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Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Word About Endorsements

Americans are used to the annoyance of being told what to buy and who to support by celebrities and sports figures alike.  When I was five, I remember watching Legendary Yankee Shortstop Phil Rizzuto beam into our living room each night telling us to call the Money Store toll-free - Holy Cow!.  Nothing much has changed since then, particularly around Christmastime when we seem to be subjected to a barrage of product endorsements from unlikely characters who wouldn't otherwise give us the time of day.  Would you really buy a car from Brad Davis?  Well, maybe.

Campaign season is no different, except that it takes hypocrisy to a whole new level.  National Campaigns like those of Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich spend a tremendous amount of time pandering to fellow politicians, whom they personally detest, for their public support - in exchange for God knows what.  (And you'll notice I didn't mention Ron Paul; that's because no one is foolish enough to completely destroy their political careers by hitching their reputation to that raving lunatic).  The simple fact is that all endorsements at the National level are merely fodder for the latest media cycle.  For the most part, these endorsements don't amount to a hill of beans with voters because they're forgotten hours after they're touted. And besides, who cares if some politician who lives 100 miles away from me supports Newt Gingrich -  chances are they always did!  The public is going to vote for or against a candidate based on either their known perception of them, or the importance of the values or positions they hold - and not because some creep on the take tells them to!

Which brings me to the reason for this blog post.  Linda McMahon has already spent an enormous amount of time and money seeking endorsements from around the Nutmeg State (sometimes going as far to buy them through donations to RTCs and such) .  Last week, she boasted that she has 100 Republican Leaders supporting her nomination.  Well, I've got news for you lady - first, these people you've listed are not Republican Leaders.  They may hold fancy titles, and through self-promotion, and the buddy-system found their way onto caucuses and committees, but they are in no way - Leaders.  They don't avail themselves to the public, let alone attend their own Town Committee Meetings.  You have to be present to be even considered a Leader.  

Second, I see a lot of names on your list of 100 people who are lazy, unemployed,  unmotivated, and unaccomplished -  some can barely pay their own bills! (And at least one in the Northeast Part of the State is a well-known pervert who parents should keep away from their Children!!) So why would I take the advice of people who cannot even run their own lives, never mind trying to tell me who to vote for?  Given that, if aware, most voters will be less-inclined to support her nomination after seeing these endorsements flying around. I mean, what the hell do they know?  And does Linda even know anything about these people?  And would she hire them at WWE? My guess is "No".  But, she might throw them some cash for a favor or two.

The truth is that to the general public most of the people on Linda's list are unknowns - RTC members, State Central Members, and a few local politicians whose names barely resonate beyond the members-only club of Republican State Central, or their self-built perches.  Take The King's challenge - print off the latest list of 10 new endorsements that Linda is bragging about into work, and read them to any colleague sitting near you, and ask how many s/he's ever heard of.  20 to 1 is that no one has heard of any of them.

Well King, then why do politicians seek Endorsements?

From the standpoint of the political game, it makes a lot of sense.  It helps to keep the Candidate's name in the news by giving the appearance of them gaining support. It's simply a Public Relations stunt that comes with the territory. And moreover, it's a lot like playing the game Monopoly  - where you try to buy up all the land, utilities, and so forth in order to block people out of contention and win the game.  All of this leads to a lopsided Convention where those bought and paid for, or granted favors will support Linda, thus giving the impression that she is fully supported by the Republican Party. 

But the reality is far from the truth.  A win by Linda McMahon at the Convention is only evidence that those who play dirty CTGOP inside baseball support Linda.  Whether she will actually represent Connecticut Republicans against either Democrats Chris Murphy or Susan Bysiewicz will be decided by voters at the Connecticut Republican Primary next year.  And we have seen in the past where the outcome of Conventions are not the same as the outcome on Primary Day.

Given that Linda McMahon's own internal poll numbers show that she barely reaches 38%, and that her negatives are high among women and Independents, I like the chances of another single candidate knocking her off her pretended pedestal. Although, even The King admits that a three or four way race, certainly guarantees her the nod, and further guarantees a Democrat U.S. Senator from Connecticut. 

Which brings us to the question - if EVERYONE including Linda knows that she can't muster more than 38-40% of the vote in a General Election, then why are people fawning all over her to endorse her?  Well, that's a tale of money and politics - and that's a story for another day.  In the meantime, those who have given their endorsement to Linda, aught to be concerned about the downside of hitching their reputations to a candidate who is about to find themselves at the center of a very controversial set of issues in 2012.  They may have wished to have kept their mouths shut when it's all said and done. More to come...



This original entry can be read at

This entry may be modified at a future date.


Anonymous said...

Curious King, what's your deal? You cry "Tea Party Tea Party," hang out with folks like Visconti and Veley, then support wuss moderates like Shays and Simmons.

Can't figure you out.

Anonymous said...

"King" you may be jealous of detest people who have leadership positions in the party but rank and file Republican primary voters do indeed respect their opinions and who they're supporting and will follow their lead. You may not like it but that's reality.

Personally I like Chris Shay's view on this, he came right out and said he' not looking for endorsements and will not actively seek them. He is asking for delegates to vote for him at the convention. Of course, you probably will start in with another tirade about delegates not being "leaders" either.

Don't get all mad at me and delete this post like you always do, I agree with you that there shouldn't be a convention and anyone who wants to primary should collect the 8200 or so signatures to get on the primary ballot and may the one who gets the most votes in the primary be the nominee.

At least we can agree on that can't we?

The King said...

I can't remember a time when I cried "Tea Party" anything. I haven't endorsed anyone. It's true that Simmons and Shays may be more moderate on some issues than others, but you'll be hard pressed - even after one full campaigned cycle - to tell us where Linda McMahon stands on any issue. I mean - good luck. Guess that's a great way to escape being labeled is to not have any opinion on anything. Not sure that worked out so well in 2010.

The King said...

Delegates are not leaders, they are delegates. Duh.

You are living in a fantasy world... rank and file Republicans are not connected to to what happens at the State Convention. And no one cares. We can agree that its largely a big waste of money (money the State Party doesn't have BTW). As for whether its required by law or not - I get lots of email saying its required, and lots saying its not. I can tell you that the State Chairman and his Counsel think its required. So perhaps you should contact him. He's the one you need to convince, not me.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say "rank and file Republicans are connected to to what happens at the State Convention." so don't try and say I did.

Let me clarify it for you:

A fair amount of rank and file Republicans do indeed follow and take the advice of their Republican State Reps., Republican State Senators, Republican State Central members and Republican Town Committee members when making their decision on who to vote for in a primary. You're living in a "fantasy world" if you don't think that's true.

Regarding the "conventions required by law" issue, all you have to do is read the law and you'll see that conventions are not required. Once again, there is nothing in the law that requires them. The next time someone tells you they're required, ask them to please cite the specific statute that requires them. I can guarantee you that there isn't one so I'm honestly intrigued by whatever statue these wrong people are insisting requires one.

It's not a matter of having to convince anyone that they're not required, the chairman insists on holding one so the required/optional point is moot. I agree with you that the cost is expensive to put on a state convention and that the party's limited financial resources would be better spent not holding a state convention but again, the chairman is insisting on one so there will be one.

I hope you're not one of those who believes that the Republican party is on the verge of losing its major party status. That myth has been floated by some Tea Party types for quite some time now and that is a bald-faced lie. Repeating a lie often enough doesn't make it true and it's still not true that conventions are required by law.

In my State Rep. district a couple of cycles back, we deliberately did not hold a convention. We felt that if someone wants to run then they may as well go collect the 80 to 90 signatures required to get on the ballot. This method requires the candidate to get out there among the voters and get known instead of just being endorsed at a convention while they sit home and watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!

Anonymous said...

Here's my question to Ted Bromley:

"Hello Ted,

Would you please confirm to me in writing that endorsement conventions as
described in Chapter 153 of the Connecticut General Statutes are not

I already know that they are not but a written statement from you stating
they're not would be most helpful."

Here's his answer:

"Endorsement Conventions for what? No party need endorse a candidate, of course. Absent an endorsement, if a party member achieved the requirement signatures on a primary petition they would become the party endorsed/nominated candidate.

Does that help?


The King said...

Anonymous: I will address the issue in much greater detail in 2012. I have information that I'm not going to share at this point with regard to the entire matter. Thanks for the correspondence from Ted. It is not a complete picture, however.