It’s not every day that the most powerful woman in America (no, not Sarah; well not yet, anyway) visits locally. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will be stumping for Democratic Congressional candidate Jim Himes Saturday afternoon in Westport and Stamford. A quick detour to Bridgeport is not expected.
This should develop into a nice media hit for Himes. Speaker shows up on Saturday and the next day it’s all over the Sunday papers. It allows for a recasting of the candidate with less than two months to go.
All those political science professors were at it again the other day after OIB broke the news of a change at the top of the Himes campaign. Maura Keaney out, Dana Houle, a more seasoned campaign manager, in. Omigod, said the professors — most of whom never ran a race — this is ominous for the Himes campaign. What a bunch of crap.
The bigger question is, where do they go from here?
Himes is bright, intelligent. His problem is message. What is it? He doesn’t tell you why he’s running. Oh yes, he says, “To restore the American dream?” BFD.
Here’s a message: “Washington is broke. It doesn’t work. It spends money on all the wrong things. We need sanity back in the budget process to prevent politicians from picking your pockets.”
Granted, this is not a traditional Democratic message, but a traditional Dem message in a sucky economy will not beat a 21-year Republican incumbent such as Chris Shays.
And now that America, or at least more than half, is having a love affair with Lipstick Palin, including Fairfield County Republican towns, it makes the Himes-Houle message challenge that much more difficult.
I’ll give Palin this, she’s hot, good on her feet, with a cutting, slashing, slapstick style that creates the mighty aura of independence. And so far the national neophyte is sticking to the script after emerging from her foreign policy cramming sessions and another manufactured controversy. “Those boys from Russia better watch themselves.” Yes, let’s scare the crap out of people because the fear factor equals advantage John McCain. The entire Republican game plan will center on manufacturing bullshit issues. It’s risky. With so much going on she might forget her lines. Just like she conveniently forgot that the jet she “sold” on eBay didn’t sell on eBay.
Can’t wait for the ice lady’s frozen trek across the Bering Sea to Russia’s Siberia for her first meet and greet with Putin.
“You want some Stoli with your lipstick?”
“Sure, Put boy, after I plant a hockey puck in your soft palate.”
By the way, my friend John Gilmore, former political reporter extraordinaire, passed along this nice nugget:
“When Chris Shays was elected in a special election (after the death of Stew McKinney), he became the ‘least senior member of the House of Representatives.’ Who did he replace? What sitting member of Congress moved out of the cellar? Time’s up … it was Nancy Pelosi! And now she’s coming to the Fourth District in an attempt to retire the man who gave her a career bump!”
Okay, kids, don’t forget to mark your calendars. September 25, 5:30 p.m., Captain’s Cove Seaport for the next OIB party. We’re inviting all local candidates to put up with us. First cocktail on OIB, plus plenty of munchies.