In the world of politics image can make all the difference and the recent race for the Republican U. S. Senate nomination is a prime example. Two years ago it was considered a “safe seat” for Democrat Chris Dodd.
Times change and Dodd’s image was tarnished with the revelation of his mortgage loans, his role in the financial crisis and his support for “Obamacare”. Once considered unbeatable he fell by the weight of his own making and announced his retirement.
Former Republican Congressman Rob Simmons was an early announced candidate with a plan to challenge Dodd but all that changed as Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal soon replaced Dodd as the apparent front runner for the Democratic nomination.
Simmons faced not only Democratic opposition but perhaps his largest hurdle was Republican apathy and a general lack of enthusiasm for his candidacy outside of the 2nd Congressional District he once represented in Congress. The Republicans of the sprawling 2nd District widely supported Rob more out of loyalty for an old friend than out of political ideology from past performance. Rob lacked a track record of conservative votes and carried too much baggage of compromise from his terms in Congress. When he served as a Congressman Rob was diligent in his job but never “worked the district” for recognition, something that now has proven to be a shortfall.
The times have changed and today the winds of change do not favor a return of an old face to Congress. Republican activists reacted to Linda McMahon; they were captivated by her relentless schedule of appearances, coupled with a highly effective advertising campaign. Many will say McMahon bought the nomination but that is simply not true. Much of her advertising strategy was not directed at delegates to the Republican convention as much as it was to the general public. McMahon was smart in putting together a team that could build a campaign and win. Unlike Simmons she did not have the name recognition that should have come from years of service in the U. S. House of Representatives. She first had to show delegates she could be a viable candidate, and she backed that up with good old fashion hard work. She hit the ground running and making public appearances at a faster clip than has been seen in Connecticut politics for a very long time.
McMahon out worked Rob Simmons and proved to the majority of delegates that she could win. Delegates believed she could build a campaign that could win and she was able to catch the wind of change blowing toward Washington. Linda McMahon is a new face, not running as a career politician, not depending on special interest money. Linda McMahon is putting her own money up to bring change to Washington and has the wind at her back.
Mr. Blumenthal a career politician with history of parroting a party line will face tough headwinds in the storm known as the fall election. The winds of change favor Linda McMahon and if she can energize the general public like she did the delegates we will see some real change in Washington, a Connecticut Senator not funded by special interests.
But wait there’s more. McMahon still has a challenger in Peter Schiff with a campaign plan that is all about contact with the people of Connecticut and not about delegates. This is politics and the winds are constantly shifting. While the Opining Quill is not endorsing any candidate at this time, as a convenience the following information is provided: if you are a registered Republican in Coventry you can make arrangements to sign a petition for Peter Schiff to run in the Republican primary by calling (860) 742-3193.
This is a political year and the winds of change can swirl suddenly so if McMahon slips Simmons and Schiff are still in the wings ready to step forward in a primary.