A Trip to Switzerland, a Quick Stop in CT, then on to Washington, DC

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Gov. Malloy is the anti-Jodie Rell in so many ways. In fact, they are polar opposites. While Gov. Rell had to nearly be dynamited out of Connecticut to fight for the state’s interests in Washington or, God forbid, out of the country, Gov. Malloy is the traveling man. After a week in Switzerland, Malloy dropped into Hartford for the State Bond Commission meeting Monday, and now he’s off to the nation’s capitol.

Malloy first joins the Connecticut’s congressional delegation, and US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at a ceremony hosted by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) honoring United Technologies Corporation (UTC) for having spent over $1 billion on higher education for their employees.

From there, Malloy will give the keynote speech at the 2012 Outlook in the States & Localities Conference sponsored by Governing magazine, where he will discuss “his efforts to get Connecticut’s fiscal house in order and grow jobs,” according to a news release.

Wednesday morning Malloy will testify at a hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce entitled “Expanding Opportunities for Job Creation.” He “will speak to the committee members about state proposals to encourage fiscal discipline and job creation, as well as various federal policies that affect state efforts on this issue,” according to his office.

It’s only a matter of time before Malloy’s critics will start calling him an “absentee governor.” There is no doubt Malloy has traveled extensively since taking office. Much has been written, including first by The Hanging Shad, about Malloy’s ambition for national office. No one will say so but it’s clearly the case.

However, at what point—if at all—does his traveling and building of necessary credentials for a national run come at the cost of taking care of business at home? There is now fierce debate about how his budget projections are faring; the governor’s office says there is a surplus, the legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis says there is a deficit.

Malloy can certainly back up his travel with an explanation that he is looking out for the state’s interest (global finances, transportation, education, etc.) But when do the folks at home start feeling neglected?