Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rob Simmons, We Hardly Knew Ya...

...well, not really. Anyone who has lived in Connecticut for a while knows who he is. He is getting another fifteen minutes of fame on the national level now that he is bowing out of the Republican primary race for the U.S. Senate. Which is a real shame. I actually kind of like Rob Simmons (OK, not really. but I do not loathe his very existence which is saying a lot for a Republican politican.)

I would rather he got the nomination over WWE CEO and general slimeball, Linda McMahon. He would have had broader appeal, is more moderate and falls more into the mold of the prototypical New England Republican. He would have fared MUCH better against Blumenthal than McMahon. Neither one of them stands a snowball's chance in hell of beating AG Rich Blumenthal, but if I were to choose who would be more representative of my state's values, I would have chosen the former congressman and decorated Vietnam War veteran over the "lady" who has appeared on national TV kicking wrestling commentators in the groin and sharing a beer with Stone Cold Steve Austin. ...not to mention the scandal swirling around her and her stable of wrestlers' steroid use.

Simmons is dropping out of the race after the GOP state convention chose McMahon over him and endorsed her. She's spent sixteen million dollars on the campaign thus far and with the election still over a year away is on pace to break records with her spending. Supposedly, she has set aside fifty million dollars of her own money to campaign for the seat. Simmons just could not match that pace of spending and is, like I am, that the GOP chose McMahon's over-stuffed war chest over the character and record of someone who has served his country in the Army and the CIA as well as in Congress.

"I'm not a multi-millionaire," Simmons said in an interview with the CT Mirror. "I own my home. I've got some property in Vermont that has some value. My wife and I are what you might call a middle-class family, and we have chosen to enter politics at this stage in our lives and have been successful without being multi-millionaires."

This is just further evidence of the continuing erosion of the Republican middle ground to the out of control, torrential flood that is the teabaggers. Simmons would have gone to the Senate and would have worked with members on both sides of the aisle. He was fairly moderate when he served in the House of Representatives. He's widely respected in the state for the work that he did to keep the sub base in Groton open. But that took bipartisan cooperation and that is an affront that simply will not be endured by the teabaggers. McMahon's message, on the other hand, is that she's going to D.C. to shake things up and implement "real change" whatever that means. To show that she's just a "normal person," a Beltway outsider she's running ads in Connecticut (and they have become rather ubiquitous) with "normal people" saying that Linda is one of them; that she understands them; blah blah blah... The only problem is that she's somehow corraled the whitest looking group of people possible. They all look like they've just walked out of the lounge at the Greenwich Yatch Club.

That's certainly not the Connecticut that I live in.

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