Political Capitol

Brian Lockhart covers the Connecticut General Assembly in Hartford

Why Linda frustrates the Tea Party or “Everybody is flailing trying to figure out who Linda McMahon is.”

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As much as Democrat Chris Murphy wants to tie Linda McMahon, his Republican opponent for the U.S. Senate, to the Tea Party, she doesn’t make it too easy.

For every example the Murphy folks have of McMahon seemingly kissing up to the more right-leaning members of the Connecticut GOP (like saying at a Tea Party forum in April she would like to establish sunset provisions for Social Security), there are more examples of the candidate attempting to distance herself from conservative orthodoxy by making promises about what she won’t cut.

For someone who wants to go to Washington and take on federal spending, McMahon sure has declared plenty of areas off limits – Social Security and Medicare, defense spending, and, as we reported today, food stamps and the social safety net.

Murphy’s camp will argue it’s all a ploy to win blue Connecticut and McMahon will arrive in Washington and shed her moderate costume for Tea Party duds.

Oops. Wrong Tea Party…

That’s more like it…

And yet if you’re a member of the Tea Party, you may feel more comfortable with McMahon than Murphy, but you’re also frustrated that she has not offered more specifics when it comes to shrinking government.

At least that was the case when I spoke to Tanya Bachand, a Tea Party organizer in Connecticut, for today’s story about McMahon’s defense of food stamps.

Bachand had some trouble identifying what she believes McMahon will cut if elected and wished the candidate would be bolder and not “soft-pedal” her responses.

“I get frustrated with both of them (McMahon and Murphy) in that they talk in these sound bites and absolutes, like ‘I want to preserve defense jobs in Connecticut,’” Bachand said. “Neither of them is really talking about cuts.”

Why isn’t McMahon?

“I think she’s afraid of offending people and of how Democrats are going to spin it,” Bachand said.

Or perhaps McMahon is serious about protecting a variety of constituencies – seniors and the disabled, low income residents, the defense industry – and really is the moderate she claims to be.

As one prominent Republican told me recently, “Everybody is flailing trying to figure out who Linda McMahon is.”

Categories: General
Brian Lockhart

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One Response

  1. I think we are way beyond the point when we should be trying to figure out who our candidates are or what the things are for which they stand for or against! The election is only weeks away. A candidate who is so cunning and unreadable, or who has not been willing to articulate a position or take a stand and stick by it is not, in my estimation, a worthy candidate.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again…talk is cheap. Anyone can say anything. We live in an age of technology. Forget what the candidates want you to believe and do your due diligence before voting, and I am a candidate for State Representative for District 150.

    Look, instead, at what each of us HAS done and stood for throughout our careers. Google us, check out our resumes, profiles and websites, see the articles we’ve written, not just now during electioneering time but over the years; it will tell you a lot about your candidates. Look at the committees, commissions and projects on which we’ve worked. Does THIS type of community involvement resonate with what YOU are looking for in a candidate?

    Running for election should never be about us, the candidates, but what any of us can do for we the people. The candidates who win will need to represent ALL the people, the full 100%.