Schlesinger is banking on a three-way race between Lieberman, Lamont and himself, with Lamont and Liberman splitting the Democrats. He says he's inspired by the 1970 Senate race, in which Lowell Weicker defeated the conservative Tom Dodd and the liberal Joe Duffey.
"When Mr. Lamont hits Joe Lieberman from the left regarding his stands on foreign affairs and my candidacy hits him from the right on fiscal and budgetary matters," Schlesinger said, "I think he is going to be squeezed into a center which is center-left, and he will not have enough to maintain his Senate seat." (Keating)I don't know if that's a plausible scenario... but in this race, anything could happen. Colin McEnroe and Paul Bass were talking on the radio yesterday about how this race was impossible to call, and they're right. A Schlesinger victory, while pretty farfetched, isn't out of the question if he plays his cards right.
Right now he's sort of doing that, although there are a few rough spots. Here are some of his positions, from his website:
Alan has a plan for a Guaranteed Social Security that would not allow the so-called "trust fund" to be diverted to other expenditures.Okay. Social Security and tax reform are pretty moderate, so far, which is good for him. The more moderate he seems, the more chance he'll have of picking up independent voters who have soured on Lieberman.
Alan advocates a Seasonal Employee Visa as a way of stemming the tide of Illegal Immigration into our country.
In addition, Alan's proposal would mandate English proficiency within 5 years. Any violation would lead to denied re-entry and the illegal immigrant would be subjected to felony criminal charges.
He plans to reinstitute the Sen. Proxmire "Golden Fleece Award" as a way of drawing attention to the wasteful pork-barrel spending that dominates both parties in Congress. His goal will be to eliminate the federal deficit by 2010.
Alan has remained steadfast in his determination to reform and bring fairness to the federal tax code. The elimination of the complexities and special interest tax loopholes are at the center of Alan's tax code reform goals. As an example, we need to change the absurdity of not allowing a deduction for net yearly capital losses of over $3,000 while allowing capital gains on residential real estate of up to $500,0000 to go completely untaxed! (Alan's Political Ideas)
The defict hawk act leads to a lot of questions, such as whether he'd be willing to call his own party's leadership on their gross spending habits. His "Golden Fleece" award and pledge to fix the deficit makes him sound like a pre-1994 Republican instead of a member of a party which turned a budget surplus into a yawning black hole.
His position on immigration is close to President Bush's, except for the idea of requiring English language proficiency. A felony to not speak English within five years? Am I reading that right? That seems a little extreme.
Perhaps Schlesinger's biggest misreading of the public mood thus far, however, is this statement:
"I am one Republican who does not run away from the president," said Schlesinger, adding that he would welcome a chance to campaign in Connecticut with Bush.(Keating)
...I'm not so sure that's a good idea. But hey, it'll give all those protestors something to do in October.
Still, Alan Schlesinger is probably the most electable of the Republican candidates, and will probably be the nominee coming out of the convention next month. Better, he says he's going to sink $500,000 of his own money into the campaign.
He may be the best chance the Republicans have had to take a Senate seat since 1988. Not that that's saying much.
Keating, Christopher. "Inspired By A True Story." Hartford Courant 18 April, 2006.
"Alan's Political Ideas." Alan Schlesinger for Senate: http://www.schlesinger2006.com/index-3.html, 18 April, 2006.