I barely know Dan Malloy or John DeStefano,the Democrats who hope to be governor, but I know them each enough to recognize they’d each be a vast improvement over our current grandmotherly, do-nothing Gov. Jodi Rell.
DeStefano seems the scrappier, dirtier, do-whatever-it-takes guy in the Democratic contest, which might give him the advantage for the August 8 primary. Malloy seems more like Dick Blumenthal, smoother and more polished, probably the one closer to the ideal governor but perhaps less likely to win over Rell.
Scott Slifka, our young mayor, has tied his political fortunes to DeStefano. That strikes me as a good bet for a rising politician. Nobody’s going to hold it against Slifka if the ticket loses, but he gains stature and recognition just for being there. I’m sure he’s not going to be one of those mad dog campaigners in the second slot. In fact, he’ll probably follow Rell’s lead during her years as disgraced ex-Gov. Rowland’s lieutenant and just go around where he can saying nice things about good programs and people, winning hearts without losing any votes.
Does West Hartford gain anything? If Rell wins, we’ll probably be fine — as long as Slifka isn’t too harsh during the race. And if DeStefano wins, we’ll be sitting pretty.
In any case, there’s not much doubt that West Hartford as a whole gains substantially if the Democrats win the governor’s race because this is a Democratic city that has lots of voters, lots of money and lots of insiders who are right there when the decisions get made in Hartford.
We have nothing to gain from re-electing Rell, who might be okay for Connecticut but doesn’t do anything special for West Hartford. Malloy and DeStefano are much more apt to help us with property tax relief, more school aid and more pork barrel spending that helps our community get new stuff that we can use, even if we don’t need it in the strictest sense of the word.
And if DeStefano wins, there’s always a chance that Slifka will become governor someday. That would be cool.