2. 20 years of relentless retail politics can enable even unsteady campaigners to withstand a credibility gap. Will there be a follow up? It's pretty obvious to folks around here Blumenthal wasn't going to sink with one torpedo. Does McMahon has more ammo, or did they already use their best shot?
4. Planting oppo with the press is a great idea. Bragging about it, not so much. Maybe the McMahon campaign ought to start adhering to the sort of unsportslike conduct penalties the NFL has for excessive showboating. Reliving the XFL is not likely to work any better in politics than football.
Retard-gate is growing, apparently, and it's coming to the Connecticut Senate race over the mistreatment of a developmentally disabled wrestling character that Senate candidate Linda McMahon's entertainment company created in 2004.
For those of you unaware, wrestling queen Linda McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, is running for the Senate in Connecticut against conservative Rob Simmons.
As it happens, starting in 2004 McMahon's wrestling shows once featured what was presented as a mentally handicapped wrestler who was stage named "Eugene." Through the course of this character’s story arc he was savagely beaten in a "cage match," and was regularly verbally abused by other characters.
For her part, McMahon claims that the character was written as a "hero" that was supposed to inspire "other people with disabilities to strive to achieve their dreams."
However, McMahon's opponent Rob Simmons begs to differ. He thinks that the wrestling show mistreated what was presented as a developmentally disabled adult and used him as the butt of jokes. Simmons is calling for McMahon to be held to account for using the developmentally disabled story line.
Simmons might also have an even stronger case, though, if he focuses on the facts surrounding the "Eugene" character. The truth is, the man that played the character, Nicholas Dinsmore, is not developmentally disabled at all. He is just another actor involved in the wrestling scene.
So, not only did McMahon make a character based on a mentally handicapped person, she didn't even hire one to do the job! If someone wants to get outraged at the portrayal of a mentally retarded person as a fool, as a joke, and as someone that gets savagely beaten, I'd think that this "Eugene" character is ripe for causing outrage.
This wrestling character makes the off-the-cuff remark by Rahm Emanuel, the presidential advisor who called the strategy ideas he heard offered by his fellow Democrats a bunch of "f---ing retarded" ideas, seem mild. Compared to the treatment of the mentally disabled that McMahon perpetrated in her wrestling shows, saying something was “f---ing retarded” is nothing.
So, if everyone can get all upset over Emanuel's goofy comment, what will they do when they see that McMahon's shows had a "retard" being regularly beaten to a pulp and laughed at?
This could liven up the Connecticut race, for sure.
This isn't the last time that McMahon has courted controversy in this race, either. She came on strong early in the race claiming to be the prefect example of the conservative candidate. But it soon came to light that during her years as a wrestling magnate she gave lots of political donations to Democrats. In fact, speaking of Rahm Emanuel, he was one of the Democrats to which McMahon donated campaign cash.
I guess those bashers of the "retarded" like to stick together!
For your edification, here is a video of wrestler "Tripple H" beating "Eugene" senseless.
Also in the Connecticut Senate race... and who knows why... is one Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, Inc. and former adviser to Ron Paul. This guy can't get higher than 5% in the polls, though, so it's a wonder that he's not yet quit the race.
Of course, if one of the most durable Democratic politicians of our generation can't defend the Obama Administration's policies on the economy and health care, how can we expect lesser politicos to do so?
Evidently we can't, as in the past 24 hours we've seen a pillage of Democratic candidates in Michigan, North Dakota and Colorado akin to the final scene of The Godfather.
We'll see how the CT musical chairs play out. But anyone who is pencilling in Dick Blumenthal's name ought to watch what happens to MA AG Martha Coakley very closely. I suspect the risk averse Blumenthal will as well..
Anyway, now the bittersweet feeling of a task accomplished.
These numbers jibe with our view that Dodd is about as unelectable as unindicted incumbents get. And now that Democratic leaders have reached a similar conclusion, the question is how public they have to get before Dodd takes the hint that it is time to exit the race, and how messy the situation becomes. .......
As a general policy, the Cook Political Report does not rate unindicted incumbents worse than "Toss Up," at least until Labor Day of the election year since some endangered incumbents have a tendency to make comebacks despite appearing hopeless early in the cycle. There have been some rare exceptions to this policy over the years, and Dodd now joins that small group. The race moves from Toss Up to Lean Republican.
Guess that Presidential campaign in 2007 and 2008 wasn't such a good idea, was it , Chris?
Yep, Ms. Duffy's article can be summed up in one picture
Chris Dodd is desperate. And he had yet another bad day in CT yesterday.
Evidnetly , having wasted 2009 on the health care reform quagmire, some pollsters and focus groups must have screamed at him that what CT residents care about is the tsunami of pink slips. So he proposes a "jobs program"
EAST HARTFORD - U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd said Monday that he will urge Congress and the Obama Administration to direct as much as $125 billion in unused and repaid federal bailout money to projects that benefit small businesses and entrepreneurs, to foster a "21st-century boom."
I'm not sure given the snowballing national debt that there isn't an absolute necessity to use TARP repayments to pay back federal borrowing. Still, this has to be a better idea than what Dodd originally wanted to do with TARP repayments, which was to subsidize "affordable housing " advocates, aka ACORN.
No wonder things are in the mess they are in. We have the economic agenda of "The Producers" at work!
America started losing jobs in January 2008, shortly after Dodd abandoned his Senate duties to relocate to Iowa for a disasterous Presidential campaign. We have lost jobs for 23 consecutive months. And during much of this time Dodd was vacationing in Ireland or ignoring his Banking committee to run the Health Care Committee.
Now Dodd notices unemployment is a problem? Please.
Note to Dodd's sleazy campaign manager Jay Howser, who was last seen in the muck of the Louisiana bayou smearing Bobby Jindal and getting DC Harlot Mary "Louisiana Purchase" Landrieu re-elected.
When asked for examples of comebacks comparable to the one Dodd would have to pull off, Howser cited two: Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone’s 2002 surge, cut short by his death in a plane crash, and Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy’s 1994 comeback against Mitt Romney.
Chris Dodd thinks he's Ted Kennedy. We all know Ted Kennedy. Chris Dodd, however, is no Ted Kennedy.
And no hired gun oozing out of the swamp is going to convince Connecticut voters to give him another chance after the reign of error he's engaged in over the last five years.
The decision of Governor Jodi Rell not to seek re-election and the response of the donor class to the millions already spent by senate candidate Linda McMahon has created a mad scramble in Connecticut Republican politics.
It's unfortunate that a proven, electable conservative failed to gain traction in Connecticut, but the entry of McMahon and her willingness to spend a virtually inexhaustable amount of cash appears to have closed checkbooks across CT. Contributors simply thought a House race was a better investment of their resources than trying to outpace both frontrunner Rob Simmons and a human ATM; like it or not, the political marketplace has spoken.
Another, better funded Republican Senate candidate appears to have gotten the same message, Former Ambassador Tom Foley announced he was likely to quit the Senate race and throw his hat into the open Governor's race; where as of yet the putative candidate was Lt. Governor Mike Fedele. Foley actually had a decent lead on Dodd in the last poll, and it may be harder for the Democrats to attack Foley's role in the Iraqi reconstruction effort in a state level race than a Senate race.
It has been argued--and denied-- that all these maneuvers are being orchestrated by State party chairman Chris Healy, who insists he is not "moving chess pieces across the board". Unfortunately for the Democrats, we have the political version of the "Deep Blue" program at work.
In the space of a couple of weeks, CT Republicans may have clarified their previously chaotic U.S. Senate primary situation--leaving a de facto two person race; drawn a candidate capable of matching Ned Lamont dollar for dollar into the Governor's race; and turned up the heat early on Chris Murphy in the state's most conservative House district.
This is probably in sum good news for Rob Simmons; he probably faced greater risk of losing a multicandidate primary where many old-style Republicans would vote for Foley or Caligiuri; especially given Rob's moderate past. The history of upstarts ousting frontrunners in New England GOP primaries isn't promising for McMahon, who would be well advised to shut down third party speculation by using her own lips; instead of hiding behind flacks. One impediment to such a bid would be CT state law now requires would be aspirant to be in the process of filing third party papers in advance of a primary, (the Democrats were a bit chagrined by Joe Lieberman in 2006)
But while there may be method to the CT GOP's madness, the Democrats are facing simple chaos theory. Ralph Nader may enter the Senate race against Dodd as a third party candidate. No wonder the CT Democrats are left flailing away against the Q Poll....
Chris Dodd has a polling profile reminscent of NJ Governor Jon Corzine. He's behind, he's been behind for a long while, and the poll internals indicate he's likely to stay behind.
Given that the election is less than a year away, how could Dodd eke out a victory?
Have an opponent with high negatives. Thankfully for him, one is already in the race.
Five Republicans are in the race now. Former Congressman Rob Simmons has yet to run TV ads, but has residual name ID in central and eastern CT from his days in Congress. He is leading Dodd by 11 points.
Former Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley has run TV ads . He is leading Dodd by 7 points.
The other three candidates--Linda McMahon, Sam Caligiuri and Peter Schiff--all are in effective dead heats with Dodd in the 43-41% range. So they are equal, right?
No. McMahon is the weakest of the lot. Neither Caligiuri or Schiff have spent dime one on TV ads, while McMahon has blanketed the state--even running ads on NYC TV. Yet she fares no better than the more frugal candidates in the race.
The secret here is while McMahon is buying name recognition, much of it is already negative.
According to Quinnipiac Simmons's image is now 40% favorable , 10% unfavorable. His rating with unaffiliated voters is 42% favorable- 7% unfavorable.
Linda McMahon did not make such a good first impression. She rates at 20% favorable to 13% unfavorable. 14% of unaffiliates and 15% of men already have a negative impression of the wrestling mogul.
Amazingly, more people in CT dislike Linda McMahon after a few weeks in elective politics than dislike Rob Simmons after nearly 20 years at the trade.
The rule of thumb is that a challenger's early numbers usually have to run 2 to 1 favorable to have a shot at an incumbent. McMahon's slick campaign ain't getting the split she needs. And Lord knows what's going to happen if and when Dodd unloads some negatives on her. Sure she'll have plenty of cash to respond, but methinks Chris Dodd will enjoy the mudfest. It's not like his numbers can go much further down.
Now one would think Dodd's dream---a rookie opponent with high and rising negatives--couldn't come true. But it might due to the quirks of the CT GOP and our geography.
Rob Simmons is very well known in eastern CT, which does not have many registered Republicans. But he is not well known in heavily Republican Fairfield County, which is served by NYC TV. McMahon's been on those stations; Simmons never has.
I suspect the reason the ballot test for the CT primary is now 28% Simmons - 17% McMahon is heavily due to Simmons having low visibility in the southwestern part of CT.
So all of McMahon's millions got her the same ballot test as the candidates not spending money, and the highest negative ratings in the Republican field.
I suggest CT Republicans take a long hard look at these poll internals. When a candidate makes a tepid first impression, it usually doesn;t improve by just pouring resources into the same suboptimal message.
And if Linda McMahon isn't ahead of the weakened Dodd now after spending millions, why would she be when her negatives inevitably rise?
Former Connecticut Congressman Rob Simmons has an early lead in the Republican primary race for the 2010 U.S. Senate contest and runs better than any other challenger against Sen. Christopher Dodd, topping the Democratic incumbent 49 - 38 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
He loses as well to Linda McMahon and Tom Foley, and is in a dead heat with Sam Caligiuri and Peter Schiff
Why? Because CT voters don;t find him trustworthy and don't think he cares about their issues.They also don;t think he's doing a a good job on the economy.
Support for the Democratic health plan, although higher here than most places, is slipping.
The good news for Dodd, if any, is that Simmons does face a primary challenge of significance from the "Wild RINO". But in a matter of weeks she's raised her negative rating almost as fast as her positive rating. Oops!