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.
Oh, 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.
The VPB reports that Galbraith “would likely attempt to run to the left of the candidates who have already announced.” Which, hmm. He didn’t seem particularly left-of-center during his Senate days. His record could best be characterized as inconsistent and self-serving. I don’t recall much of a philosophical thread; it had more of a “whatever popped into his head” vibe.
I have profoundly mixed feelings about a Galbraith candidacy. On the one hand, it’d be good for a whole lot of unintentional humor. He’d be the Democratic counterpart to Bruce Lisman: an ego-driven rich man who believes he is uniquely qualified to govern the state due to personal qualities largely invisible to others.
On the other hand, Galbraith could do a lot of mischief, especially if he poured his oil fortune into a campaign. He could force the other Dems to spend even more money in the primary, leaving the winner weakened for the general election. He would also bang the drum loudly for the anti-renewable cause, and those people already get more than their share of publicity, thanks very much.
On balance, I’d gladly sacrifice the comedic potential if Peter Galbraith would just go away, as he promised to do in 2014. He is a self-funded loose cannon; you never know when or where it’s going to fire, you only know it’s going to be loud and destructive.