Thursday, March 16, 2006

So Much for the GOP Bench

Schlesinger Expresses Interest in Senate Nomination

Remember when George Gallo hinted that there may be a serious GOP contender for Joe Lieberman's Senate seat coming out of Fairfield County? Do you think he meant Alan Schlesinger?

Though he has not officially announced his candidacy, Schlesinger, [Derby's] former mayor and a state representative from 1981 to 1993, is angling for this year's Republican nomination.

With Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman facing a primary from Ned Lamont, a Greenwich businessman, and Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell's high approval ratings, Schlesinger said the time is right for a challenge.

"This is the chance of a lifetime," Schlesinger said Wednesday.

...

"I think Alan's got all of the qualifications we look for. He has both legislative and executive experience," said George D. Gallo, chairman of the state Republican Party. (Higbee)

What about name recognition? A current position in politics? A vast personal fortune? A chance? Naturally, no one with a current career is going to risk it running against Lieberman, although if Lamont's prospects start to look good...

But unless Lieberman loses [the Democratic primary], significant support from the national Republican Party would be unlikely, Gallo said. "If Lieberman re-energizes his base, it will be an uphill battle for any Republican candidate," Gallo said. "But if Lamont pulls off the upset, then it's off to the races." (Higbee)

To be fair, Gallo is being realistic about his party's chances to regain that Senate seat, lost in 1988. There is exactly one high profile, popular Republican in Connecticut right now, and she's running for another office. The GOP bench is short, and their resources (and popularity) limited. Schlesinger, whose signature issue seems to be social security reform, is credible enough to be able to jump in, should Lieberman lose, but not important enough to hurt the party if he himself is badly defeated.

Another possible Republican candidate, according to the article, is Paul Streitz of Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control. I wouldn't, were I the Republicans. Not unless they get desperate. Well, more desperate.

Chris Shays's idea of endorsing Lieberman may start to look good, after a while. Maybe Chairman Gallo should give it another thought.

Source
Higbee, Matthew. "Schlesinger sets sights on U.S. Senate." Connecticut Post 16 March, 2006.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Schlesinger is only a place holder. The GOP will still endorse Lieberman but only after he wins the primary. Lieberman does not want to accept the endorsement now in fear the Lamont campaign would use it against him. Chris Shays let the cat out of the bag too soon!

tparty said...

anon 9:41:

What is the relevant CT election law here? Can a party unilaterally replace a candidate on the ballot if he withdraws his name, as with Lautenberg/Torricelli in NJ in 2002?

Genghis Conn said...

I've seen that done at the municipal level, thirdparty, although it's usually run by the town committee first. So I think it can be done, legally speaking.

Anonymous said...

I believe a special, state-wide convention would be called by the state chair.

Anonymous said...

No, anon 10:15.

At the state convention, they elect a vacancy committee (usually unnoticed). That committee selects a replacement candidate if necessary.

Very easy process.

Franks said...

GC,

Your not allowing for a Weicker run, assuming Lieberman wins his primary.

In the three man field, the race would be very close.

Anonymous said...

You sure Tim Stewart isn't considering a run?

Genghis Conn said...

I can't imagine why Stewart would consider it. He'd be a better choice for Lt. Gov. or as a GOP replacement for Nancy Johnson, should she retire in two years.

Good point, Frank. Weicker has said he'll run should Lamont lose. Republican candidates in the past have taken between 30-40%--if Weicker can grab around 20-30%, it's anyone's race.

ctblogger said...

I would love for Paul Streitz to jump into the mix. I've been documenting his silliness on my Danbury blog for over a year...believe me, racist is a nice word to describe this guy.

Anyone remember his "McDonalds" survey?

Could imagine the pro-immigration protests that would show up at every one of his rallies (remember, the pro-immigration rally in Danbury had over 3,000+ people show up). To this date, he hasn't been able to get more than 100 of his goons to show up at any of his events (the last anti-immigration forum in Danbury attracted a whopping 100 people and out of that, 20 were protestors (I counted the people personally).

The Republicans would be extermely foolish to even think abou this guy as their man.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the GOP is anymore serious about Streitz than the Dems were about Dean. The Lamont -Lieberman outcome will play heavily in to what happens on the GOP line. Shays promised vote for Lieberman portends absolutley nothing but Christopher being Christopher.

Anonymous said...

Enough with the innuendo about Stewart/Cappiello/etc. No Republican of merit is dumb enough to jump in this race. Stewart would be better running against DeFronzo or, possibly, being selected for the Rell team. Cappiello has done a good job of biding his time for higher office (Congress/Constitutional office) so what would possess him to throw it all away at a Don Quixote run at Senate? The Republican "bench" (if you can call it that) may be slim, but they're not stupid.

tomcat said...

Cut Gallo some slack--i can't imagine it's easy to be chairman of a party with a governor who pretends you don't exist, congresspeople who either have to focus on their own races or who hate republicans (yes, chris, that's you), truly minor minorities in the house and senate, and no money in the till. Rell certainly hasn't done SQUAT to help fill the remaining slots on her ticket and it's clear she really doesn't care who they are--so long as they don't bring her down. If this schlesinger fellow wants to run, it's up to him to at least try to put a good spin on a bleak situation.

Anonymous said...

Why would Stewart run against DeFronzo in 1/36 of the state when he could be a candidate for statewide office? Wouldn't a larger run fit more into his long-term plans?

TrueBlueCT said...

Do people here really believe that Lamont, (were he to defeat Joe!), would be beatable in a General?

If so, you must not have seen or heard Ned. He is exceedingly well-mannered, and like Diane Farrell, highly palatable to your average Nutmegger.

Like Howard Dean, Lamont is fiscally conservative and responsible. He is not a free-spending liberal, by any means.

I hope a Republican runs based upon stereotypical notions. They will surely lose.

Anonymous said...

Stewart and Cappiello are both rumored to replace George Bush for President so please to all their close friends and family members, let's now stop PROMOTING them for every higher office thats available since one will be President and the other Vice President of the United States.

Anonymous said...

David Cappiello would make a better President. Stewart would make a good V.P. for David!

Anonymous said...

I think Audrey Blondin would make a good VP for Cappiello.

Anonymous said...

Since Cappiello is use to taking his orders from his lobbyist wife I say Cappiello would be a better V.P. for Blondin

Anonymous said...

Blondin-Cappiello 2008: We're not so sharp, but we sure do like politicking! And hey, we're better than the jerks you elected last time!