Former Congressman Chris Shays is reminding anyone willing to listen to him that he was right about Linda McMahon’s inability to win a general election. Maybe he should blame himself instead of blowing his trumpet, for managing his own primary that led to his August drubbing by McMahon. Shays couldn’t even win Bridgeport, where he lives, in the primary. Shays ran a terrible race. This is what happens when the candidate manages the race.
Shays had plenty of primary money to run a competitive race against McMahon. The campaign was top heavy in paid staff, weak in messaging, poorly managed by the candidate himself. He trotted out Dick Morris and Karl Rove as his surrogates, the same Dick Morris and Karl Rove who guaranteed Mitt Romney’s Tuesday landslide win. How’s that going?
Shays conveniently forgets that had he been the GOP candidate the Chris Murphy forces would have buried him in his dubious voting record, war-hawk frothing, love for George W., limitless sticking foot in mouth. Shays would not have defeated Murphy either.
Republicans continue to perform poorly in Bridgeport because they fail to craft Bridgeport-specific messaging. McMahon invested in Bridgeport, but it was in bodies and presence and not messaging. Nothing about Bridgeport-specific jobs. Nothing on Steel Point. Nothing on crime. Nothing on job training. Nothing on elder care. Nothing on streamlining the Medicaid process. She received just 17 percent of the vote in Bridgeport, a few points ahead of Mitt Romney.
It was the same thing with Jim Himes’ GOP opponent Steve Obsitnik. Do you know how many news releases or statements OIB received from the Obsitnik campaign about Bridgeport? Zero. Nothing.
Oh, the Obsitnik operatives said, we’ll have a real Bridgeport campaign. It was flat. You’re not going to reach 20,000 unaffiliated city voters or beleaguered Dems with canned campaign crap. It won’t resonate. As a result the GOP candidates didn’t resonate.
Former State Senator Rob Russo ran ahead of other GOP candidates in the city in his legislative races because he had Bridgeport-specific messaging.