In Your Heart You Think He’s Right. (But In Your Gut….)
That’s right, your heart, Republicans. You heard Peter Schiff and he said the things you’ve been thinking. He had the most to gain in tonight’s Hartford Courant/Fox CT Republican Senate debate, and he made the most of his opportunity.
The investor and financial analysis was fluid and compelling in his concise answers, pushing every button of free market-loving Republicans. His insights on the economy, the size of the federal government and the danger of soaring deficits to national security will resonate beyond the night’s debate.
Schiff also some truths that will have had Republican heads nodding. There are ways to reduce the cost of health care with less government, not more. He does have a way with an anecdote. You know he’s right when he says that some of the same people who oppose Obama proposals would support them if they had come from George W. Bush.
Schiff provided a stark contrast to former Congressman Rob Simmons’s hymn to bipartisanship when he said he doesn’t want to end gridlock “of it’s the only thing that stands between us and bigger government.” He was warbling a love song into Republican primary ears with that. He moved into the second verse when he pointed out that years of compromises have produced the mess we’re in. He hit his crescendo when he declared, “if you send me to Washington, I promise you one thing, that town will never be the same again.”
If more delegates and primary voters see him, he’ll certainly shake up the Connecticut Republican party, as long as he keeps restraining himself from going into that aria about the government doing so much the constitution doesn’t permit. Don’t get all Ron Paul.
Linda McMahon also had a good night. She was crisp and mostly fluent. Her closing statement allowed McMahon to tell her compelling rags-to-riches story without sounding too contrived. (Oh, how candidates, all of them, torture themselves preparing their closer.) She got off one of the laughs of the evening with her quip that if all else fails, she could put up a ring in the Senate and put her experience to work.
Full marks to McMahon for trilling the dreaded name Ahmadinejad without a stumble. She was also the only one to give full-throated support of our alliance with Israel.
McMahon showed she stand alone and hold her own. It was a good night for her, too.
Simmons provided some glimpses of himself as an establishment politician in an anti-establishment year. He lobbed one at McMahon early on over TARP and she effectively shut him down at the first opportunity. Simmons was confusing on why he doesn’t qualify for veterans medical benefits. No mention that he gets better ones as a gold-plated retiree of the State of Connecticut.
Simmons paled compared to both Schiff and McMahon. He was better than Blumenthal last night. Simmons’s performance tonight will likely add to calls that he consider segueing from the Senate race into the contest for the 2nd district against Democrat Joe Courtney.