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    Tuesday, April 16, 2024

    If I were advising gubernatorial hopeful Bob Stefanowski

    I’ve met Bob Stefanowski, the Republican now in the last stretch of his second campaign to try to become governor of Connecticut, and I have to say he’s not a bad guy.

    I would much prefer grabbing a beer with Stefanowski than his opponent, Gov. Ned Lamont. I’m pretty sure Lamont might have to struggle to keep from sticking out a pinky while lifting a beer mug.

    Indeed, in some ways, Lamont, a prince of Fairfield County, is more the Republican than Stefanowski, in his zeal to protect the wealthy from new taxes, his lavish giveaways to corporations that don’t need it and in keeping Connecticut’s new post-COVID wealth from trickling down to those in the state who need it most.

    One thing that Lamont has gotten pretty good at, though, after one term in office, is politicking. His campaign this year has been sterling, while Stefanowski’s has been abysmal.

    The Lamont advertising has successfully demonized Stefanowski as a grimacing, mean-spirited, Trump-loving selfish goon. Meanwhile, in the governor’s own portrayals of himself, he is smiling, kindly and caring. The contrast has surely stuck.

    At a New London campaign stop, on cue, Lamont organizers surrounded the governor with a multi-racial flock of adoring, laughing children, as if that’s how he spends most of his days.

    I don’t know any of the people advising Stefanowski, but given that this is a race between two rich white guys, I assume the Republican, like the Democrat, has tried for the best he can buy.

    I think he’s been cheated.

    I won’t charge him. But here are some ideas I would suggest for Stefanowski to at least try to even things up a bit in this final stretch toward November and make it more interesting for all of us.

    First of all, make some big headlines and hold a press conference to trash Trump. This is Connecticut. Get with the Bush/Cheney wing of the party. In fact, invite Liz Cheney to come endorse you.

    The Trumpists in Connecticut can’t keep you off the ballot, like they did the moderate Republican who had a chance of beating U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

    Remember the popularity of Lowell Weicker, who made a national name for himself as the Republican senator who stood up to the Republican president.

    Trump isn’t even in office any more and his alleged crimes, organizing a violent coup to stop the peaceful transfer of power and stealing national secrets, are way more heinous than Richard Nixon’s.

    Call him out. Shake a fist. Channel Weicker and speak to Independents.

    Hold another press conference and reassure voters in the strongest way possible that you will vigorously defend any and all challenges to a woman’s right to choose and that you also support the range of rights, from contraception to gay marriage, which some on the Supreme Court have put in play.

    Put up some ads to remind voters that there are federal grand juries busily investigating corruption in the Lamont Administration, from which so many top managers have already fled, with the approach of wailing sirens.

    Put up some ads of yourself smiling.

    And try some others depicting Lamont surrounded by adoring white guys in suits, which is more likely where people would naturally find him, rather than in a crowd of adoring, multi-racial children made to perform in his political charade.

    This is the opinion of David Collins


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