Monday, December 11, 2006

Simmons to Fight On

There's a lengthy look at Rob Simmons in today's Hartford Courant:
Simmons makes it clear, above all, that he is ready for more political combat. Unlike most of his soon-to-be-former colleagues, he's not complaining. The Vietnam veteran and former CIA operations officer has been schooled to absorb the blows. He understands you suck it up when you're down and get ready for the next mission.
Probe a little, it doesn't take much, and he explains just why he's feeling pretty good. Six years ago, he won his seat in a district that George W. Bush lost, a district that had elected Democrat Sam Gejdenson to Congress 10 times between 1980 and 1998. Connecticut's 2nd is a place where, as political analyst Amy Walter put it, Republicans begin a race "with 20 pound weights around their legs."

"I didn't get the feeling there was dissatisfaction with me personally," he explains. He will make the same point over and over during an hourlong conversation: "I was operating in a hostile environment." Lightman)

That's absolutely true. Simmons himself is still well-liked--unlike, say, Nancy Johnson who lost the trust and respect of her constituents on the way to an ignominious defeat. That's what makes his prospects so interesting.

Simmons, the article mentions, will continue to live in Stonington. He's not going to become a consultant or a lobbyist down in Washington--he's going to stay in Connecticut.

Narrow defeat may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to Simmons. Now his options are wide open. He can chair the Republican Party in Connecticut, think about another run for Congress in 2008, governor or senator in 2010 or any number of other possibilities. For those who were hoping he'd just go away, think again. He'll be back, in one form or another.

Lightman, David. "Simmons Readies For More Battles." Hartford Courant 11 December, 2006.


bluecoat said...

I found this article from today's Couran to be eqaully as interesting:Appointees Have Done Well With Rell
Collective Pay For Political Employees Up About 18 Percent In Past Three Years
December 11, 2006
By JON LENDER, Courant Staff Writer

Anonymous said...

GC - With all due respect, this is not the best thing for Rob. Other than being the party chairman - and for the life of me I cannot figure out why he would want that position - all of the options you listed were open to him anyway. He was always the strongest and most likely of the 3 Republican Congressmen to run for statewide office. Now, however, he does not have the podium from which to speak. Now he is just a former Congressman who lost an election. I hope he runs for Congress again. He is a great guy and I think that he would defeat Courtney in a rematch.

Genghis Conn said...


Simmons is out, true, and he doesn't have that podium, as you say, but he also won't bear any responsibility for the next two years--which are going to be rough ones. That's going to be a plus.

Anon. 11:27 said...

GC - I think Simmons would have done well in the minority, which would have highlighted his independence, and also not beared the reponsibility if the Democrats in control do not deliver on their many campaign promises. Already we hear that maybe they do not want to do away with pork barrell spending. i hope Simmons stays active and reminds the voters of Eastern CT of Courtney's votes on important issues. I think he can tie Courtney to Speaker Pelosi just as Courtney tried to attach Simmons to Delay and Bush.

Personally, although I think Rob would be great for the Republican Party, I think being Chairman could only hurt him. Yes he will have access to money (doesn't he have that already?) but on the downside, he will be seen as more of a partisan. Rob won the Democratic 2d District because of his independence, and it would hurt him in that district or statewide to be seen as a partisna Republican, and to be a good Chairman that is what you have to do.

wtfdnucsubsailor said...

I don't know if Rob needs money, but he certainly can parlay his Washington experience to his advantage even if he stays in Stonington - a no brainer since his spouse is a respected local teacher. I think that being State Republican Chairman would be better for the State Republican Party than for Rob. He should find a platform that will keep his independence yet still permit him to speak out on the issues that interest him and the voters of the 2nd District.
If Joe does as well as anticipated as a Congressman, then I think that Rob will be hard pressed to unseat him in 2008. It will be easier for Rob if McCain is at the top of the R ticker. However, if the DEMS really blow the majority position the voters have given them, Joe will have a tough reelection fight. I am sure that is why he has already filed with the FEC to form his 2008 reelection Committee. In many ways, it is a shame that being in a two year term makes for a continuous campaign. We certainly live in interesting times.

Anonymous said...

If Rob Simmons is going to promote himself by using his veteran status in both the military and the CIA I think his entire history should be put in front of the public.

Rob Simmons was the CIA officer in charge of an entire province in vietnam.His command was part of the Phoenix Project in which torture was used on captured vietcong. Stories of captured vietcong being thrown out of helicopters to their death in front of others to get them to talk and other similar techniques were very common to this program.

Even though all the Dems who ran against Simmons were too chickenshit to bring this up Simmons should still come clean on this part of his history before running for anything again.

Ebpie said...

Anon 2:53,

I pray that Joe Courtney or some other Democrat is stupid enough to bring up the "war criminal" charge against Simmons again. It arguably cost Gejdenson the election in 2000. Throwing out absurd accusations of torture only helps Simmons.

Anonymous said...

The donkeys must really be worried if they are comtemplating bringing up 35-year old allegations against Simmons.

Anonymous said...

For the record, Rob Simmons has millions of dollars in assets, so don't worry, he doesn't have to think about money.

Mirror said...

I find it it interesting that no one mentions the strange setting of the interview and the repeated references to the dingy apartment by the reporter - a sly editorial comment but very revealing.