One can sympathize, at least in the abstract, with poor Rob, done in by big money. Then again, it’s his party that most definitely wouldn’t have it any other way. Democrats aren’t simon pure on the public financing issue, but at least they’re willing to talk about it.
The fact that he merely “suspended” his campaign is interesting. He’s basically giving Republicans the opportunity to register displeasure about McMahon’s blatant purchase of a Senate seat. It will be interesting to see how many accept the invitation; it might tell us a bit about what to expect in the general. I suspect that there are still Connecticut Republicans left who are offended by McMahon.
Speaking of McMahon, while surfing around today I found several mentions in national type blogs about her being the tea party candidate. (Example here) This seems, to me, to be a gross misreading of her campaign, which just goes to show that even national commentators with the best of intentions often misread things outside the beltway. My read, and I think this is widely shared around here, is that she has, so far, avoided committing herself to any agenda, right wing or otherwise.
Her website (to which I refuse to link) has an “issues” section, which contains standard Republican pablum, but it appears to avoid the more extreme tea party positions, though I suppose you are pretty much free to read anything in that you would like. I got a kick out of the section on abortion, where she rather apologetically confesses to being pro-choice, but points out that she is opposed to “partial birth abortions” and she sounds a few more anti-abortion platitudes. Still, not the straight up stuff that you get from the real tea party nuts.
Unless Schiff manages to smoke her out, which I doubt, she will sail through the primary season without having to tack right, so she will have an easy time presenting herself as a “moderate” in the fall. And, in fact, that’s just what she may be. If she wins, my guess is that she’ll go her own way, though we’ll have no idea on the day she’s sworn in exactly what that might mean. She has no particular loyalty to the Republican party, that’s clear. She’s a little like Bloomberg in that respect-the party is just a vehicle to get her where she wants to go. Had there been a vulnerable Republican in the seat, she’d be a Democrat right now.
She is going to be a formidable opponent for Blumenthal. Republicans have, in general, developed the ability to avoid talking about their political positions-exceptions like Rand Paul stand out, and he has now retreated to talking only to safe, soft ball throwing reporters. Linda will rely on her money, and a combination of warm and fuzzy commercials (about her) and vicious attacks on Blumenthal. It may well work.