Most observers believe Richard Blumenthal’s campaign for the US Senate could use some energy, a jump start, some invigoration in the face of Republican Linda McMahon’s self-funded, multimillion dollar TV and mail campaign. He got just that in the form of a visit from President Obama.
It’s hard to believe those who say an Obama visit would somehow hurt Blumenthal because the president’s approval ratings in our blue state have dropped. President Obama still brings the juice, the jazz, the buzz.
A major difference between the two candidates was highlighted last night. Blumenthal supports Obama’s plan to extend tax cuts for the middle class but let those cuts for the wealthy expire. McMahon made it clear this week she is taking the “McConnell approach.” The Senate Republican leader says “tax cuts for all or no one.” In other words, he and McMahon would sacrifice middle class tax cuts unless the wealthy got theirs too. That is a major distinction between the Blumenthal and McMahon.
Blumenthal should use the presidential visit as a jumping-off point for the rest of the campaign. He needs to: 1) Continue to highlight his own record and examine McMahon’s tawdry business. 2) Contrast his positions with McMahon’s (if you can determine hers), particularly on tax policy. 3) Stop being so damn cautious and start responding to attacks right away. 4) Ask whether Connecticut voters really want to be represented in the US Senate by someone whose business has left a trail of dead employees and requires exemption from responsibility if they die. Then the choice should be clear.