Monday, October 11, 2010

Linda gets it wrong...again!

(Blumenthal at a recent parade; Mark Pazniokas, CT Mirror)

After getting severely hammered by the media for her total ignorance of the federal and state minimum wage laws, Linda McMahon's campaign tried a desperation ploy to embarrass Attorney General Dick Blumenthal this weekend.

From the Courant's Capitol Watch:
Apparently, a person shadowing Blumenthal at the Columbus Day parade in New Haven today asked if he knew the state's unemployment rate. The person lobbying (sic) the question was walking with the McMahon campaign's tracker, so perhaps the aim was to get video of Blumenthal caught off guard.

"Blumenthal knew it was someone with McMahon's tracker asking the question and up to no good. So, he brushed him off,'' according to a memo sent to reporters by Blumenthal campaign manager Mindy Myers.
This was the perfect response by Blumenthal to a McMahon campaign-sponsored attack. Linda's people were badly embarrassed by McMahon's clumsy handling of the minimum wage question posed by a local journalist at a press conference (Ted Mann from the New London Day), so they send their own video tracker and a campaign staffer to try to trip up Dick Blumenthal on a question about unemployment.

This is entirely typical of the McMahon campaign's unsubtle ham-fisted tactics. McMahon blew it for herself with her ignorance and her unfocused reply to the simple question "Would you argue for reducing the minimum wage now?" (the only correct answer is a definitive "NO!"). To try to mitigate the colossal damage this has done to her credibility, she sent a couple of paid campaign hacks to harass the AG at a parade. Not very smart.

Some people have mentioned to me that this is somewhat similar to things I've done in the past with Sen. Lieberman. I don't hesitate to point out that as a blogger I'm not paid by any campaign, and regardless of your feelings about bloggers, we are considered to be members of the media.

I've had a lot of issues with paid campaign staffers making themselves part of the story. As in, they shouldn't do it. A tracker's responsibility is to simply record the candidate's words to the public.

Reporters like Mann are supposed to ask those questions. When a paid campaign tracker invades a candidate's personal space or poses hostile questions directly to a candidate, they cross a line. It's as if Linda McMahon wants to pose the question herself, but she's too chicken to actually do it.

McMahon felt so defensive after her botched answer to the minimum wage question that she refused to talk to reporters after her triumphant totally underwhelming Milford rally Saturday with special guest tea-bagger Mass. Sen. Scott Brown (video here). To pass on the opportunity to talk to the press after an event like that is, quite frankly, shocking!

My guess is that Linda will hunker down as much as possible for the remaining three weeks to avoid having to answer off-the-script questions. She obviously believes it's better for her to keep quiet and have people think she's a fool, than to open her mouth and remove all doubt!

We all know that WWE story lines are carefully scripted...

Unfortunately for Linda, she doesn't have that control over the equally brutal world of politics.

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