As of this afternoon, Connecticut Attorney General Dick Blumenthal is officially running for Senate. Folks who’ve spent time in Connecticut may remember that Blumenthal was famous until today for almost running for higher office every cycle but never pulling the trigger. For comparison’s sake, Elliot Spitzer used to be mentioned in the same breath as Blumenthal as a rising star Attorney General destined for bigger things. In the time Blumenthal’s been Attorney General, Elliot Spitzer went from government attorney to private attorney to Attorney General to Governor to Slate Columnist.
It’s good to see Blumenthal step in to run for Chris Dodd’s now-open seat. It does raise the question though of who will run against Joe Lieberman if Joementum tries to test his luck again in 2012 (there was a rumor Blumenthal would run against Lieberman in ’12, although then again they said the same thing in ’06). I suspect Ned Lamont will take another go at it, assuming he doesn’t become the Governor of Connecticut first. That would be fun. More outlandish: A restless Chris Dodd, figuring the sheen of scandal has faded, unretires himself to run for the other Nutmeg State Senate seat. After all, Joe Lieberman makes most anybody look good. Even if Joe ran as an Indy and not a GOPer, I think he’d pull more GOP than Dem votes. An outlandish scenario I guess, but a fun one to ponder.
Chris Shays is the only Republican congressman left in New England, after the good people of Connecticut ousted the other two remaining faux-moderate GOPers tasked with representing their blue state. Shays is so committed to having it both ways that he recently aired an ad promising “the optimism of Barack Obama” and “the straight talk of John McCain” (maybe he can update it to tout Joe Biden’s statesmanship and Sarah Palin’s love of tax cuts and mooseburgers). But as the campaign of Chris Shays’ opponent – non-profit leader Jim Himes – reminds us, while Chris Shays has cast some votes with the Democrats, he doesn’t like to do it when it actually counts: Out of the closest third of the votes in the House, he votes with the GOP 89% of the time. Folks who think believe Connecticut can do better than a “catch-and-release” Congressman can contribute to Jim Himes’ campaign in this perpetually-close district here.
(Full disclosure: the research here is my brother’s baby – which I guess makes me its uncle)
The great thing about legislative civil rights victories like the civil unions bill passed last spring here in Connecticut and the even more historic equal marriage rights legislation passed yesterday by California’s legislature is that it deprives the opponents of civil equality under the law of their judicial tyranny arguments and leaves them stuck opposing equal rights for all couples on the merits. One of the most squeamish about having to take sides on the substantive issue here is Governor Schwarzenegger, who in the LA Times today is grasping desperately for any “unrepresentative elites” argument he can get his hands on. Schwarzenegger’s gambit to have his centrist image and eat it too? Pinning the “unrepresentative elite” argument on the legislature. I expect we’ll see more of this in the future: Republicans rising to disparage the republican system of government in favor of direct democracy through ballot initiatives on the grounds the marriage issue strikes so deep that legislatures, like courts, can’t be trusted with it. That means deliciously ironic statements like this one from Schwarzenegger’s spokeswoman:
The people spoke when they passed Proposition 22. The issue subsequently went to the courts. The governor believes the courts are the correct venue for this decision to be made. He will uphold whatever decision the court renders.