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A Challenger for Dodd

It’s hard to decide what to make of this:

Merrick posted another video, which he’s since taken down. The old video was here. I’m not sure the two were much different. His website is here.

Oddly enough, we have at least two things in common. We both grew up in Hartford with single Moms (at least mine was single-widowed-for most of my life) and ended up moving to Southeastern Connecticut. We also both became lawyers, though Merrick had the good sense to get out of the practice of law.

As our Town Chairman, Betsy Moukawsher remarked to me, this sort of explains why Merrick has been evasive about running for Town Council, which we’ve been urging him to do. He has bigger fish to fry.

Merrick is on our town committee. I first met him several years ago, when I got the distinct impression that he was interested in running for the House seat that Joe Courtney now holds. He backed off, for whatever reason. That seat is now beyond the reach of any Democrat, so I guess if you’re a Southeastern Connecticut Democrat with lofty ambitions of a federal kind, Dodd is as good a target as any.

Merrick is, at least from my observation, a serious guy, and I would have thought he’s not one for quixotic endeavors. There’s no doubt that Dodd is a problem, but I doubt that anyone but a big gun can take him down on the Democratic side. I don’t know if Merrick can self fund a campaign, but if he can’t it’s hard to see that he’ll be able to raise much money. Even Simmons has had a problem raising cash, so the smart money must still be on Dodd, though I wouldn’t want to bet my life savings on him.

Getting back to Merrick, it’s hard to see how he wins a Democratic primary. If Dodd can’t bring his numbers up it is to be hoped that he will step aside and become ambassador to Ireland or something, in which case Blumenthal will probably step in. Merrick would need feet on the ground to win a primary; he probably won’t get 15% of the convention vote, so he’ll need to petition his way on. That means dedicated people, like the people that Lamont had working for him and I don’t see that there’s anything in Merrick’s message that is going to motivate those people. I don’t think that many hard core Democrats will be interested in taking part in a campaign that will, of necessity, involve nothing but attacks on Dodd, weakening him in the general election after he wins the primary, should Merrick qualify. This is not a Lieberman situation-Dodd has made some mistakes, but he hasn’t betrayed the party or his constituents.

Anyway, this is interesting, and who knows, since Merrick is from this neck of the woods, it might bring Dodd out here to talk to us yokels that he left back in 1980.


2 Comments

  1. I’m fairly sure the first video was formatted wrong for Youtube (16×9 for a 4×3 aspect ratio), so they reposted it. I’m going to link to this article as a followup to mine.

    Monday, May 18, 2009 at 5:29 am | Permalink
  2. mattw wrote:

    You know, I think you’re right that Alpert has no real shot, but having people rally around Dodd (and giving him an extra fundraising period) can’t hurt. I personally think that everyone should get a primary every time — it keeps our politicians from straying too far from the nest, and brings people who are interested into the party tent.

    Monday, May 25, 2009 at 12:17 am | Permalink

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