I didn’t attend Matt Dunne’s campaign launch on Monday. (Didn’t make Sue Minter’s on Tuesday either.) But I have looked over his prepared remarks and his updated platform, and here are some thoughts.
Overall: He’s positioning himself as the outsider, using some pretty strong language about the current crowd in Montpelier. He’s also positioning himself as the candidate of new, fresh ideas; to some extent his platform delivers on that. There are disturbing whiffs of New Democrat (a.k.a. Republican-Lite), but not enough to make a definitive judgment.
Before diving into details, let me emphasize that these are early impressions. I don’t have a horse in this race; I could see myself backing any of the three Democrats. Plenty of time to achieve clarity. That said…
His speech can be viewed online; I don’t see the text posted anywhere. (I received the text in a media email blast.) It’s pretty standard stuff, connecting his own experience to the issues in play. Indeed, there’s an almost comical bit of job-description tailoring:
We need new leadership with different experience, experience that reaches beyond the traditional structures of state government ot incorporate the best of the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
Leadership that is grounded in Vermont, but has had experience around the country to understand what can be done to move our state forward.
That definition fits Dunne with a startling precision, and conspicuously excludes his Democratic opponents. And Phil Scott.
As for policy, Dunne is clearly making economic development the centerpiece of his campaign.