The city of Bridgeport, Connecticut has nearly 140,000 residents and is considered a major Democratic stronghold - the kind of place where Democrats go in the final days of a tough campaign to turn out the faithful, get lots of really good publicity shots, and use the "momentum" to squeeze out one more victory.
Which explains why Democratic President Barack Obama went there this weekend to help the faltering campaign of Democratic Representative Jim Himes who is fighting for his political life in Connecticut's 4th Congressional District. Based on media reports that between 8,000 and 9,000 people - including anti-AIDS protesters who are angry with Obama - showed up, it didn't work.
Similarly, former Democratic President Bill Clinton went to West Hartford, Connecticut Sunday night. West Hartford with a population of about 64,000, is nestled up against Hartford, with a population of about 123,000, again Democratic strongholds in a mostly non-affiliated (independent) state. Crowd estimates went all the way up to 2,000; hardly enough to support the women's basketball team at the University of Hartford gymnasium where the rally was staged.
UHart is right on the line between the west side of Hartford and West Hartford, two areas where there are tons of really, really RICH Democrats. These are the kind of Democrats who usually make out financially if they can maintain the status quo, so why wouldn't they turn out by the tens of thousands to show support for Dan Malloy, Democratic candidate for governor?
As an aside, virtually all of the media shots of the events I found in state newspapers were close cropped to give the impression of much larger crowds that just weren't there. Shots on Facebook however, taken with a wide-angle lens at a distance revealed just how embarrassingly thin the crowds were. HMMMMMM.
Meanwhile, Vince McMahon, husband of former World Wrestling Entertainment corporation CEO Linda McMahon who now is locked in a tight race for the US Senate with Democrat Richard Blumenthal, held a wrestling-related event in downtown Hartford this weekend with more than 10,000 in attendance. Vince McMahon encouraged the throngs of wrestling fans to vote, but didn't get partisan.
His wife was not there, she was out on the campaign trail working to convince voters to vote for her so she can apply her business acumen in Hartford.
But Joe Visconti was there. Joe, you may remember, ran unsuccessfully two years ago against Connecticut's Democratic 1st District Congressman John Larson, who is very close in line for the job of Speaker of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. But Joe is not a quitter and since Larson's new race started against Republican Ann Brickley, Visconti, who is deeply involved in Tea Party activities, has been campaigning hard for her and other Republican candidates.
Joe, is a trained actor and singer, and also works in the construction trades in commercial building and renovations. He has a long construction trailer that he pulls behind his pickup truck adorned with huge signs supporting the GOP and busting on the Dems. Joe's enthusiasm got him knocked down by one of Larson's thug bodyguards at a debate in New Hartford last week, and Saturday, the Hartford cops ordered him to "Get Out of Town!"
Joe was part of a caravan of Brickley and McMahon supporters - and other GOP candidates as well - that coincided with the WWE event. Most of the following footage is of the fun variety, but around 6 minutes into it ... well, take a look for yourself.
I have a question. Should we rename Hartford? Instead of New England's Rising Star, it can be Connecticut's First City (Police) State. Opinions and other ideas are welcome.
Monday, November 01, 2010