid after the Obama administration, whenever that may be.
Remember, you heard it here first.