Archive for January, 2008

Hey, We’re Important!
January 31, 2008

The candidates are coming! The candidates are coming! Connecticut is suddenly a battleground state for Super Tuesday!

For most of the campaign, Sen. Hillary Clinton has led the polls in our state — but a new poll shows that lead is gone and the former first lady is now tied with Sen. Barack Obama. Clinton came to Hartford on Monday and Obama is coming here this coming Monday. Sen. John McCain flies into Fairfield on Sunday. Michelle Obama came to Stamford and Greenwich on Wednesday.

This has been a week of endorsements: Blumenthal for Clinton, Larson and Murphy for Obama, and Rell for McCain.

Connecticut has a history of interesting primaries. Back in 1980, George H.W. Bush beat Ronald Reagan and Ted Kennedy beat Jimmy Carter. In 1984, Gary Hart beat Walter Mondale. 1992, former California Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown beat Bill Clinton here. In 2000, John McCain beat George W. Bush. Our state has a pretty good record of picking the people who would not be elected.

We’ll be discussing the race at length on Face the State this Sunday at 11 a.m. on Channel 3.

Who are you voting for and why? Please include your town in your response.

Presidential Campaigns In Connecticut … Sort Of
January 23, 2008

The presidential campaign has finally come to Connecticut, sort of.

On Jan. 21, Illinois Senator Barack Obama aired a campaign commercial on Channel 3, becoming the first campaign commercial on local airwaves.

The Connecticut primary is scheduled for February 5th, which leaves two weeks for the candidates to come to our state and campaign. As they say, “It ain’t gonna happen.” That’s because our primary falls on the same day as primaries in California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Arizona and 16 other states.

I think our primary should be on a different day. Why should small states like Nevada and New Hampshire and Iowa get all the attention? The Connecticut population is double that of New Hampshire, and our state is more diverse. New Hampshire has traditionally been the state to hold the first primary in the nation, but it is time for that to change.

It won’t be easy to do that. Michigan and Florida tried to make their primaries more important and got punished by the Democratic party, whose candidates took a pledge not to campaign in that state because the states “broke the primary rules.” As a result, the voters in Michigan, suffered through the worst economy in the nation, didn’t get to have a say in selecting a nominee. The Republican rules are different, so the GOP candidates did put Michigan and Florida on their campaign schedules.

Connecticut would need to put together a massive effort, consisting of the chairpeople of the political parties, elected officials, business leaders and the media to put our primary on a different day. During an appearance on Face the State, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz was questioned about this, and didn’t think my suggestion of a Connecticut primary on a Saturday would work. It seems to be working for South Carolina, which is getting a nationally televised debate, and a whole lot of attention from the candidates.

Should Connecticut stand up and fight to be heard? I’d like to hear from you.

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