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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Honeymoon between political parties won't last long

The New London Day has a great article about the upcomming campaign season and why the bipartisan bond established between the Democrats and Republicans during the sub base fight will quickly disappear once the campaign season gets into full gear.

From The New London Day

The fact that Democratic Sens. Christopher J. Dodd and Joseph I. Lieberman stood shoulder to shoulder with Republican Congressman Rob Simmons in the fight to save the Naval Submarine Base has no political meaning for the House member's 2006 re-election bid. But the fact that the base was saved has a great deal of potential benefit for Rep. Simmons.

Rep. Simmons' certain opponent is attorney Joseph Courtney, a former state representative who lost to the congressman in 2002. Mr. Courtney took an election-cycle off and built up his personal finances, solidified his political contacts and is busy raising money and criticizing Congressman Simmons already. He started early.

He is the type of liberal Democrat that Sen. Dodd appreciates and it's certain that the senior senator will make appearances for Mr. Courtney when the 2006 campaign develops. Same for Sen. Lieberman, who will also be running that year seeking his fourth full term in the Senate.

So Sen. Dodd's willingness to praise Rep. Simmons' work in helping to keep open the base has no real meaning for 2006 relative to the senators. Sen. Dodd's words no doubt will find their way into a Simmons re-election advertisement, but it will carry residual value only.

The two senators also will appear on behalf of whatever Democrat runs against Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell in 2006. The United States senators understand the bedrock that supports their candidacies. Both Congressman Simmons and Gov. Rell will be fair game.

If the base was closed, Simmons chances for re-election would be toast but on the other hand, the saving of the base is not a guarentee that Simmons will be reelected (the 2nd district is one of the most liberal districts on the state).

In any case, the saving of the base wil mean nothing to short-term memory voters come this time next year and one should expect a very hostile campaign from both Simmons and Courtney.