Thursday, December 14, 2006

Monday Morning Clacker Wakes Up With a Bad Case of Blogger "Over-Speculatitis", Runs Through Brattleboro Screaming, "Shumlin for Gov in 08!"

With a nod towards Terri Hallenbeck (I've learned that it's very important to cite your sources), I awoke this morning with a raging case of over-speculatitis regarding the 2008 Vermont Governor's race.

Thankfully, my case of over-speculatitis was not so severe as to cloud my good judgement and force me to make completely insane predictions such as Estes 08', or Salmon 08' or even Dunne 08'. I leave crazy talk like that to the less balanced of the Blog World. You know who your are. Take your meds.

My prediction for Governor 08' is Peter Shumlin. As far as I am concerned he has best positioned himself for the Democratic nomination and would be (if Douglas retires after this term) the general election front-runner as well.

Why incoming Vermont Senate Pro Tempore Peter Shumlin you ask? Good question.

First, Senator Shumlin proved to fellow Democrats that he's still got "juice" and can stand the squeeze when he edged out John Campbell for Senate President. If Senator Campbell, who is savvy himself when it comes to legislative knife fighting, has an 80 mph fastball, Shumlin's got a 100 mph fastball.

So, less than 1 month into his new, old job, Senator Shumlin is an official member of the Gang of 3. The other two gang members are, of course, Governor Douglas and Speaker Symington. And, this Gang of 3 will set the entire political agenda for the state of Vermont over the next 2 years.

Oh, so you're a Vermont House/Senate/Mayor/Select Board/Police Chief/Fire Chief/City Councilman/Reporter/Blogger? Nobody cares. Go talk to the Gang of 3.

The Gang of 3 are savvy enough to realize that they must have at least the appearance of hanging together to "get things done at the Capitol" in this new age of bi-partisanship or the voters will hang them separately in 2008.

So Speaker Symington, who holds the "real" power with a veto-proof majority in the House, sat down with our beloved Governor Douglas, who holds the "public opinion" power, after the election and pledged to work together on the issues that Vermonters care about.

(Note to Douglas: Symington likes where she is sitting better than where you are sitting. Its going to be a loooong session for you Governor.)

And the issues that they said Vermonters care about? Primarily property taxes.

But 2 is not 3. Where was Senate President Shumlin on the issue of property tax relief?

"On that issue I'm as lukewarm as a baby's bottle," said Shumlin when attacked for comment by the news media outside of the statehouse.

Just kidding. First, Shumlin is more likely to attack the news media than the other way around. Second, the incoming Senate President did say that property tax relief was important.

But, and this is of paramount importance, before Shumlin is talking property taxes he is talking global warming and how Vermont will do its (small) part to combat carbon emissions.

Shummy is going green. And why shouldn't he? Green is the new red, white and blue.

Look, maybe Shumlin got into global warming because, "I went hunting this year and I should have been wearing my fatigues but instead I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt."

Or, maybe the guy who was a private citizen up until a month ago and is now the 2nd most powerful man in the state, knows what Bill Clinton (who is the greatest politician in the Democratic Party hands down) knows. Going Green in 06' is the perfect issue to take you to the top in 08'.

Moving America away from fossil fuels is good for our environment (Democrats like), it is good for our national security (Republicans like) and it is good for our economy (which everybody likes). Toss in the fact that ending our appetite for fossil fuels will be a major issue in the 08' presidential race and Shumlin's proposed agenda is starting to look mighty savvy.

Is it a slam dunk for Shummy? No way. There are many hurdles (not the least of which is Douglas retiring in 08' because there ain't no one in Vermont who is beating that guy). But, the Senator has shown that he still knows the Potomac two-step. And, if a few things break his way...

Just you watch.