Caligiuri Finds His Footing

State Senator Sam Caligiuri’s bid for the GOP Senate nomination has been viewed as a longshot from its beginning back in March.  Questions were raised about how he would raise the funds necessary to compete and how he would expand his profile beyond his Waterbury-based State Senate District. 

The 2nd Quarter financial filings seemed to confirm Sen. Caligiuri’s standing as a likely “also ran” candidate as he raised just over $125k compared to former Ambassador Tom Foley’s $530k and former Rep. Rob Simmons’ $750k haul.

But in recent weeks, Team Caligiuri seems to have found its footing.  The candidate who was hesitant to criticize Sen. Dodd when questioned by Sean Hannity now is pounding away with a revamped message that received criticism for being too strident in recent days. 

Further, the “Sam for US Senate” website has just gotten a fresh coat of paint, complete with far more rhetorical firepower:

Dodd fails to pass any financial services reforms
+ Dodd pleads with the President to “step up” on health care, admitting he cannot offer the leadership required

= Dodd is the right choice to lead health care reform?

As spending money is a strong sign that one has money, Caligiuri’s moves suggest that with the Legislative Session over, he has put his shoulder into fundraising and it has likely paid off. 

These positive steps speak well of the still-nascent Caligiuri effort and make it likely that he will be anything but an “also ran” candidate.


6 responses to “Caligiuri Finds His Footing

  1. I still think Caligiuri is probably not going to make it to the convention, but he’s positioning himself nicely for future statewide runs in 2012 (he’d be an interesting choice in a three-way Lieberman re-election race) or 2014.

  2. If it’s a five person GOP contest, he could win… actually, he may then be favored. Underestimating him though is foolish. Sam, like Rob, knows exactly what he needs to do to win a low turnout election. Raising money is part of it, but getting out there and showing people that you have the energy and desire to do it matters too.

    I’m guessing that at this point, Sam & Rob are the only two who have a serious ground game… even if that ground game is exclusively them. Town Committees with the followup LTTEs, etc. matter a lot.

  3. Heath, don’t write stuff just for the sake of having your name online. Caliguri is nothing more than an joke at this point and just because you claim he has a “fresh coat of paint” on his website does not mean he will stand a chance against someone like Rob Simmons. No one outside of Caliguri’s district knows who he is and no matter how much paint you throw on a website that will not change the fact that this is Simmons nomination to lose.

  4. Genghis Conn said:

    I still think Caligiuri is probably not going to make it to the convention

    He’s more tenacious than that.
    Besides, it’s a marathon not a 100 yard dash.

    TheRealNixon said:

    Heath, don’t write stuff just for the sake of having your name online.
    Caliguri is nothing more than an joke at this point and just because you claim he has a “fresh coat of paint” on his website does not mean he will stand a chance against someone like Rob Simmons.

    For starters, Heath isn’t ego enhanced and as a former Simmons staffer has been accused of showing a bias towards Rob.

    As the only bonafide Pro-Life candidate in the race, Caligiuri will enjoy close to 100% of the social conservative vote in a primary where other issues will be split among candidates.

    It should be noted that due more to Peter Wolfgang’s steady hand on the wheel over at FIC the social conservative / Pro-Life faction is better organized and present a more cohesive front here, than ever before.

    What’s unclear is whether or not that will be enough for Sam to carve out a victory.

    I would agree that Rob enjoys a substantial advantage in both name recognition as well as respect of a large number of Republicans here.

    Of the three declared Republican candidates, Caligiuri, Foley, and Simmons; the GOP doesn’t have *one* that wouldn’t be an improvement over career party hack Chris Dodd.

  5. Republicans facing Barack Obama in the last presidential election made a disastrous error. Their failed to distinguish between a politician’s record in office, shallow in Obama’s case, and his public performance. He was and is a great performer. Those who saw him perform and never-the-less discounted him did so because they could not tear the ideological blindfolds from their face. Obviously, there were other reasons why Obama emerged victorious, but all this played a part. He was seriously underestimated as a campaigner.

    The same is true of Caliguri. We receive information about candidates for public office, prior to the point when candidates actually clash in a campaign, from secondary sources: newspapers, position reports, television clips etc. This is secondary information about a person. And, truthfully, voters regard all this with a somewhat jaundiced eye. First hand information is provided when the battle ensues, which is why the voting public is right to insist on debate that are not so heavily choreographed.

    The difference between reading reports about someone and watching them perform is the difference between reading a play and watching a play.

    I don’t know how many people writing here about Caliguiri have actually watched perform, having left their ideological blinders behind.

    I have. He’s impressive.

  6. Here are some question the answers to which can better found after one has witnessed the political play between candidates: How does he handle hostile questions? Is there a background to his foreground; is there a there there? Is the well of his experience deep enough? Does he present a fresh face? Does he have a sufficient understanding of the major problems facing the country? Is he proposing solutions that may really solve the problems? What has he done in his political career that may show people he is not conspiring with the present system to benefit himself at the expense of the nation? Is he cordial, well mannered, thoughtful? What is he like off camera? Is there a significant difference between his public and private persona? Is he like us? Does he like us? These are questions that can be answered only after the general public has seen the politician perform.

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