Conceding defeat, Republican Tom Foley announced “We did as well as a Republican can do in Connecticut.” Nope. Tom Foolery lost because the egomaniacal rogue candidate thought he was smart and everyone else stupid including his campaign advisers. He forgets, John Rowland won three times as a Republican candidate for governor. He failed to mention Republican Jodi Rell clobbered her Democratic opponent for governor in 2006. Foley lost to the self-proclaimed porcupine incumbent Dan Malloy by the three-point percentage Foley had predicted for himself.
Tom Foley lost not because of demographics or negative campaigning or a blue state, he lost because of Tom Foley.
All measurable polling data showed a decent Republican candidate would have taken out incumbent Dan Malloy. Connecticut’s large voting bloc of unaffiliated voters swing gubernatorial races. Foley scared enough of them, particularly female voters, to fill in Malloy’s oval. Had State Senator John McKinney won the Republican primary over Foley, the chances of saying Governor McKinney would have been far greater than Governor Foley.
Foley believed he could endure an entire campaign saying I’m not Dan Malloy. And when he did trot out declarations he showed a disconnected devotion to detail to the realities of government life. He talked about fixing underperforming schools surrounded by blue-eyed, blond-haired suburban children. His education plan called for stripping funds from troubled school districts. When someone asked how you fix low student performance by taking money away he said, gee, no one ever asked me that question. Duh.
In the waning days of the race he threw out a Hail Mary tax policy. There was one minor problem with that: it had already been implemented by the state.
So Foley, take your yachts and jets and everything else back to Greenwich. And don’t forget your tin ear.