Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's Official - Republican Simmons to Challenge Embattled Chris Dodd - Nutmeg State Senate Seat


Rob Simmons, Congressional Photo -NNBD.com

Former Popular US. Congressman, Rob Simons(R), announced his candidacy to run against embattled long-time incumbent Chris Dodd (D-CT), on Monday of this week. Dodd is facing criticism nationally for his ties to AIG and the current bonus fiasco. Dodd who came out against the insurance giant’s use of taxpayer dollars to pay executive bonuses, was the party responsible for placing a provision into the initial bailout that protected contractual bonuses for the firm . Additionally, Dodd was the highest paid politician by AIG, receiving over $175,000 in campaign contributions in 2008 - leaving some in the Nutmeg state asking why he hasn’t returned the cash. Add to the AIG boondoggle,Dodd’s dust-up with his constituents over a mortgage deal that smacked of impropriety. Some of these factors contributed to Dodd's recent dismal poll in CT. (The Poll was taken prior to AIG Bonus Bust) Quinnipiac released a poll this month showing Dodd losing to a here-to-fore, "unrecognizable" Republican opponent. That unrecognizable opponent is U.S. Congressman Simons. Although Dodd is receiving somewhat positive press from the New York Times, the paper of record in Connecticut (and subsequent television stations, and like media), are showing more than a little support for Rob Simmons.
In the March 17th, Courant, the article: “Democrats Go On Offensive Against Simmons”, is of interest. In the piece, the Democrats are planning to tie Rob Simmons to, of all people, George Bush and Dick Cheney in an attempt to vilify the former Congressman in the eyes of the Connecticut public. The Courant ridicules that strategy, and gives a fair assessment of the contender, calling Simmons “a fiscally conservative Republican who has broken with his party on several issues.” They go on to outline why the Democrat strategy may not work, but also include the likelihood of Dodd’s reelection: noting Dodd is a “nimble and experienced” politician. It's written as an afterthought - throwing Dodd a bone.


Chris Dodd with Obama - Boston.com


Connecticut, and neighboring Massachusetts, tend to have a mind of their own when electing public officials, and similarly, heavy concentrations of Independent (or unaffiliated) voters. Recall Joe Lieberman who faced a challenge from within his own party in 2006. He ran as an independent and soundly beat back the challenger. Mr. Simmons, who had a distinguished and scandal free congressional career, lost his seat in the Republican purge of 2006, by a small margin, in a heavily Democrat district. Given that there is a good deal of political buyer’s remorse at the moment that will, in all probability continue on through the 2010 elections. Mr. Simmons stands in good stead to unseat an unpopular Chris Dodd, this may be particularly true of the Democrat Party does try to tar him with the “Brush of Bush”, a tactic that worked in 2006 and 2008, yet, with the current “mess” and continued gaffes coming from their own leadership, it will backfire.

Mr. Simmons, who announced his intention to run this week, has not yet put up a website. That said, with the focus on AIG, and Dodd’s “popularity” in the state, he does have some time, but with the spotlight (national) on both Simmons and Dodd, a portal for donations would be in the candidates best interest. It would give him the same leverage as anyone running against, Massachusetts son, Barney Frank! (Also up for reelection in 2010)

Another possible “candidate” to face Dodd is financial guru Peter Schiff, whose “Draft Shiff 2010 Ron Paul style campaign website is here. Of interest, the talk of “money bombs” (where Ron Paul Donations are given to other candidates when the going get tough) are already being planned.
Therefore, it is not so much that defeats Chris Dodd for Connecticut Residents, as it is of import that Dodd be retired.

1 comment:

Chuck said...

Let them tie him to Bush, 2 years out Bush will be history for most voters. It's possible that by 2010 being tied to Obama may be the real issue.

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