On the heels of talk about Gov. Dan Malloy having a new-found national platform after his impressive reelection victory, the governor says his “national aspirations” are on the level of policy, not higher office.
Several articles both locally and nationally peg Malloy as one of the key Democratic success stories in a year of Republican dominance. In an exclusive, one-on-one interview with The Hanging Shad, Malloy said he is not running for higher office. “No, I’m not running for president, I’m the governor of Connecticut. As far as a national stage, I continue to be interested in policy,” Malloy said. “I want more states to increase the minimum wage. I want more states to have paid sick leave. I have always been active in national organizations and I will continue to be.”
It was in September of 2011 that The Shad was the first to float the idea that if things broke his way, Malloy would be interested in higher office. Although he denies that as of now, he certainly has kept a high national profile. He’s made multiple appearances on national cable news shows, famously sparring with New Jersey’s Republican Governor and national Republican Governor’s Association chief Chris Christie and in a couple of “seize-the-moment” incidents, called out possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on the steps of the Capitol in Washington and called former GOP presidential contender Ron Paul, “an idiot.”
However at least for now, Malloy is concentrating on Connecticut. He says his secret for success earlier this month is pretty simple. “I was just being myself. I’m a Democrat. I didn’t run away from the party. I didn’t run away from the president. I just stuck to Democratic values,” he said.
I asked the governor about recent comments from US Rep. Jim Himes, a fellow Democrat who was also reelected this month. In an article about Democrats’ defeat nationally, Himes told the Hartford Courant, “There’s no doubt in my mind that there were probably candidates who could have beaten Gov. Malloy…Tom Foley wasn’t one of them. … You have to factor in the quality of Foley’s campaign.”
Malloy says the comments were likely in the context of a series of questions being fired at Himes and he takes no offense. “Jim is a dear friend. We each helped each other with our reelection. But hey, maybe there is someone who might have done better [than Foley]”
But the governor is clearly not a fan of the post-election chatter by state Republicans who were bemoaning the choice of Foley as their candidate. “We have these armchair [experts] who are making heroes of these guys who made the ballot 10 days before the primary (John McKinney) or not at all (Mark Boughton),” he said.
All in all, Malloy has a bit of new-found stardom admitting he has been getting calls for interviews from across the nation. We’ll see how it all plays out.