It’s Labor Day weekend, which for some reason is considered the semi-official kickoff of campaign season. Never mind the fact that the campaigns have been dragging on all through the summer and before. No, this is the start.
So what do Connecticut’s political figures need to do between now and Election Day? Here are a few of my own thoughts:
Richard Blumenthal: Wake up, get a clue, and stop letting Linda McMahon define the race. The time to act like you’re 30 points ahead vanished back in, oh, April. Joe Lieberman won by reminding voters why they liked him in the first place, and I’m sure you can do that. Right?
Linda McMahon: Keep undermining Blumenthal, commit to no concrete positions (voters can imagine a candidate is for whatever they think she’s for without evidence to the contrary) and keep a tight lid on the WWE monster. Encourage wrestling puns as a safety valve.
John Mertens: Challenge everyone to debates, complain about how unfair everything is.
Dan Malloy: Anticipate a blizzard of negative ads from Tom Foley, work like a maniac to turn out voters, and paint opponent as a clueless insider with ties to the Bush administration (gasp!). Um, being honest about what a mess the state is in, and what it will take to fix things, probably won’t help.
Tom Foley: Become something more than a cardboard cutout of a generic Republican candidate. Try being interesting.
Jim Himes: Worry. Find a way to get independents and progressives interested in you again. Be the nice, moderate alternative to that wacky Dan Debicella.
Dan Debicella: Never stop attacking, but also be the nice, moderate alternative to that wacky Jim Himes.
Chris Murphy: Keep assuming nothing. The 5th district can be a weird and unsettled place, especially in years like this one.
Sam Caligiuri: Spend as much of your time in the Farmington Valley as possible; these are the voters you need to convince. Oh, and tell the “Family” Institute to get lost, they won’t help you one bit in an increasingly tolerant district.
Joe Courtney: Don’t forget to campaign! Though you probably don’t need to.
Janet Peckinpaugh: Do something to get voters’ attention! Maybe set something on fire? Take heart, your campaign is still not as hopeless as Sean Sullivan’s was.
John Larson, Rosa DeLauro: Cruise.
Democratic legislative candidates: Look to your members in marginal districts. You could try coordinating your efforts, or giving voters an idea of what Democrats might do with their majorities next year. I know, radical thoughts!
Republican legislative candidates: You have the best chance to make gains against the huge Democratic majority than you’ve had over a decade. Don’t blow it, though that will be your first instinct.
Jodi Rell: Take a vacation. Then take another one. Don’t worry, this state totally runs itself.
Pundits: Hide your utter cluelessness by insisting that this is the most “interesting” political year since forever, and that’s so cool! Remember: politics is exactly like sports, or TV.
What do you think politicians need to do between now and November?
Chris Bigelow is the former owner/author of Connecticut Local Politics. She lives in Enfield with her wife and cats.