Monday, May 01, 2006

Do Running Mates Make a Difference?

It is May, and the conventions are just three short weeks away.

Still no running mates for our gubernatorial candidates. What gives?

Actually, I had managed to put running mate speculation out of my mind until reminded by the comments in this post. Audrey Blondin has apparently been mentioned as a possible LG choice for John DeStefano, although I'm sure there are others. As for Malloy, Enfield Mayor Patrick Tallarita has been mentioned, as have a bunch of others. Nobody seems to want to pick Kevin Sullivan, although I suspect the DeStefano campaign may have tried to lure him on board and he declined. I can't blame him. It's not a very rewarding job.

Ray Hackett is probably right that Rell will wait until the last minute to announce her choice. She likes to keep us in suspense.

So what should we expect?

There's always a lot of talk about a "balanced" ticket: in the old days, party bosses like John Bailey always tried to get a ticket with a good ethnic and regional balance. Later, gender balance became more important. Interestingly, the Governor and Lt. Gov. have been one man and one woman since 1990. Regional and ethnic balance seem to matter a lot less today than they did forty years ago (although it would be neat to see someone from Enfield on the ticket).

But does the Lieutenant Governor choice matter? It seems to have helped John Rowland contain Pauline Kezer a little bit in 1994, although it's doubtful Rell helped him much against the Rell-like Eunice Groark and Bill Curry. The choice of Joe Courtney (after a long and embarassingly fruitless search) didn't help Barbara Kennelly in 1998, nor did George Jepsen help Curry in 2002.

At this point, the choice of a running mate seems to be a good way to generate a ton of free publicity, but probably not actual votes. Voters don't make up their minds about the person at the top of the ticket based on the selection of a LG or VP.

Still... it's excellent fun to speculate. Alexander Kanevsky for Lieutenant Governor!

20 comments:

turfgrrl said...

As long as the candidates stick to politicos, the answer is no. But if they were smart, they'd take a hard look at some business people who could value add along the lines of management policy for a diversified economy. The trouble with that is that there are few (if any) good business people that would make the leap. It would be fascinating to lure a Steve Case, Jack Welch or Paul O'Neil to a ticket, as rough examples. The other downside is that its very doubtful that anyone winning the Governorship would even think of leveraging the LT. Gov. spot as the equivalent delegate of C level corporate officers. Even though NYC is a city, I think the way in which Bloomberg uses his staff is the best example out there of the approach.

bluecoat said...

NYC is an excellent example - Bloomebrg answers to eight and a half million people compared to Jodi Bells' three.

FrankS said...

turfgrrl,

This is a low profile political job, Morrison tried that out side government approach in picking a banker-Sandy Bender, but no high profile management professional would consider a job with no responsibilies. Corzine, Bloomberg and the like want the be the decision-maker.

Malloy and DeStefano have to consider the convention impact of their selection on delegate votes, Rell only needs to consider the window dressing effect on her poll numbers from media reviews of her pick.

bluecoat said...

The state is an economic and managerial mess. Rell, Malloy or DeStefano need a Neutron Jack to advise them on how to get out of the morass and to give business a sign that CT is no longer just treading water.

FrankS said...

A real political question for Rell, is will she take a shot at picking candidates to support for the other State Officers Treasurer, Comptroller, Attorney General and to a lesser extent Sec. of the State, since the office does not sit on the State Bond Commission. Electing a supportive republican to an office seated on the State Bond Commision would allow her to control the vote of commission decisions, now a tie vote, if members break alow party lines.

ctkeith said...

The Golden Parachute required for each of Steve Case, Jack Welch or Paul O'Neil would require a doubling of the income tax.

If consolidating wealth in the hands of the top 1% is your goal I guess one of these 3 would do but if assuring a vibrant middle class is your goal why would any of these 3 being given any consieration at all.

Turfy is proving to be more of a corperatist than the people GC chose to represent the right.

disgruntled_republican said...

She is a realist CT Keith...

Why would it not make sense to have successful business folks involved?

CTKnows said...

The role you're debating would have to be granted by the Governor by Executive Order as the LT Gov statutory responsibilities are pretty thin.

Also I doubt very much whether a CEO could make the transition to second banana and with the bureaucracy of Gov even Jack Welch would be so frustrated I doubt he'd make more than a few weeks.

MightyMouse1 said...

I think it is more likely that it will either be some politician or former politician.

BRubenstein said...

Turf should be representing the right....she doesnt say much that is moderate to me.You cant run the state like a corporation....

ctkeith said...

Hey DisGruntled,

We have what Republicans told this country was the CEO Presidency and Vice Presidency.

How's that working out in Iraq,New Orleans , the Gulf coast and around the world for our Country?

turfgrrl said...

Sure the LG spot is low profile, for a politician. But if a governor wanted to actually restore Connecticut to some sort of competitive economic state, then you don't need a shadow politician making photo op appearances when the governor can't.

As bluecoat said, Connecticut is treading water. There's a reason that corporations are leaving the state and its not the estate tax. Anyone running any kind of business in this state faces obstacles that, while not unique, are being addressed by other states. Businesses can't take advantage of our highly educated workforce if that workforce can't afford to live close to the transportation infrastructure needed to compete globally.

Genghis Conn said...

BRubenstein, ctkeith-

From the north pole, all directions are south.

turfgrrl said...

ctkeith,

Except that both the "ceo" president and vp had as track records:

Cheney: bought by Haliburton for political connections and oversaw the gutting of all pension funds of all acquired companies. Could only deliver profits to corp after he left boardroom and took office an vp.

Bush: at least a consistent record, he ran every company he was in a management or ownership position in into a bankrupt position.

Neither created a company, or managed a global corporation for the large part of their careers. In-fact I cringe every time I hear either referenced as examples of "business" style government, because their track record in the business world was abysmal and should have been a huge tip off that they'd screw up and corrupt the basic foundations of this country.

A business background is not a solution to everything, but in this case, Connecticut has serious economic problems, and a business background is a much better bet than a lawyer or career politician.

I don't see it happening, but one can dream.

brubenstein,

I suppose then you object to Bill Richardson running New Mexico like a corporation? Or how about Jennifer Granholm of Michigan? I suppose you really thought it a bad idea when Clinton and Gore teamed on corporate style policy making too?

bluecoat said...

Bloomberg collects one dollar for his salary. I doubt Jack or anybody else would take the LG job but Jodi Smells needs to listen to somebody other than the president of Webster Bank who has basically been kept in business by the state.

ctkeith said...

GCs,

I think I heard a compass spins wildly on the north pole.Those who have no sense of direction would probably spin in circles just like the compass does at magnetic north.

I suppose making Believe you come to discussions with no political leanings is easier.

ctkeith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bluecoat said...

Governing Magazine linked here seems to think that business concepts can be applied to government. And as you can see here CT ranked at the bottom of the list just above Alabam.

BRubenstein said...

turfie...clinton didnt employ corporate style decision making at all..i had a son working for them in the white house..i ought to know...

GC..thank you for the directions home........

turfgrrl said...

bluecoat,

Thanks for the link. It's sad that CT has not improved during the 2001 -> 2005 years either.

BRubenstein,

I think that James Rubin, Robert Rubin, Robert Reich, Lawrence Summers, Erskine Bowles would disagree. And most of all, so would Leon Panetta whose work at the OMB was critical in getting us a balance budget.