Endorsing Oz Griebel: It makes sense, but is it wise?

I was more than a little surprised that the Courant has endorsed Oz Griebel for governor, though with the current field of candidates, I probably should not have been. He’s the only one with policies that don’t sound like political ads:

—like Ned Lamont is for no Trump, which sounds a little like a bid in bridge, but doesn’t say very much about what he’s actually for—except saving the state. He won’t.

And Bob Stefanowski’s plan to cut taxes is a lot like most people’s plans to lose weight: no specifics—it’ll just happen—while he’s saving the state. It won’t.

So there is something appealing about a candidate beholden to neither political machine, especially when the machine is so rusted and in such disrepair that it needs replacement. But Griebel, though he checks all the progressive boxes including a woman’s right to choose, is still a Republican. Moderate yes, and not tethered to Trump or Graham or McConnell, but this is the wrong election cycle to convince me to vote for any Republican, even at the state level.

Since Trump doesn’t care about Connecticut, electing another Democratic governor won’t send a message to Washington. It’s unlikely the Republican leadership has even a tangential idea of whose running here. But Stefanowski has expressed an affection for Trump (though in truth he has made a clear distinction between the president’s economic principles from his moral lack of same) and has refused to talk about any issues and any strategies. With Bob, things will just fall into place and we won’t have to pay for it. Until you do.

Furthermore, NPR’s Colin McEnroe made an interesting point last week: senators and representatives slowly work their way up the ladder in Congress, gaining more and more traction with time; governors, however, are at full speed from day one. Only Lamont’s running mate, Susan Bysiewicz, actually knows people at the Capitol. Most of Lamont or Stefanowki’s terms will be used up making introductions—Hi, you don’t know me, but I’m the governor.

Of course no candidate has called me yet, breathlessly awaiting my endorsement. Suffice to say this is the wrong year to ask me if I might vote for a Republican—any Republican. Oz Griebel may be a good choice, and he may make a fine governor, but (1) he’s not going to win, and (2) Democrats have always suffered when a third party has drained votes. 

Living in a blue state is one of those few political joys we can still share: I hate to give it up. Now if Oz Griebel wants to pull a last minute JFK and declare Ich bin (ein) Democrat, I might reconsider. In fact, if neither of the other two gets serious in the next seven days, I may bite the bullet anyway and vote for the guy anyway.

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