Daily Archives: September 21, 2015

Nap Time with Uncle Jim

I just had the misfortune of listening to former Governor Jim Douglas “interviewing” Lt. Gov. Phil Scott. It was an interview in the strictest sense of the word: Douglas talked, and Scott talked back. But if you were expecting insight or depth from this meeting of veteran public servants, you had to be sadly disappointed.

At the very least, I was hoping for some hot man-on-man action: the top Republican of the 2000s and the top Republican of the 2010s slapping each other on the back so hard they risked injury. But it was far less than that. It was bland. It was issue-avoidant. It was… DULL.

The occasion: Douglas was guest hosting Common Sense Radio on WDEV. Scott was the guest on the second half of the show, from 11:30 to noon. Well, they didn’t actually start until 11:35 because commercials, and Douglas wrapped it up at 11:56, God knows why. Early lunch date?

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The cat came back

Hey, remember when Peter Galbraith gave up his bought-and-paid-for State Senate seat last year, to pursue a loftier cause?

The Townshend Democrat said his growing involvement in an informal effort to find a political solution to the Syrian civil war won’t allow him to continue serving as a state senator.

Well, that noble sentiment appears to be inoperative. Or so reports the (paywalled) Vermont Press Bureau:

Will former Windham County Sen. Peter Galbraith join the crowd of candidates hoping to succeed Gov. Peter Shumlin? It seems more and more likely. Galbraith has not returned calls regarding that inquiry, but sources say he is actively considering it.

GalbraithOh, good Lord. Longtime readers know how I feel about Galbraith; he spent $50,000 of his oil fortune to grab an open Senate seat in 2010, and quickly made himself a hated figure in the Statehouse because of his immense self-regard (even by Senate standards!) and his habit of loudly promoting his own ideas. Made you wonder how he ever made a living as a “diplomat.”

Well, apparently his ego is getting in the way of his peacemaking impulses. The people of Syria will just have to wait, while he ponders a vanity candidacy for governor.

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Mike Smith, unofficial publicist for the Scott campaign

If the past couple of Sundays are anything to judge by, Mike Smith may be trying to recast himself as less of a partisan figure. The new host of Not The Mark Johnson Show on WDEV has been a devout Republican throughout his adult life, as far as I can tell; and until recently, his weekly opinion columns have consisted largely of Republican boilerplate.

The last two have been resolutely nonpolitical. But if he’s trying to rebrand himself as a nonpartisan for the sake of his radio credibility, he’ll have to watch what he says on WCAX, where he’s an occasional political analyst.

Several days ago, after Sue Minter formally entered the gubernatorial race, Smith appeared on Channel 3 along with fellow analyst Steve Terry. (Presumably they’re the Point-Counterpoint of WCAX.) And here’s an excerpt from their not-terribly-interesting analysis.

Steve Terry: This is now a wide-open race. It gives Democrats, those who vote in the primary, a real solid choice.

Mike Smith: The ability of both Shap Smith and Sue Minter to distance themselves from the Shumlin administration is going to be key for them.

Steve Terry: One of the things that I’m looking at among the three Democrats is how strong they push a single issue of job creation. They may mention jobs a little, but it’s never blank equals jobs.

Mike Smith: Right now, Phil Scott owns that fiscal message.

Okay, bud. Hold it right there.

“Phil Scott owns that message”?

Pray tell, why?

Phil Scott has done nothing to claim ownership of that message. Well, unless you count his endless Worker For A Day publicity stunts.

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