Skip to comments.(CT Repub Senate Candidate) Simmons' Curious Affinity For Carter (yes, Jimmuh Cahtah)
Posted on 12/21/2009 7:50:09 AM PST by markomalley
You can follow Richard Nixon's prescription on how to win a Republican nomination for high office. You can even heap praise on Jimmy Carter. You cannot, however, do both.
Nixon, the disgraced 37th president, reduced his formula for victory to this: Run to the right to get nominated, then dash to the middle to get elected. Many Republican candidates find it still works.
Former Congressman Rob Simmons, the front-runner in the 2010 contest for the U.S. Senate seat held by beleaguered Democratic incumbent Christopher Dodd, won three terms in the House of Representatives as a moderate Republican. Ambitious Republicans, even in Connecticut, feel ferocious winds blowing from the right. Dodd is trying to run away from his record; Simmons will lose his advantage if he tries the same.
The party faithful of all stripes today have no taste for more government spending or the expansion of programs. This could be trouble for Simmons, who was sliced and diced in a Waterbury Republican-American column by libertarian Republican D. Dowd Muska. He found no signs of fiscal prudence in Simmons' record.
Muska found this chunk of Simmons' governing philosophy: "I go to schools, I go to factories, I deliver checks," he told The Day newspaper of New London in 2004. "I like to go out and deliver the money ... I just find that this becomes second nature to me."
There it is, the unfiltered Simmons quote. It's one of his outbursts of enthusiasm that perplexes supporters.
Consider a 2005 letter Simmons sent to Carter thanking the former president and Annapolis graduate for supporting keeping the New London submarine base open. Simmons tells Carter that he and his wife voted for him in 1976 in the aftermath of Watergate.
By 2005, Simmons and his wife, he tells Carter, having reflected on his life and career, "once again we are impressed with the character, courage and integrity you have shown in the service of our nation."
Two paragraphs later (there are only five in the letter), Simmons repeats his refrain, giving effusive a bad name. "I can only say, Mr. President, that the courage, character and integrity you have shown over the many years of your extraordinary career makes us all proud to have voted for you so many years ago, and makes us proud to be Americans." A crescendo requires the full Simmons: "...with enthusiasm and conviction, 'Jimmy Carter is the best.'"
The best? Jimmy Carter? The former president who cozies up to freedom's enemies? Carter's feckless policies, Simmons' campaign says, drove him to quit the CIA. By the time Simmons wrote the letter, Carter had spent years as an implacable critic of democratic Israel while indulging Middle Eastern dictators.
Carter engaged in a rogue foreign policy in 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait, attempting to sabotage American leadership in its effort to build a coalition to defeat Saddam Hussein. Carter's 1994 mission to North Korea caused one Clinton cabinet member to call the former president a "treasonous prick," according to Douglas Brinkley's "The Unfinished Presidency."
The Simmons campaign, in response to my inquiry, said, "Rob's praise was a specific reaction to his critical assistance with saving the sub base, and in no way, shape or form was an endorsement of any of Jimmy Carter's antics that you have outlined."
There's no indication of that limitation in the letter I read. On the contrary, it's a slobbering encomium to the meddlesome former president, whose "extraordinary career" Simmons embraces.
A 1993 letter from Simmons to Woody Bliss, chairman of Connecticut Republicans for Choice, will raise holiday hackles among pro-life voters. In it, Simmons says the national Republican position on abortion in the 1992 campaign "certainly affected the votes in this household for our presidential candidate." The Simmons campaign says he voted for George H.W. Bush in 1992, but that isn't what the plain reading of the letter suggests.
Questions about the letters roiled the Simmons campaign into firing buckshot at Republican competitor Linda McMahon, who has made hefty contributions to Democrats, declaring she and her husband "have dodged federal authorities and come under congressional investigation" in their wrestling empire.
Simmons reserves the love notes for the Sandinistas' old friend.
Oh Man, Connecticut Republicans have to choose between a Carter admirer and a pro wrestling impresario? Good grief!
FYI...if we let Dodd off the hook, I swear...
*ping of interest*
I wouldn’t call Carter “terrific” even if he personally pulled me out of a burning building. As a way of thanks I wouldn’t spit in his face and kick him in the crotch.
Maybe I will attempt to become a delegate to this 3-ring circus convention.
I am 100% anti-Simmons. UnCommitted.
TeaParty folks, Constitutionalists, and libertarians should be supporting Schiff. I hope Schiff starts talking about “judges” so that his coalition can expand beyond what it is, single digits.