Lamont is In for Conn. Governor? No Mas, Ned, No Mas

For years I have been trying to figure out Connecticut Democrat Ned Lamont’s qualifications for high office—like US senator or governor. So far, I’ve got this: He’s a rich guy, a very rich guy. He was right about the Iraq war (it was a bad idea) and beat Joe Lieberman in a primary for US Senate in 2006 before losing to him in the general election. Lamont also lost a 2010 primary for governor to Dan Malloy. And, oh, he may or may not have served on some board or commission in Richguyland, Conn. That’s it. It’s not only not impressive, it’s disqualifying.

Looking at the Democratic field for governor this fall, the last thing it needs is Lamont spending big bucks to try to grab the nomination. See, Lamont using his personal megabucks to win an election is exactly what Democrats accuse Republicans of doing. Linda McMahon comes to mind. She spent $100 million of her wrestling fortune to lose to US Senate races. To me, she wasn’t qualified. Neither is Lamont.

Democratic candidate for governor Ned Lamont gestures during a debate in Rocky Hill, Conn., Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

 

This is not to say Lamont isn’t accomplished. He is highly educated (Phillips Exeter, Harvard, Yale). He got in on the ground floor of bringing cable tv to higher education institutions. Accomplished does not equal qualified. He was a one-trick pony against Lieberman (Iraq war) and got stomped by Malloy (58 to 42 percent). Why another round?

I’m not strictly against candidates coming out of moth balls to run again. Former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz is raising money hand over fist in preparation for another run. She famously made a monumental mistake in 2010 when she switched races from governor (in which she was leading in the polls) to attorney general with the thought it was a path to a US Senate seat. She was subsequently disqualified as not meeting to requirements of the AG office.

The other Democratic candidates vary from criminal (Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim) to overly ambitious (Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin) to never heard of (Dita Bhargava, Sean Connolly, Mark Greenstein, Guy Smith, Jacey Wyatt).

 

Conn. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Harris.

 

The most qualified candidate on paper is Jonathan Harris. He is a former mayor of West Hartford, state senator, party chairman, deputy state treasurer and commissioner of consumer protection. His fundraising is very strong though he has kept a relatively low profile, most likely purposely. He is smart, a consensus-builder and appeals across party lines.

No matter where Democrats in Connecticut turn, it would be very smart to bypass Lamont, and Ganim for that matter. If either of these two get the nomination, they can kiss the governor’s office goodbye.

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