Gov. Rell almost never has bad press. But today she’s found herself having to deal with two stories that have taken the shine off of yesterday’s meeting with Barack Obama: the first a piece in the Fairfield County Weekly which finally puts into print a lot of the quiet rumors and Capitol scuttlebutt about the governor not being around enough, and another piece in The Day in which GOP state chair Chris Healy identified Lisa Moody as the target of his post on his blog Make Blue Red, titled “Who Tried to Take Out Rob Simmons?”
The story about Rell’s work ethic is not great, but neither will it cause her a lot of problems in the future. Sure, her Democratic opponent in 2010 will probably use this line of attack, but by that point Rell will probably be ready for it, and attacks on her by Democrats have so far not been effective at changing public perception.
The story about Healy, however, could be much, much more damaging. That the governor and her party don’t always get along very well is not a surprise, but the rift seems to be wider. Healy, remember, was Rob Simmons’s campaign manager. Simmons is the kind of guy who inspires passionate loyalty, so it’s no surprise that Healy is willing to lash out at Moody over what he sees as an attempt to screw his guy over. There have been rumors of splits between Rell and Simmons people in the past, but never has it been so open and blatant.
Moody seems to be the point of contention in both articles. It was Moody who raised Healy’s ire, and it’s Moody who takes a lot of heat for essentially acting as the governor. If Moody were to go, I imagine that at least some of the ruffled feathers would be smoothed over. I think it’s fairly safe to say that Moody won’t be leaving any time soon, however.
The newly public friction between the GOP state chair and the governor also makes a piece of this post from The Everyday Republican a lot more interesting:
Were she to decided to run for re-election, it would be a decidedly uphill battle. There is a considerable amount of discontent with Rell in some Party circles – largely stemming from the cowardly 2007 tax hike she proposed. A primary challenger could capitalize on this anger and make life difficult for the Governor.
Is a primary challenge coming? I’d be surprised, even now. But maybe the state GOP is trying to send the governor (and Lisa Moody) a message. But what?
“Ditch Moody”? “Support legislative Republicans”?
“Thanks for everything, but don’t bother to run in 2010”? I don’t know.
We’ll see if Moody tries to retaliate. She hasn’t exactly been the forgiving type in the past. But I’m pretty sure that any attempts to get rid of Chris Healy will lead to a quick closing of the ranks by Republicans around Healy… and the end of any claims the governor may have had to party leadership.
Today was a bad day for Rell in the press. What difference will it make? Rell (and Moody) pay attention to media, so I’m expecting some sort of reaction from them.