When I whip off a reference to the prospective Democratic field for governor, I mention three names: Shap Smith, Sue Minter, and Matt Dunne. There are a couple other oft-mentioned names that I leave off my list.
One of them is Doug Racine. I’ve got nothing against him; if he runs I’d give him serious consideration. But I haven’t seen much evidence that he’s serious about running. If I had to guess, I’d say he’s looking for reasons not to run rather than pushing a candidacy forward. (If anyone in the audience has seen such evidence, let me know in the Comments.)
The other is the formerly Slummin’ Solon, Peter Galbraith. I dubbed him the Slummin’ Solon because he seemed to believe that occupying a seat in the State Senate was a task unworthy of his stature. When he left the Senate last year, he was allegedly clearing his decks for another peace mission in the Middle East.
Well, it seems he never left, and his Green Mountain ambitions remain unquelled, because here he is on everybody’s list as exploring a run for governor.
In many ways, Galbraith is the Democratic equivalent of Bruce Lisman. Both men are very wealthy, enough to self-fund a substantial campaign. Both have very high opinions of themselves and their qualifications for Vermont’s highest office. Both have very high opinions of their political appeal, with no particular evidence to back it up.
And as with Lisman, my response to a potential Galbraith candidacy is “Oh please. Oh please please PLEEEEEEEASE run for Governor. I’m beggin’ ya.”
Because if Galbraith runs for governor, he’s in line for a rude surprise. He’ll go down in flames.
He has a couple pockets of political support, in southeastern Vermont and among the hard-line anti-renewables crowd. Aside from that, not much. He left a swath of ill feelings in his Senatorial wake, and he has few (if any) friends in Democratic circles outside of Windham County.
He does, of course, have the resources to buy himself a campaign, thanks to the tens of millions he made by brokering a Kurdish oil deal. But self-funded efforts tend to do poorly in Vermont, and he’d be facing three strong politicians with significant support.
If Peter Galbraith runs for governor, he’ll come in a poor fourth in the Democratic primary. With less than 10 percent of the vote. Maybe that’ll deflate his ego a little.
It’d also show the limits of the anti-renewable constituency in Vermont. And that’d be a very good thing.