Daily Archives: June 7, 2021

The Gray Eminence

Lt. Gov. Molly Gray is, as far as I can tell, an unprecedented phenomenon in Vermont politics. (Someone with longer tenure than I may recall a comp.) In a state where “Wait Your Turn” is the norm, she entered the arena at the age of 36, ran for a statewide office, defeated a strong field in the Democratic primary, and defeated Republican Scott Milne by a comfortable margin in the general election. Considering the dominance of Democratic men in higher offices, her gender makes the accomplishment even more impressive.

Somehow, I don’t think we’ve fully appreciated how rare and special this was. In February 2020, as she was preparing to launch her campaign, she was an almost complete unknown. (Well, she was an assistant attorney general, but there are dozens of those.) Nobody in the Statehouse had a clue, nor did they take her seriously at first. The betting favorite, and it wasn’t close, was then-Senate president pro tem Tim Ashe.

Once in the race, Gray ran a nearly flawless campaign despite having no experience in electoral politics. That’s immensely difficult to do.

But Gray has often received more criticism than credit. (Yes, including from me.) There are good reasons for some of that; but much of it has to do with two things about Gray that are rare in our politics: Her age and her gender. And that’s troubling.

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A Retraction

Sharp-eyed readers with too much time on their hands may have noticed that one of my posts from last week is no longer there. This is because, for the first time in my years-long blogging “career,” I’ve taken down something I posted.

I’ve made corrections whenever warranted. But this time, my mistake undermined the point I was trying to make and it can’t be fixed through a simple correction.

The post was about the new owner of the Vermont Lake Monsters, who heads up RockFence Capital, an investment fund that loans money to minor-league baseball players. If the player doesn’t reach the majors, he gets to keep the money. If he does make the big time, he has to repay the money with interest.

But I centered the post on Ozzie Albies, second baseman for the Atlanta Braves. And I’ve learned that Albies is not, and has never been, a client of RockFence. Other players in similar circumstances are RockFence clients, but not Albies.

In my judgment, the post is flawed beyond salvage. So I’ve taken it down, with apologies to RockFence.