Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dump Dick?

Managing Editor of the Journal Inquirer and columnist Chris Powell says the provenance of the story in the New York Time concerning Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s non-service in Vietnam is unimportant:

“Blumenthal's defenders also argue that the Times' reporting about his misrepresentations is compromised because it originated with information provided by the campaign of a Republican candidate for senator, wrestling entrepreneur Linda McMahon. But of course everyone in public life feeds and tries to spin the press, the attorney general himself most of all -- which may explain some of the excuses being made for him in the press.

“McMahon's campaign and that of her rival for the Republican Senate nomination, former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, long have been feeding the press uncomplimentary information about the other, and now that Blumenthal has lost his big lead and no longer can ignore the opposition, his campaign soon will be doing the same to whoever runs closest to him. A good story will remain a good story no matter where it came from.”

And then he drops the 800 pound gorilla on Blumenthal:

“But the big issue on the eve of the Democratic state convention is not whether the Times story was perfectly fair or whether the enormous damage it has done to Blumenthal's candidacy can be mitigated but rather whether Blumenthal and his party will put at grave risk what ordinarily would be a safe Democratic seat in the Senate by continuing with his candidacy.”


Fuzzy Dunlop said...

Nancy DiNardo should buy stock in Pepto Bismol. Here's some tactical observations.

1) The Bysiewicz decision is actually GOOD for the Democrats. Here's why. First, it was going to be so easy to create attack ads using her deposition footage that it's almost not even fair. Her poll numbers stayed high only because most people didn't understand the nuance of what was going on legally. Once the footage was packaged into a competent negative commercial though, it would have been much more damaging. Second, it clears the way for George Jepsen. I have spoken with a number of Asst. Attorney Generals and he has been hands down the favorite among them (his campaign is being run by an AGA I believe). Moreover, like his potential opponent, he is well liked by Republicans and Democrats alike. Third, Susan clears the way for Ross Garber to get nominated. Ross Garber is also well liked by political insiders of both parties, but has already lost a statewide race (treasurer) and has one HUGE liability: Every single time his name is mentioned in the news, John Rowland's is as well. Insiders understand that he represented the office, not the man (not that there's anything wrong with representing criminals), but John Q. Public will have difficulty making this distinction.
2) John Pavia would be the best Republican candidate. Your girl Martha Dean is just too extreme for Moderate Undecided Voter X. Pavia however, like Garber, is liked by members of both parties and is a pretty young guy, in contrast to Jepsen who looks old hat. Plus, if Fedele is the gubernatorial candidate, he gets a boost from their shared Italian heritage. And even if Fedele isn't the candidate, the vowel at the end of his name only helps in a state that is 20% Italian.
3) If Dick ends up having to drop out, which was a long shot a day or two ago and now must be at least acknowledged as a realistic possibility, it will be better for it to happen AFTER he wins the nomination, when the party machine can get its ducks in a row and figure out who to run instead of him (maybe Bysiewicz, probably Chris Murphy, definitely NOT Merrick Alpert). And he'll win the nomination because nobody wants that to occur in chaos.
4) This isn't a tactical observation, but the Republicans are about due for some kind of blunder. None of their gubernatorial candidates have had their records seriously looked at or their backgrounds sufficiently researched yet. Mike Fedele lays his American dream narrative on thick but his life has never been closely or independently examined. The narrative, is just too neat and tidy for my taste. Likewise for Tom Foley. There are undoubtedly some things he must have done in his past as a corporate takeover that will not sit well with voters; to paraphrase a favorite television show, there are no virgins in hostile takeovers. As far as the Senate candidates, it would be foolish of the Democrats to waste anything really juicy they have on McMahon until after she becomes the nominee/wins the primary and Rob Simmons' long legislative record and voting record will provide ample fodder for negative ads.

Overall, the week wasn't so so bad for the dems. The loss of Bysiewicz is a wash at best, and as far as Dick, well, no man is irreplaceable.

Don Pesci said...

That’s pretty good analysis. I have to disagree about Dean. She knows exactly what’s wrong with that office. I know that she frightens our friend McEnroe, but I doubt his nerves should guide Republican choices. Perhaps the most important question that might be asked of all the potential AG candidates concerns the crippling backlog of cases left by Blumenthal, his real legacy: What do you do with upwards of 36,000 pending cases? But there are other questions as well. I feel a little guilty leaving the state during the convention, but there is no help for that. Like McArthur, I shall return, God willing. Just now, I'm winding down after a most amazing three days. If we had term limits, every election would be like this.

I'll be in Arizona. Don't tell Colin; his nerves are frazzed as it is.