Tuesday, September 13, 2005

DeLauro Endorses DeStefano

U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-3) endorsed Mayor John DeStefano for governor today on the Capitol steps in Hartford, according to a press release from the DeStefano campaign. DeLauro became the first major Democrat to endorse a gubernatorial candidate, significantly improving DeStefano's chances of winning the nomination next year and all but confirming that Attorney General Richard Blumenthal out of the mix. DeLauro's action comes just days after Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz formally dropped out of the race.

DeLauro represents New Haven in Congress, so her endorsement of DeStefano seems logical. It's worth noting that Middletown, Susan Bysiewicz's hometown, is also in DeLauro's district. The timing of this announcement isn't coincidental.

Up to this point, most major Democratic figures have stayed out of the governor's race, waiting either for a frontrunner to emerge or for Richard Blumenthal to declare his intentions. DeLauro's action could indicate that DeStefano is very much becoming the frontrunner, and that at least some Democrats don't want to wait for Blumenthal any longer.

What does this mean for Dan Malloy? Perhaps not much. DeLauro is backing a favorite son: Fairfield County politicians may soon do the same. However, this may also be the beginning of the end for his campaign. If Democrats start to think that the chips are falling in DeStefano's favor, money and support for Malloy may start to dry up. Democrats would be thrilled to avoid a costly and possibly nasty primary next year.

The DeStefano press release states that "Today's endorsement will be the first among many key endorsements that will follow in the weeks to come." This could mean that several Democrats are already lined up behind DeStefano, or that the campaign hopes to secure their support soon.

Whatever the case may be, DeStefano is emerging as the man to beat. Malloy needs to move quickly to prove that he belongs in the same league as DeStefano, or else he'll start feeling pressure to bow out of the race entirely.


FrankS said...

DeLauro's support for her own Mayor was no surprise and should have been expected by Malloy. It also probably means little, given that her prior endorsements Morrison, Curry (2) and Kennelly all failed to win office.

It may pressure Blumenthal to declare his intentions to supporters, who will be under greater pressure now to publicly endorse either DeStefano or Malloy early in response to DeLauro.

If DeStefano can't produce other elected officials outside the New Haven area to endorse him within the next few weeks, Malloy isn't harmed and it expresses some weakness in DeStefano's support.

Pulling out an early endorsement is similar to Bysiewicz's decision to begin raising money so early, you have to keep the pressure on or you begin to fade.

Anonymous said...

Partially right Genghis....

I think it does mean that Blumenthal isn't getting in....or that everyone is so sick of waiting they don't care anymore.

However, I do NOT think this is any form of a boost for DeStefano over Malloy. Endorsing someone from your hometown is expected, and does not get you any more votes (and very little extra money).

Genghis Conn said...

As I said, it may not matter to Malloy that much, and for just the reasons you describe. It is strange, however, for Democrats, especially prominent ones, to be declaring support for a candidate so early when a primary is still looming.

CONNstipated said...

DeLauro's endorsement is significant. It shows that elected Democrats are ready to start moving off the fence and behind candidates. What we see now is a quickly evolving race where DeStefano seems to be the clear frontrunner. On organization, money, message and media coverage - he clearly is dominating the field.

DeLauro also provides coverege for municipal leaders who have been reluctant to get involved to come out in support of their candidates. DeLauro also has put her credibility on the line, meaning we can expect to see her field and donor people getting involved.

It's another great media day for DeStefano. Malloy needs to get some good coverage of his own soon - or this race will be over before it started.

Bruce Barrett said...

Rosa’s DeLauro’s endorsement is significant precisely because she did not have to give it. Rosa is secure in her seat, loved by her constituents, a nationally known member of congress with a reputation for plain spoken, hardball, straight up progressive politics. Plain and simple, she did not have to do it, but she did.

So what does it mean that Rosa unequivocally endorsed Mayor John Destafano above Mayor Dan Malloy?

1. It means she is not holding out for Dick Blumenthal.
2. It means she believes her supporters, cities, and town chairs will generally support her decision.
3. It means she believes Mayor John Destefano is a significantly better choice for Governor than Dan Malloy.
4. It means the Destefano campaign, through hard work and great organization, has proven to her that they have the talent and skill to beat Jodi Rell.
5. It means she is not convinced that the other candidates will be able to rise to the same level of excellence demonstrated by the Destefano team.
6. It means she wants the rest of Connecticut Democrats to get behind John Destefano and focus on beating Jodi Rell.

Rosa has nothing much to gain from this endorsement, she has all the political support she could ever dream of having. Rosa has watched the contenders. She has decided that now is the time, and she has made her decision. Rosa wants a great Governor for her State, and has chosen, head over heals, Mayor John Destefano.

CT_Guy said...

I said this in another thread... but how was this not expected? She pretty much has to endorse him. The only reason its interesting is that its a small slight on Blumenthal.

On a side note, as I was typing this I got an email from the Malloy campaign, regarding a pretty good interview with him in some law journal.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe it means that DeStefano promised DeLauro something she knew she wouldn't get from Malloy, an appointment to the Senate should a seat open up in the next four years. Don't kid yourselves, there had to be something big in it for her if she's willing to walk away from Dick before he announces his intentions, whatever they may be.

Anonymous said...

Dick? You mean "Little Dick" Blumenthal? That gutless wonder?!!

Does anyone really think he intends to enter the Governor's race? Gosh, I hope not.

Anonymous said...

It is telling that DeLauro waited for Byseiwicz to bail. Evidently DeStefano wasn't DeLauro's first choice.

But with Bysiewicz out, DeLauro's endorsement is at a minimum predictable. A promise of an appointment or support for a run for an open Senate seat is a _very_ reasonable speculation.

This underlines just how far to the left DeStefano really is. Rosa's secure position has permitted her to remain one of the most left-wing representatives in the Congress.

This also lays bare the fact that the DeStefano - DeLauro wing of the party is not the outsider campaign it is portrayed as - with the fresh young faces populating the DeStefano staff. In fact, it is the unreconstructed machine that kept Ed Marcus in power for far too long as state party chair. Anyone miss those days?

If Blumenthal continues to be as smart as he has been about playing his political cards, he'll not only endorse Malloy, but through everything he has at getting him the nomination.

And if he does that, all this talk about DeStefano being a done deal will prove to have been a bit premature.

Indian2Nighthawk said...

Wow annonymous, are you really a cospiracy theorist or should annonymous just change their user name to "malloy supporter scared his/her candidate will lose"

also, the word is spelled T-H-R-O-W, not through. But good try.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the post-Bysiewicz endorsement of Destefano means that he was her second choice. It's probably more reflective of that fact that Rosa didn't want to take sides yet in the 3rd CD, since it covers both Middletown (Bysiewicz) and New Haven (Destefano).

Anonymous said...

Rosa most certainly did not have to endorse DeStefano - she did it only because she wanted to. She could have done what politicians are expected to do - wait until there's a clear frontrunner to endorse. Rosa's integrity is way above her trading her endorsement for a future favor - she doesn't work that way. She is an honest a person as they come.

Anonymous said...

Rosa is a "do nothing" Representative. She would rather spend time in Russia than help her constituents with issues like winning Sikorsky contracts and supporting state efforts to keep military bases. She should retire and allow fresh blood to reenergize the 3rd district. Contrary to what has been stated here, she is not well liked ("beloved") and most in her district simply don’t vote. The Democrats should offer a primary while the Republicans should offer a real choice instead of a sacrificial lamb to run for the district. It is time for change in the 3rd district.