And Then There Were Four?

Eyebrows are rising all over Connecticut today as 2004 Dodd challenger Jack Orchulli, of Darien, is scheduled to appear on WFSB’s Face the State program tomorrow morning to announce his intentions in the 2010 iteration of the race. 

Rumors are circulating through GOP circles that Mr. Orchulli, 63, will announce his intent to vie for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Orchulli’s entry into the race would mark the fourth contender on the Republican side, as many come to the conclusion that Senator Chris Dodd is mortally wounded by the series of controversies that have dogged him in recent months.  Orchulli would join former Rep. Rob Simmons, State Sen. Sam Caligiuri, and likely entrant Ambassador Tom Foley.

Money now becomes the threshold test for each of these candidates.  Mr. Foley and Mr. Orchulli are thought to be able to self-finance their bids, if they so choose.  Sen. Caligiuri is already in the mail with a fundraising appeal (Mine came Friday), and Simmons has been appearing on national television all week promoting his effort and his website. 

Despite his wounds, there is little doubt that Senator Dodd will be able to marshal sizable resources for his campaign.  He raised $16 million for a quixotic Presidential bid – for a real Senate campaign, the Senator can probably raise at least $20 million. 

Which Republican will be most able to match him?  It remains to be seen, but as the discussions continue among the various Republican candidates, it will be the benchmark against which they are judged.

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16 responses to “And Then There Were Four?

  1. Barring a Corzine-sized bank account, I don’t see either Foley or Orchulli getting the GOP nod. It’s Sam or Rob.

    On the issues:

    Roe – Sam gets all the votes
    2nd Amendment – ??
    immigration – ??
    fisal policy – ?? (IMO, Sam is credible. But I don’t know Rob’s votes.)
    monetary policy – ??
    electability – ??

    The other factor I see is an increasingly fractionalized field… only moreso if Peter Schiff enters the race. If enough people enter the field, the nomination may be within reach of anyone… including Tim AnyoneButDodd!

    As for Foley or Orchulli, Schlessinger spent $500,000 I recall. And that couldn’t even get him the GOP vote in a general election.

  2. Another hack with delusions of significance.

    Just because he had honors as the sacrificial lamb in ’04 doesn’t mean he gets a shot now that it’s really in play.

    He should stay home and let the big boys play.

  3. AndersonScooper

    Aw heck Headless.

    All these rounds of potential challengers have got to be an orchestrated effort by your GOP.

    Free headlines, free airtime, and surrogates to take pot-shots at Dodd. (although I’m sure Orchulli is that egomanical, and delusional.)

  4. Roe – Sam gets all the votes
    2nd Amendment – ??
    immigration – ??
    fisal policy – ?? (IMO, Sam is credible. But I don’t know Rob’s votes.)
    monetary policy – ??
    electability – ??

    I think that Sam leads Rob on a number of these issues.

    Certainly on the abortion issue, Sam blows away Rob, who left Congress with a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood.

    For more background on Rob Simmons and fiscal policy, see the D. Dowd Muska column, “The Anti-Dodd? It Ain’t Rob” http://dowdmuska.com/2009columns/col031909.htm

    I don’t know if any candidate will take up the issue of monetary policy, but I doubt that Simmons will.

    Some of the comments that he made in his interview with the Journal Inquirer left me doubting whether he understands the fundamental reasons for the financial crisis. For example, his criticism of Gramm-Leach-Bliley, the 1999 law repealing Glass-Steagall, was completely off base. He does not seem to have a good handle on the kind of policy-making badly needed in this area.

    Overall, Sam seems to have much more depth on financial / economic issues.

    I also think that Sam will have a better outreach to the younger demographic and older demographics. I think that many of the older folks will hear echoes of their past in his background as the child of immigrants. I think that younger voters will feel more affinity for him as the father of a young family… with concerns about our ever-increasing indebtedness.

    I don’t think that the brand of neo-conservatism and social liberalism practiced by Simmons will get the same kind of traction that it did during the Bush years. I know that a lot of young conservatives feel like the party gambled everything on neo-conservatism during the Bush years and lost badly— sacrificing our reputation for fiscal responsibility and social conservatism.

    The general sentiment that I hear from a lot of other young conservatives is that we need to return to being more conservative. At the moment, Sam appears to be the closest thing we have to a Reagan conservative.

  5. Here’s Shelly Sindland interviewing Sam:

    http://www.fox61.com/pages/the_real_story/

    if you scroll to the bottom, CTLP is listed as a blog liked by Fox61!

  6. I don’t know if any candidate will take up the issue of monetary policy

    here’s to hoping it becomes part of the debate!

    Here’s a 1983 clip of my favorite elected official speaking about monetary policy in terms of morality:

    Viva la Revolution!

    Us Paulistas don’t like to give up.

    We enjoy the intellectual debate far too much to bother quitting.

    😉

  7. The general sentiment that I hear from a lot of other young conservatives is that we need to return to being more conservative. At the moment, Sam appears to be the closest thing we have to a Reagan conservative.

    I am genuinely curious about this reference to Reagan. Other than cutting taxes, his fiscal policy was not very conservative – debt spending is what I am referring to. And the legacy of that was the Bush Administration. In the (approximate) words of Dick Cheney Ronald Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter. Yet, clearly, they do.

    While older Republicans and self-described conservatives have a stake in their days in the sun with Reagan, the new generation can cut its own path.

    Why hang on to the myth?

  8. For more background on Rob Simmons and fiscal policy, see the D. Dowd Muska column, “The Anti-Dodd? It Ain’t Rob” http://dowdmuska.com/2009columns/col031909.htm

    I thought Muska raised some cogent points, though I have strong feelings about his criticism of Rob.On submarines, however, I thought Muska wasn’t just wrong, he was egregiously wrong. The Chinese are in the process of building naval power that can have but one purpose: challenge the U.S. Navy. As long as they are building 5 submarines a year, it is ridiculous that we should build less than our replacement rate.As a matter of fact, its ridiculous that we aren’t building far more than our replacement rate – but we have to start somewhere.

  9. If Orchulli runs, he’s going to almost certainly not raise that much from people not named Orchulli. Yeah, he’s wealthy I guess, but there is almost no chance he wins the primary much less the general if he does win the primary. I guess the saying about a fool and his money holds. Sure, it’s his money, but I think his money could make much more of a difference by donating to various think tanks etc. Spending $5 million on a failed election won’t have the impact of giving $500,000 to Cato, Heritage, ACU, or whatever your beliefs are (I don’t really know where this guy stands on the issues).

    I am genuinely curious about this reference to Reagan. Other than cutting taxes, his fiscal policy was not very conservative – debt spending is what I am referring to. And the legacy of that was the Bush Administration. In the (approximate) words of Dick Cheney Ronald Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter. Yet, clearly, they do.

    Many apologists for RR say that Congress did the spending, and RR had do go along. I guess there’s some truth to that, of course, but RR could have vetoed or fought harder to restrain spending.

    Deficit spending done to promote economic growth is very different from deficit spending that won’t lead to growth. At the end of the day, growth is really all that matters. You might think that there isnt that much difference if a country grows its per capita GDP 2% or 3% per year. However, over 20 years, that add up to 20% (more with compounding). That’s a major difference in the size of the economy, and 20 years isn’t that long of a time period. With 20% more in your economy, and thus 20% more in govt revenues, other problems don’t matter as much.

    So I personally think that if the deficit has a good chance of making the economy grow faster, it’s not the end of the world, provided they aren’t huge. But if they aren’t going to lead to growth, then I think that’s a problem. Kind of like going into debt to buy a house (not necessarily bad) versus going into debt to take a vacation (not really ever a good idea). Defense spending, for instance, isn’t a growth item. It is necessary, but it’s not going to make your economy better off. Same with various social programs to spread money to people. Sure, they’ll spend it, just like the defense workers, but it’s not the same as for instance cutting taxes, which leads to more economic activity (people changing their behavior to actually work harder), albeit with less revenues to the state treasury.

    So why is Reagan well liked by Conservatives? Well, aside from the fact that he was good on camera (unlike both Bushes, but especially unlike W), he had a firm set of beliefs that he adhered to. Basically, RR wanted lower taxes, lower regulation, more defense spending and lower non defense spending. He got the first three… And who the heck else are we going to want to really like? Bush I? Dole? Bush II? McCain? I don’t see anyone on the horizon that’s as transforming as RR. Jindal was awful after Obama a few weeks ago. Huckabee, you must be joking. Let’s hope the Republicans don’t go insance and nominate Palin next time. (Her half sister in law got arrested for burglary last week, and her whole damned family seems like a train wreck). Romney doesn’t look bad on tv, but I think he’d be a fine Secretary of Commerce or a few other cabinet level jobs, but not President).

  10. I thought Muska raised some cogent points, though I have strong feelings about his criticism of Rob.

    I think that the larger issue raised by Muska’s column is that Rob was part of the class of GOP lawmakers who *mortgaged* the party’s reputation for being the party of fiscal responsibility (a) in the pursuit of neo-conservative policy objectives abroad and (b) by countenancing a shameful culture of earmarks and K Street rent-seeking.

    I had a ringside seat to thee events because I spent my college years in Washington. As a young conservative, I was incredibly disillusioned to see the betrayal of principles that occurred during that timeframe and left both college feeling incredibly disillusioned about the political process.

    It was involvement in local politics that reinvigorated me… the folks at the local level had held on to our principles.

    During that time-frame, Simmons’ record is one of participating in and countenancing this system, not standing up to it, the way folks like Tom Coburn, Jeff Flake, and Jim DeMint do?

    When Simmons did try to distinguish himself from these folks, he did so by promoting his social liberalism, not by pursuing responsible fiscal policy.

    Given this track record, why should he be sent back to Washington? How will someone with his record on fiscal issues and on abortion generate excitement among folks in the libertarian and conservative factions within the party?

  11. Orchulli!

    Ah ha!

    So it was you!

    The field is filling up.

  12. It wasn’t, but I decided to take it back old school.

  13. Orchulli!

    Ah, that brings me back!

  14. Ah, that brings me back!

    Someone had to do it…

  15. I don’t like the notion to just dismiss Orchulli because he is not a professional, career politician. We should take a hard look at where that pack has taken the country. I’m ready for a change.

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