by Nathan Empsall, Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 06:51:42 PM EDT
Well now this is bizarre.
Former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT) dropped of the race for Chris Dodd’s Senate in Connecticut when the state GOP convention endorsed his primary opponent, fake wrestling star Linda McMahon. But now you see me, now you don’t, and Simmons appears to be getting back into the race – in a very half-hearted way. He's not campaigning or fundraising; he’s just airing one state-wide ad after nearly two months of inactivity.
Rob Simmons, a former congressman who suspended his campaign for the United States Senate in Connecticut only a few weeks ago, is jumping back into the race for the Republican Party nomination with a statewide advertising campaign touting his candidacy. …
In an interview, Eric Janney, the campaign chairman for Mr. Simmons, that the former congressman was not reactivating his campaign. Instead, he said, Mr. Simmons simply wanted to remind Republican voters that they could vote for him if they so desired.
“As he has been going around the state the last couple of months, folks ask him about staying involved in the race,” Mr. Janney said. “Many people did not realize that Rob remained on the ballot. So he decided to do a television ad that reminds people that they have a choice and that Rob is on the ballot.”
I’m very confused as to Simmons’ motives. There’s no way he’s going to win the GOP nomination this way – McMahon is campaigning, fundraising, airing multiple ads, and has the state party’s endorsement. You don’t beat that with just one ad that doesn’t even say “You should vote for me,” just “You can vote for me.” Is this Simmons’ way of trying to punish the tea party for purging moderates like him out of the party? All he can hope to do this way is create intraparty division and weaken McMahon before the general. And while that seems highly unlikely, it wouldn’t surprise me – McMahon may well be the single most unqualified candidate for Senate this entire cycle, more so even than South Carolina’s Alvin Greene. Simmons must know it, and can’t be happy about the direction his party is moving. The National Journal gave him a conservative score of 46.8 out of 100 in 2006, behind 9 Democrats and hardly acceptable material for the 2010 Repub Party, New England or not. It's either about that or he's just got a political itch he can't scratch and little perspective on reality.
Speaking of McMahon’s general election campaign, a new Rasmussen poll out yesterday shows her trailing Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal 52-40, and a recent Quinnipiac poll has her down even more, 54-37.
Finally, from the CTDems, here’s a video showcasing what kind of a Senator McMahon would be: