Once again displaying his impeccable sense of timing, retired Wall Street executive Bruce Lisman let it slip today that he will, indeed, run for governor. As a Republican.
And he did so on the very day when Rand Paul was in town for a speech and fundraiser. Which he did not attend.
Way to step on the party’s headline, Bruce!
He did not actually announce anything, but he did notify various Republicans he was going to file his candidacy papers Tuesday, and he didn’t tell anyone to keep their lips zipped. Gee, Bruce, why not wait ’til Wednesday?
Seven Days’ Terri Hallenbeck posted the story first, followed within an hour by Free Press
buyout target senior writer Mike Donoghue. The latter has the more complete writeup, unfortunately behind the Freeploid’s paywall.
Republicans were unanimous in their approval of Lisman’s decision to run as a Republican instead of a vote-splitting Independent. Of course, not a one of them said they’d actually support Lisman, who looks to be in line for a severe ass-kicking at the hands of Phil Scott, assuming he enters the race.
How many Republicans offered content-free best wishes to Mr. Wall Street? Let’s count ’em.
— House Minority Leader Don Turner: “I am confident Phil Scott is going to run, and that he will be good for Vermont.”
— State Rep. Kurt Wright offered his belief that “Republicans are preparing to line up behind Scott.”
— Former Governor Jim Douglas “remains a backer of Phil Scott, should he run.”
— Senate Minority Leader Joe Benning “continues to hope that Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott will run for governor,” according to VPR’s Peter Hirschfeld.
So far, so bad for Bruce.
Oh, and one more note about Lisman’s political tone-deafness: While he made phone calls to many top Republicans, he did not make a call to Rep. Heidi Scheuermann, one of the co-founders of Lisman’s Campaign for Vermont. She’s been one of the leading legislative proponents of the CFV agenda.
But hey, you pledge fealty to a rich guy, he takes it for granted. Sorry, Heidi.
So our long statewide purgatory is over. After years of speculation, Bruce Lisman is about to become a candidate for governor. The Republicans are welcoming him into their big tent, but only to keep him from running as an independent. And also hoping, I’m sure, that after Lisman’s gubernatorial ambitions flame out, he will become a generous Republican donor.
I’ve said it before, and now that he’s on the precipice I’ll say it again: Bruce Lisman will never be Governor of Vermont. Add to that: he will certainly not be the GOP nominee in 2016.