So I guess we’re calling the Republican primary

It’s been obvious from Day One that Bruce Lisman had a mighty tall mountain to climb. He was taking on Phil Scott, the personable Great White Hope of the VTGOP, and he shares roughly the same political space: putatively moderate, business-friendly Republican paying lip service to centrist issues, sharply critical of Governor Shumlin (even though he’s not, ahem, actually running), straight white male.

The question on everyone’s mind but Lisman’s was, more or less, “Why would anyone opt for a pale imitation Phil Scott who’s a Republican-come-lately and a creature of Wall Street?”

Or, ore succinctly, “Who asked for this?”

Still, we make polite noises about the Republican primary campaign because that’s what you do. Lisman has lots of money, after all; and once in a blue moon, Iceland actually beats England.

But the polite fiction is coming to a premature end.

Last week, Rights & Democracy chief James Haslam listed the group’s top priority as endorsing the Democrat best equipped to “beat Phil Scott.”

Not “the Republican nominee,” but Phil Scott.

And now comes a press release from the Matt Dunne campaign, explicitly calling the Republican primary — and tacitly calling the Democratic race.

The right to earn a fair wage, receive health and retirement benefits, and earned sick leave and paid family leave are being undermined by governors and state legislatures. And our opponent Phil Scott is no different. He recently indicated his willingness to undermine workers’ rights to collectively bargain, which will lower wages, decrease or eliminate benefits, and hurt hard-working Vermont families.

Boldface is Dunne’s.

“Our opponent Phil Scott.” Not, “The Republicans.”

I guess he’s abandoned any pretense that someone other than Scott will win the nomination. And when he says “our opponent,” he seems to be presuming a win in the Democratic primary. That feels more like “you and me” than “we Democrats.”

Poor Bruce. Will anyone be taking him seriously by primary day?

I’m looking forward to the July 15 campaign finance reporting deadline, to see exactly how much money Lisman is pouring into a rathole of his own making.


9 thoughts on “So I guess we’re calling the Republican primary

  1. David Ellenbogen

    You’d think that they’d take a page from Bernie’s playbook and never even state their opponent’s name. Sanders would consistently say “my opponent” rather than name whoever it was. Why give your opponent free PR?

  2. Dave G.

    Phil Scott supporters and lemmings have much in common. I do give Lisman points for having some grasp of the issues and the ability to engage in a semi-intelligent debate. These are not Phil’s attributes, but what are? Guy is vapid.

  3. Macy Franklin

    Lisman, life-long Dem and self-diagnosed smartest guy in the room, made a prurient political calculation to run as a R thinking he could take Phil down with a huge bucket off Shummy public shaming a la the prom scene in Carrie. He richly deserves to get his ass handed to him.
    Math isn’t my strong suit but based on R primary turnout, what he will spend, and the paltry vote he will certainly get, he could easily be over $2k per vote – perhaps a national record!
    Fitting comeuppance for Mr. Wall Street.

    1. John S. Walters Post author

      He does look like a late-night pitchman in that shot. “It’s a dessert topping!” “No, it’s a floor wax!”

      “New Shimmer, for the greatest shine you’ve ever tasted!”

  4. newzjunqie

    Really bothers me to see races called by press or opponents. We have rules, what does it hurt to follow them.

    Shummy even said last election when asked a question “Not campaigning until after Labor Day”.

    Although I think it’s likely the R primary decided, unsure about the D/P but suspect it will be Dunne.


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