Archive for the ‘Janet Peckinpaugh’ Category

Unpopular Obama Could Help Caligiuri, Peckinpaugh and Debicella
September 14, 2010

Congressmen Jim Himes, Chris Murphy, and Joe Courtney are no doubt secretly hoping congressional business keeps them in Washington on Thursday.   If their calendars on Capitol Hill are clear they might hope for thunderstorms to leave them stranded at Reagan National Airport, or a sudden case of something…anything to prevent them from being photographed with President Obama when he visits Connecticut.

The new Quinnipiac Poll shows the President’s approval rating in the state in a tailspin:  45%, down from 50% in the last poll, and down from 71% in April of 2009.    According to the mastermind behind the Quinnipiac University poll Doug Schwartz,  the President’s approval figure is even lower in the 2nd, 4th, and 5th districts.   In 2006, those three seats were all held by Republicans. 

In the 5th district, Congressman Murphy has his work cut out for him in terms of defending his votes for the President’s policies.   Only 38% of those polled in the 5th approve of the job President Obama is doing, and a whopping 60% disapprove.   The 5th is also home to the highest unemployment in the state, 12.2% in the Waterbury area.  On Face the State last week, Congressman Murphy said he would be proud to stand by the President on Thursday, but these new bleak numbers may have his advisors scrambling to find him another commitment, pronto. 

Republican Sam Caligiuri is already tagging Murphy with a big “O” on his back.   The only poll we have seen in the race so far is an internal one released by the Caligiuri campaign, showing the race a dead heat.  The Murphy campaign has not yet released a poll.  

It is also worth noting that in the 2008 presidential election, Obama won every Connecticut congressional district, but his margin of victory in the 5th was the narrowest in the state. 

The President’s approval rating  also tumbled in the 2nd district to 41% from 46%.     Democrat Joe Courtney is going for a third team, and Republican challenger Janet Peckinpaugh is using part of the formula Courtney used to defeat Rob Simmons in ’06:  linking the incumbent to an unpopular president.  

A look at the 2008 presidential primary suggests support for the President in Courtney’s district may never have been that strong.   When Barack Obama won the Connecticut primary he lost just one congressional district to Hillary Clinton: the 2nd. 

In the 4th, Congressman Jim Himes has been distancing himself from the President and the Democratic leadership for most of the summer.   His spokeswoman told me Himes welcomes the President to his district this week, but will be in Washington for a vote.   The President’s approval rating in the 4th is now at 43%, down from 48% in the last QU Poll.      Challenger Dan Debicella, like Caliguiri and Peckinpaugh have been calling their opponents rubber stamps for the President.     In this anti-incumbent year, that could resonate with voters.   President Obama’s low approval ratings could also be a factor in the voting booth.  A third of those polled in the QU survey said their vote for a senate candidate would be a vote against President Obama.   

Maybe John Droney was right.

Former Dem. Party Boss says Obama and Pelosi not welcome in Connecticut
August 26, 2010

Former Connecticut Democratic Party chairman John Droney is sending a message to President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:  don’t come to our state to campaign for state Democrats.   During  a taping of “Face the State with Dennis House,” Droney (filling in for party chairwoman Nancy DiNardo) suggested their appearances on Nutmeg turf could hurt Democrats’ chances at the ballot box.  

The spurning of a President who won this blue state in a landslide in ’08 is a sure sign local Democrats fear a voter backlash at Washington could be percolating here in the land of steady habits.

According to the last poll, the President’s approval rating in Connecticut is at 50%, down from 72% just over a year ago,  and is under 50% in two congressional districts.    In the 4th district, Republican state senator Dan DeBicella is already planning to link freshman congressman Jim Himes to the White House.     In the 2nd, where the President’s approval rating is the lowest in the state, 46%, former television news anchor Janet Peckinpaugh plans to launch a similar assault against Congressman Joe Courtney.    In the 5th, state senator Sam Caligiuri has been telling voters Congressman Chris Murphy has more in common with Pelosi than Connecticut.       Just four years ago, those three congressional seats were all held by Republicans. 

While Droney may be saying “no thanks” to the President and House Speaker, state Republican party chairman Chris Healy is eagerly rolling out the welcome mat.      “I hope the President comes to campaign for Dick Blumenthal,”  Healy said during the “Face the State” taping.     

Later, party chairwoman Nancy DiNardo told the Hanging Shad’s Pat Scully and the Greenwich Time’s Neil Vigdor that Droney was speaking for himself and not the party.   Still, there was no outrage from the party faithful over Droney’s comments.     

My preview of the show posted late Thursday night has become one of the most read blog posts I’ve ever written.  Clips of the interview have been seen across the country, courtesy of and has made the rounds locally, namely on WTIC AM 1080′s “Sound off Connecticut.”

In case you missed the program, here is part 1

Here is part 2

Peckinpaugh: “I’m a Reagan moderate”
May 13, 2010

Janet Peckinpaugh, former television news anchor turned politician has sat down for her first  extended interview since throwing her hat in the ring for the 2nd Congressional district.    During a taping of “Face the State,” the Essex Republican talked about why she is running and when she  made the decision to plunge into politics.

Peckinpaugh wouldn’t identify them, but told me “higher-ups” in the state Republican party approached her to run, saying the other candidates Matt Daly and Daria Novak weren’t gaining traction in their quest to unseat Democrat Joe Courtney.    

Peckinpaugh told me right now she has enough committed delegates to qualify for a primary.

We also talked about why she believes it is time for Courtney to go,  why a news anchor is qualified to be a U.S. Representative, and the commercials she did for Lend America, a failed mortgage company.   The latter is something Democrats may use against her. 

I asked Peckinpaugh if she had a political role model.  She does:  Ronald Reagan, and she explained why.  “Are you a Reagan conservative?”  I asked.  “A Reagan moderate,”  Peckinpaugh replied.

As I blogged last week, this was an unusual interview for me. Janet and I worked as co-anchors in 1994, and this is the first time I’ve had a former colleague run for office, and then had to interview this person.


I consulted my news director Dana Neves and Quinnipiac University journalism professor Rich Hanley about to handle it.   Dana said just be fair, and Professor Hanley advised to me to mention at the  beginning of the broadcast that Janet and I worked together and then move on.

I believe we treated Janet like we have other congressional candidates who have been on.    Both interviews with Novak and Daly are on our website. 

You can watch the interview with Janet Peckinpaugh right here:

1985-86 Whalers to Reunite
May 12, 2010

You remember…the team finished first in the Adams Division and then were treated to a parade in Downtown Hartford?


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 146 other followers