October 2009: Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Senator Chris Dodd visit a Fairfield commuter lot off the Merritt Parkway to celebrate the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that pumped $67 million to renovate the bucolic highway.
Most Irish pols love Italian food: quick, easy, tasty if you know what you’re doing. Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa knows how to stir the political pot from his Madison Avenue restaurant where a steady stream of insiders visit his open-door policy early mornings, the best time to reach him prior to his afternoon siesta. Moses could come down from the mountain holding an 11th tablet etching–thou shall not speak ill of Mario’s meatballs–and the town chair will not violate conditions of his respite.
Senator Dodd was hungry. So was Biden. Dodd had tasted Mario’s meals many times. How about a little Mario al dente? Mario received word he might have Veep company. Biden’s staff, however, said we must keep him on schedule, no restaurant visit. So Mario entreated a worker to deliver a dish for Biden to enjoy on his way to the airport.
One week later, a letter arrives.
“Dear Mario, I thank you for the delicious pasta. Next time I am in Bridgeport, I will have to try some of your famous meatballs.”
In Mario’s world, that’s the kind of thing that cements loyalty for life.
With Connecticut’s presidential primary on the horizon April 28, Mario will make sure the vast majority of the Democratic political infrastructure will back Biden. Those squishy libs in Black Rock who disdain Mario can support Bernie all they want. Mario is a Biden man.
Come March 11, Mario will be installed for another two-year term as chair, a position he’s maintained for the better part of 28 years, when the 90-member Democratic Town Committee meets to elect party officers.
Mario will remind the party faithful they must deliver a resounding win for the man who loves his macaroni. Ya never know, maybe a visit from Joe this 2020 campaign season to sample “your famous meatballs.”