Goings on in CT – Rob Simmons out

I had anticipated writing about President Obama today.  I anticipated writing about President Obama last Thursday too and Friday.  Unfortunately, I cannot seem to articulate the type of post or message that I had in mind.  As a result, I’m going to take an extra day to figure it out.  In the meantime, former Congressman Rob Simmons dropped out of the Senate race somewhat unexpectedly on May 25th.

In his statement it is difficult to determine what was the primary reason he choose to drop out – lack of party unity at the Republican Convention or Linda McMahon’s bottomless bank account.  In all likelihood it was a combination of the two coupled with the fact that Richard Blumenthal managed to survive his recent mini-scandal.  Long story short, there are now two serious candidates for Senate.  This is both interesting and complicating.

It is interesting because I’ve long heard that Connecticut has one of the highest rates of registered Independent voters, which could partially explain Senator Lieberman’s success as an Independent candidate and why Blumenthal hasn’t taken a bigger “political” hit in the polls.  Also, a wider independent-minded base provides the opportunity for “outsider” candidates like Linda McMahon to succeed.  I don’t have an optimistic view of Ms. McMahon’s chances at this point, but I do think it will be interesting to see where Independents and moderates choose to go in this election.  Although, honestly, the greater impact could be if they choose NOT to go to the polls this November.

It is complicating because it quickly narrowed down the choices before either party had to test or vet their candidates.  Meaning, the toughest test Mr. Blumenthal has had was in response to The New York Times and Ms. McMahon hasn’t been tested at all, politically speaking.   Now, each candidate can lay low, fund raise and prepare for what is likely to be a tough and hard-nosed campaign beginning in late Summer instead of yesterday.

I wasn’t disappointed or excited to hear that Mr. Simmons had dropped out of the race. In fact, he dropped out before I even had a chance to give him a real look.  So, we’re left with what seem to be two mediocre candidates.  As this campaign takes shape it will be interesting to see if McMahon can use her money to give Blumenthal a run for his money.  Or whether the people of Connecticut will even give her a chance.

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