I don’t have any real fondness for Stu Rothenberg. I think he leans very right and tends to favor Conventional Wisdom over actual analysis. But sometimes he does well and this write-up on his interview with Republican Peter Schiff is just devastating. There’s really too much that’s worth noting, but the whole piece stands out as a rebuttal to Schiff’s anti-voting, anti-civics, anti-accountability views on government.
Schiff is the first candidate I’ve ever interviewed who proudly says he can’t recall the last time he voted. “I’ve never seen a real reason to vote,” he says without hesitation, adding that he registered to vote only recently in Connecticut. Apparently, he’s never heard of the concept of civic duty or considered the meaning of 200 years of American history.
Not surprisingly, he is also the first candidate I’ve ever interviewed who brags that he can raise most of his money out of state and can win by bringing supporters from around the country into Connecticut to campaign for him. (That certainly worked for former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in the Iowa Democratic caucuses, didn’t it?)
Finally, Schiff is the only major party hopeful I’ve ever interviewed who said there is no difference — absolutely no difference — between Republicans and Democrats, between President Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Rothenberg just doesn’t buy that Connecticut voters, especially Connecticut Republicans, will find his Ron Paul brand of militant libertarianism appealing. This is a big hurdle for Schiff to overcome, but he will have an army of non-nutmeg Paulites to stand by him and send their donations into Connecticut.
He’s well-dressed and articulate. He’s also adept at talking about the nation’s economic programs, and he has logged a good deal of time on cable’s business programming. But being an entertaining guest on CNBC doesn’t automatically translate to being a serious candidate for the U.S. Senate.
If and when Schiff focuses on what he’d do to get the American economy out of the ditch, he’ll scare the living daylights out of state voters, who are more concerned with their jobs and government services than with Austrian economics. Simply put, a majority of Connecticut Republicans are not ready for the second coming of Ron Paul.
If all of that isn’t hard-hitting enough, Rothenberg’s closing is simply brutal:
For a man who supposedly makes decisions on the basis of data and analysis, Schiff seemed to lack any empirical evidence that he could win a Senate race, let alone a primary. Maybe that’s because he’d really rather appear on the Daily Show or spout off in national publications than do what is necessary to win a Senate seat.
Of course, it’s worth noting that Schiff has been the subject of an online Paulite draft movement and is now promoting that effort (and his new book) in the national and DC press. I haven’t seen or heard a single report of Schiff traveling Connecticut to talk to voters about the issues they care about or how he will serve Connecticut if he has the privilege to be elected to serve in the US Senate.
Rothenberg’s piece is just the latest entry into the quickly-growing queue of reports about Schiff the Non-Voter and how he just isn’t going to be a viable candidate for Connecticut’s Senate seat this cycle.