Alan Schlesinger: The Forgotten Candidate

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Daily news and commentary by: Whymrhymer at the Blogger News Network

Ever since Massachusetts Senator Joe Lieberman was forced to make the decision to either be a ‘good Democrat’ and toe the party line or run for reelection to the Senate as an Independent he has become a valuable commodity for the Republicans. The Republican party is helping Lieberman finance his campaign with fundraisers like the one New York’s Republican Mayor threw for him, sending in Republican heavyweights to campaign with him, and they are openly endorsing him at the obvious expense of their own candidate for the Senate seat, Alan Schlesinger.

Why all this Republican support for a man who, even though he was rejected by his own party, has vowed to continue his affiliation with them? Simply because Joe Lieberman is and always has been a wild card in the Senate — supporting the Republican agenda many times against the Democrat party line. That and the fact that Joe Lieberman has been Connecticut’s Senator for 18 years and is a stronger adversary to the Democrats than their own GOP candidate — they frankly feel that if it was a race between the loyal Republican, Schlesinger and the popular, staunchly anti-war Democrat, Ned Lamont, Lamont would win hands down.

Where then does that leave Schlesinger? In his words, it leaves him feeling like Charlie Brown after trying to kick Lucy’s football.

Alan Schlesinger is not exactly a stranger to public office in Connecticut: he was a selectman in the town of Orange, Connecticut for three years; a representative in the state legislature for twelve years and the mayor of Derby, Connecticut (which proudly calls itself the smallest city in Connecticut, claiming 5.3 sq. miles and 12080 residents) for four years. Before this campaign for Senate, Schlesinger did not have a strong statewide identity but during the campaign he has distinguished himself by his strong performance in four televised debates and by having clear focused positions on all the issues.

There is, however, a minor blot on his name: Schlesinger is known to frequent Connecticut casinos and is known in the casinos as a card counter (a technique that gives a blackjack player an edge) which is not illegal but is an activity that can cause you to be persona non grata in a casino. It was discovered that Schlesinger was using an alias in casinos and assumed that he was doing that so that the casinos would not recognize him as a card counter, he says that he only used the alias to protect his political identity.

Foe whatever reason: possibly his pro-Iraq war stance, possibly his pro-choice position on abortion or maybe even his gambling “scandal,” Schlesinger has very low poll numbers. The poll numbers, however, haven’t cracked his optimism. Schlesinger’s favorite subjects on any given day are: what he is going to accomplish in the Senate; how his win will prove that money can’t buy a Senate seat and how, after two terms (a self-imposed term limit) he can be found on the golf course.

This is one of those situations where I’m rooting for the underdog. In a more normal world, it is the Independent (Lieberman in this case) who would be the underdog but not much is normal in Connecticut today. Run Alan, run!!

Links:

The Stamford Advocate: Where they stand: Alan Schlesinger

The Grand Junction Sentenal: A Connecticut story

From the blogosphere:

The Washington Beltsider: Schlesinger accuses Lieberman of never having paid dues to the Connecticut Republican Party

The Opinion Mill: Better late than never

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