Connecticut’s historic election cycle has been relatively quiet since the primaries, save the jump-start negative advertising by Republican US Senate candidate Linda McMahon (which is misleading at best, an outright lie at worst). But now that Labor Day has come and gone and folks got their last summer relaxation in, it’s time to throw the throttle open.
Many questions remain unanswered:
• Can Dick Blumenthal ramp up his seemingly quiet campaign operation and mix it up with McMahon? The hope here is the answer is “yes.” The Shad thinks right now, McMahon is in a prime position to pull off the upset. Blumenthal needs to get out of the “I’ll fight for you” bunker and start energizing his campaign. How in the world can the state of Connecticut send an executive of a business that has left a trail of dead employees to Washington as our senator? If her claim to qualification for the office is her business experience as the head of the WWE, then that business is fair game for examination. Blumenthal, an experienced, intelligent public servant, should do just that.
• Will the likely national Republican tide wash over Connecticut? Just about every political observer (except US Rep. John Larson) thinks the GOP will take over the House and possibly the Senate. The Shad thinks that with hard work over the next two months, the Nutmeg Incumbents will prevail. Congressmen Larson, Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro, Jim Himes and Chris Murphy are vulnerable to varying degrees. Ironically, those closest to Nancy Pelosi—Larson and DeLauro—are the safest.
• Can the Democratic Congressional delegation fend off the “no, no,” “he’s too close to Obama” Republican campaigns? Republican state Party Chairman Chris Healy has done nothing but claim “the guy in office right now is no good.” Never does he outline what the Republican candidates would do differently. The Shad—who shamelessly watches, listens and reads all things political (even on vacation)—can’t tell you what Ann Brickley, Janet Peckinpaugh, Dan “Decibel” Debecella or Sam Caligiuri would do if they were to win. Such tactics can go only so far.
• Can Dan Malloy win the governor’s office with the same campaign model he used to defeat Ned Lamont (who with any luck, will go away now)? The answer is a resounding “yes.” Republican Tom Foley doesn’t seem like he wants the office that much. His whining about Malloy qualifying for public financing smacks of someone who doesn’t want to lay out the cash. In a strange way, if a candidate wants to try to buy an office, he better want it enough to lay out the green. Malloy, a tested, tough and bold leader simply needs to keep doing what he’s doing. And of course, he needs to smack Foley like a US Open tennis fan during debates.
• Do endorsements of top political figures matter? For the most part, “no.” President Obama is in fact, coming to Connecticut to campaign for Democrats, Blumenthal in particular. If you’re inclined to vote for Blumenthal, you’ll do so Obama or not. The same is true for those inclined to be McMahon voters. Despite what yesterday’s Democrats say, Obama will make little difference in actual votes. This of course, is my humble opinion.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your (Campaign) Engines.”