Connecticut US Rep. Jim Himes has become something of a rising star in the Democratic Party. He is a member of the No Labels group, a moderate problem-solving coalition. He is a go-to guy for reporters on issues such as energy and even foreign policy. So we should all understand if he isn’t particularly troubled by the news that former state Sen. Dan Debicella might seek an electoral rematch.
The Hearst newspapers recently ran a story about rumors that Debicella might take some time away from his fat-cat, high-paying job at Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund company to run for Congress in 2014.
Debicella might be thinking that because he got 47 percent of the vote in a losing effort against Himes in 2010, he could get that and more in a rematch. Guess again. Debicella is the kind of Republican against whom Himes should love to run. Rich, aloof, self-inflated and verbose, Debicella is seemingly as disconnected to the average Connecticut voter as they come.
Debicella had a curious, short stint in the General Assembly, succeeding legend Doc Gunther in 2006 and winning reelection in 2008. His tenure was marked by his propensity to comment at length on just about every issue that came before the Senate. In closed quarters, he earned the nickname “Decibel.” He thought enough of himself to run against Himes in 2010.
Himes was more vulnerable in 2010. He was coming off his first term, the best time to take out a sitting US Representative if there is one. He has now has built himself into something of a powerhouse. One high-ranking Connecticut elected official described Himes as “a political stud” to The Hanging Shad.
Debicella should think long and hard about coming out for round two against Himes. If for no other reason, he may not get to drone on and on about every little matter that comes before Congress.