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CT-Gov: Rell Won't Run Again

Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell (R) won't run for re-election in 2010. Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for 20th Century Fox

Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell (R) has decided against running for re-election, a decision that immediately turns the Nutmeg State into one of Democrats best pickup opportunities nationally.

Rell, who took over in July 2004 from scandal-plagued governor John Rowland (R), had been milling whether or not to run for months. Once the most popular governor in the nation, Rell had seen her poll numbers slip in the wake of a series of negative stories about her connections with a pollster at UCONN.

Whispers in the state said that the timing of Rell's announcement -- she announced her retirement this afternoon in a press conference -- was tied to the release of a Quinnipiac University poll set to be released tomorrow that showed her losing significant altitude in advance of 2010.

Three Democrats are seen as the likeliest nominees -- Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz , Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy and 2006 Senate nominee Ned Lamont. It's not immediately clear whether state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the most popular politician in the state and someone long rumored as a governor or Senator, might run. (Initial reports are that Blumenthal remains a "no" on the contest.)

"I feel confident that our bench of candidates for this position will bring to the table the kind of ideas and proposals that Connecticut voters will be able to relate to and have confidence in," said Democratic state party chair Nancy DiNardo. "This is good news for our party, and the people of this state."

The Republican bench in the state is decidedly thin. Democrats control both U.S. Senate seats, all four U.S. House seats and all statewide office with the exception of Rell and Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele.

Combine that weakness with the fact that President Barack Obama won the state with 61 percent in 2008 and it's clear that today is a very good for Connecticut Democrats.

And, 2010 is shaping up to be a terrific cycle in the Nutmeg State for political junkies. Not only is he gubernatorial race now open but Sen. Chris Dodd is among the most endangered Democrats in the country.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 9, 2009; 5:22 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: CO-Gov: Penry to exit race
Next: Morning Fix: Obama dishes; 2010 campaign in full swing


Hopefully a Democrat will win then a recall can be made of Joe the traitor.

Posted by: truth1 | November 10, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Considering the mess the Democratic Controlled state legislature has done with finances and the budget, the last thing our state need is a Democrat for governor. The legislature can out vote the gov anytime and they have followed their traditional tax and spend philosopy instead of cutting the budget.

Posted by: jschmidt2 | November 10, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Lieberman should resign and run, so Connecticut can have a senator who adequately represents the views of their citizens, as opposed to a self-promoting buffoon.

Posted by: NJIND
Why would you think that Lieberman running against him is the only way to get rid of the self-promoting buffoon? The polls seem to show the buffoon in deep trouble even against former Congressman Simmons.

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | November 10, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I guess she is retiring to spend the rest of her life with her family out of the spotlight. Not a bad thing to do. Although, it does hurt as Conn. now has to be seen as a propable Democratic pick-up. Will Micheal Fedele run for gov. now? How about the vast Republican field for the senate contest? Could Simmons or Caliguri opt out and run for the Governor's race?

Posted by: reason5 | November 10, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Bysiewicz, Malloy and Lamont are not the only Democrats with an eye on the Connecticut Governor's office. Retired House Speaker Jim Amann, State Senator Gary LeBeau, and Ridgefield Mayor Rudy Marconi have all formed exploratory committees.

So far, Marconi's ideas seem to be the freshest and his record of five landslide victories in an overwhelmingly Republican town, might make him the "most electable" of the bunch.

Posted by: markrobinson1 | November 10, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Wow, broadwayjoe, great citation.

Posted by: nodebris | November 9, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

"Now just because this works in Maine and Washington doesn't mean it works in Alabama and Mississippi"

A cursory reading of statistics makes clear that Alabama and Mississippi aren't obsessed with what works.

Posted by: nodebris | November 9, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

With the biggest POS in the State, Chris, Fatboy kennedy's OREO partner, on his way to being knocked out will give SANITY a chance. Look at Virginia and New Jersey.

Posted by: otisplumber | November 9, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

The Dionne piece was frankly rather lame because the tables can be so easily turned. For people who were eager to ram through a 1,900 page statist monstrosity, Pelosi, Obama, et al have been remarkably unserious about discussing the deep ramifications of health care "reform" for individual liberty and the economic recovery.

Do Americans really want to be told that they must purchase government-approved health insurance policies or risk going to jail? How free is a society when an individual who decides he would prefer to purchase a minimalist "catastrophic" insurance policy is told that he risks a fine or prison unless he does as Uncle Sam says? How honest have they been about how new regulations on "profiteering" insurance companies [actually, insurance company profit margins are comparatively modest] will have on premiums, not to mention struggling small businesses?

As to the worshipped "public option," is it really intellectually honest to call it an "option" when there's no way of opting out of paying for it? And perhaps most importantly, Obama & friends have never addressed the issue at the very heart of health care reform- that rationing is inevitable and so if he proposes to stop rationing by way of the price mechanism (as is done in the free market), then the rationing must be done by a centralized authority- the federal government. This of course exists in countries with socialized medicine: in Britain, a body charmingly named "NICE" bestows its bureaucrats with the power to decide who is permitted to get what treatments, even if it costs an individual patient his life.

Furthermore, where has been the talk about who is going to pay for this massive new entitlement monstrosity? According to their trustees, Social Security and Medicare already have future unfunded liabilities totaling some $87 trillion. Even if Obama can convince a voting majority that they have a God-given right to leech off their hard-working fellow Americans (i.e., the much-villified top 1%, who already bear 45% of the federal income tax burden), it still wouldn't come close to covering the bill.

In short, the real lack of intellectual honesty has been on the Left. Of course, that's not surprising since Obama's base consists largely of group-thinking liberal sheep. But the Obama adorers do not constitute a national majority and sooner or later, Dear Leader has to account for the deep price on personal and economic freedom his policies demand.

Posted by: TJ771 | November 9, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

59% approval is not that shabby. Maybe she'll run against mortgage queen Dudd.

Posted by: georgejones5 | November 9, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

"Frankly, I'm sick of both sides invoking the Holocaust as somehow comparable to even the worst aspects of American politics."

It's just sick, but I think the laziness bothers me even more. Bush did a lot of things similar to what Hitler did, but nothing that was uniquely Hitler. I'm talking about political tactics and stuff. But what Hitler is known for is trying to conquer Europe and decimating scores of Jews. For all of Bush's faults, nothing he did was close to attempting to conquer Europe and decimating scores of Jews.

It's a way to score cheap rhetorical points and it's just stupid. That's why mentally retarded people make the Hitler comparison. To them it's just "ooga booga Hitler bad, Obama bad, Hitler equal Obama, ooga booga, gimme banana"

Posted by: DDAWD | November 9, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Broadwayjoe: I'm sure your ire was raised back when the leftists protesting the Iraq war were portraying Bush as the second coming of Hitler.

Frankly, I'm sick of both sides invoking the Holocaust as somehow comparable to even the worst aspects of American politics. What I'm even more sick of, though, is the selective outrage among liberals who have suddenly discovered a new-found self-righeousness on the issue after 8 years of ad nauseum "Bush = Hitler" drivel on the Left.

Posted by: TJ771 | November 9, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

The race problem is just like every other problem the GOP has. They recognize there's a problem, but are so hell bent on not changing a thing that nothing gets solved. Oh, they recognize they screwed up under Bush? What's the solution, then? Oh, to embrace Bush policies? The Republicans have a race problem. What's the solution, then? Oh, you're going to keep cozying up to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck? Yeah, that should get the minorities running to you.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 9, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

How did the MSM miss this bombshell today? Steele says fellow GOPers are "scared of [him]" because he's black. So much for minority outreach. Developing...


"During a weekend interview, Michael Steele told TV One's Roland Martin that he has experienced fear from other selected members of his party because of the color of his skin.

"I mean I've been in the room and they've been scared of me," the RNC chairman said about fellow Republicans.

Partial transcript:

MARTIN: How do you -- granted, a popular president got 95% of the black vote -- you got any shot at getting black voters and if so what are the two issues that speaks to black voters for Republican have a shot at them?
STEELE: Education and the economy. Education and jobs. Education and small business.

MARTIN: But your candidates got to talk to them. One of the criticisms I've always had is Republicans -- white Republicans -- have been scared of black folks.

STEELE: You're absolutely right. I mean I've been in the room and they've been scared of me. I'm like, "I'm on your side" and so I can imagine going out there and talking to someone like you, you know, [you're like,] "I'll listen." And they're like "Well." Let me tell you. You saw in Christie and you saw in McDonnell a door open because they went in and engaged."

Posted by: broadwayjoe | November 9, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

It's far easier to replay footage from a few tea-party rallies over and over, and discuss some vague "mood" in the electorate.'


Posted by: drindl | November 9, 2009 5:34 PM

Speaking of the latest teabaggers party, officially supported by the GOP BTW, here's legendary Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel's take on that bigoted hate fest. Excerpt:

"Jewish Organizations Condemn GOP For Standing By As Tea Party Protesters Waved ‘Vile’ Anti-Semitic Signs

One of the most disturbing images from yesterday’s Tea Party rally against health care reform on Capitol Hill was a protester’s gruesome sign showing a pile of dead Holocaust victims. The banner — captured by ThinkProgress here — read: “National Socialist Health Care: Dachau, Germany – 1945.” Another sign said that “Obama takes his orders from the Rothchilds [sic],” a reference to the famous Jewish banking family often implicated in conspiracy theories. Today, Nobel Prize winner and Holoacaust survivor Elie Wiesel strongly condemned the signs, calling them “indecent and disgusting.”

The National Jewish Democratic Council also criticized the “vile invocations of Nazi and Holocaust rhetoric” and called out GOP leaders who stood in plain view of the signs but ignored them. The Simon Wiesenthal Center demanded that the rally organizers “publicly repudiate the use of Nazi and Holocaust imagery.” Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) made similar comments in a video he posted on YouTube, singling out the rally’s organizer, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)."

Is there any question now that what brings the teabaggers together isn't low taxes, small government, "anti-communism", or any of the politically correct cover issues they always raise--rather it is hate, vintage 1939 or 1954, take your pick.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | November 9, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I liked the Dionne article. Obama did a little bit of it. He definitely promoted the good government could do, but played it both ways in giving the middle class a tax cut. He has that luxury, I guess, since Fed can run a deficit. States can't. I do think that the pro-government side could be a lot more vociferous. If they had, perhaps we wouldn't have the California situation we have now.

Now just because this works in Maine and Washington doesn't mean it works in Alabama and Mississippi, but I do think it's worth a shot.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 9, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I am with you, drindl. People in places like CD23 in NY are smart. The more they knew about Hoffman the less they wanted to vote for him. The Club for Growth philosophy blames everything on government without explanation ot thought. Most people like what their government has achieved and don't want our progress dismantled.

Dionne's column was a great read. CforG wants to take us back to the times before Theodore Roosevelt so they can operate their businesses unimpeded and pay nothing in taxes.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 9, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Lieberman should resign and run, so Connecticut can have a senator who adequately represents the views of their citizens, as opposed to a self-promoting buffoon.

Posted by: NJIND | November 9, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Connecticut actually has five house seats and all are Dems., Larson, DeLauro, Murphy, Himes, and Courtney. You are so right in that yes, with a senate seat in play too, Connecticut will be interesting. The Republicans are in the news because of their "soul-searching", getting back to basics. Perhaps the anti-incumbent mood in our nation will push the Dems to stand up and be Democrats and not Republican-lites. The Dems in the Senate that are most endangered are these types. Those least endangered have minds of their own.

Posted by: gckarcher | November 9, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

SWEET ! Now if we could get Lieberman to get a clue.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | November 9, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Any Independents running?


Posted by: sasha2008 | November 9, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

From Dionne today:

'Only rarely do those who believe in active government take the argument head-on and insist that many of the things government does are necessary and, yes, good. The media almost never discuss what the sweeping dismantling of public services inherent in the rhetoric of the anti-government movement would mean in practice. It's far easier to replay footage from a few tea-party rallies over and over, and discuss some vague "mood" in the electorate.'


Posted by: drindl | November 9, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Not too surprising -- her fundraising was negligible in the last quarter. Yet another moderate NE R bowing out.

Posted by: mnteng | November 9, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

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