There are awards for everything. The Country Music Awards. The Tony Awards. The Darwin Awards. The People's Choice Awards. The Hasty Pudding Awards. The Best Awards Awards. So tonight I present the Midterm Madness and Mayhem Awards. For the most part, these awards are just for candidates in the great Nutmeg state cause that is what I know best. But I'm sure you've got your own award winners right where you live.
Our first award tonight is The Most Over-Used Euphemism Award. And it goes to Joe Lieberman. He has told us over and over and over and over just how he can 'reach across the aisle' to get things done. That is his way of saying, if George Bush wants it done, I'm abandoning my party and voting Republican.
Next up, The Biggest Waste of Experience Award is awarded to Rob Simmons. Mr. Simmons has stressed his years of military and intelligence experience. And yet, he never seemed to use that when making decisions. He was bamboozled by the WMD argument. He supported the rush to war. He sees no way out of the war. So apparently his years of experience mean nothing.
The 'Nothing More Than Feelings' Award goes to our highest ranking politician in the state, Governor M. Jodi Rell. In her short term as governor, both good and bad things have happened. Ethics violations in government - including her former boss being sent to prison. Men being put to death in the death chamber. Child abuse. High gas prices. And the list goes on. And on every occasion, Governor Rell simply seemed incapable of taking decisive action, taking a stand, or setting progressive policy. But she never hesitates to tell us how she feels. She feels badly/ashamed/proud/angry/sad/etc. She always has feelings. But never really any ideas.
The Total Truth In Advertising Award is presented to Alan Schlesinger, Republican candidate for US Senate. His TV commercials have been perfectly true and accurate. What's the catch? He has NO advertising. He has NO money. His own party nominated him and then abandoned him to support Joe Lieberman's independent bid for Senate.
Susan Bysiewicz, State Treasurer, wins The Exploited Children Award. Her commercials start with her kids, focus on her kids, and end with her kids. "Our mom...." That's cool. She has handsome kids. But what does that have to do with being Treasurer??
One of our double award winners, Joe Lieberman, picks up The Slushie Award. He has a remarkable amount of petty cash funds that he can't account for. Well over $300,000. If you aren't sure how that stacks up to other candidates, check out this chart at Connecticut Blog.
The Sleaziest Politician Award is given to Nancy Johnson. In this category, there weren't even any other nominees. Her commercials have been vile and untrue. In some cases, they were so ridiculously bizarre and untrue as to be laughable. In other cases, they were so mean-spirited that it was uncomfortable to watch. The result, for the first time, in the last poll, she has fallen behind! Whether it is a response to the polling or just a calculated move to end on a positive note, suddenly all her commercials are quaint and upbeat and never mention her opponent. I truly hope the voters aren't fooled by this 'Grandma Goes To Washington' pitch at the final hour.
The Man On The Corner Award goes to Bill Aman. He is our local representative to the state legislature. And he stands on street corners waving at passing cars more than any politician in history! And he has become such a fixture on the corner that his campaign posters are now life-size cardboard cutouts of Bill waving at cars. So now he can be on lots of corners all the time! (Wonder if he supports cloning?)
The See No Evil Award goes to our other two-time winner, Governor Rell. While she was Lieutenant Governor, our Governor engaged in enough ethics violations - stealing money, misappropriations of funds, rigged bids for state contracts, etc - that he ended up in prison. Somehow, in all those years, Jodi never saw a thing. She never grew suspicious. She had no clue. She was obviously so uninvolved in goverment that she had no idea what was going on around her. Oh, but when it finally became too obvious and too publicized to ignore, she felt really badly about it all.
This final award does extend beyond state lines. The 'I Can't Believe Anyone Thinks This Way' Award goes to every politician at the national level who voted to support Bush's torture legislation but opposes gay marriage. I don't care how you look at it, I just can't understand how any list of human behaviors would rank torture as a more favorable thing than a loving marriage. And yet, we have a lot of senators who would rather torture someone than let them get married.
Congratulations to all our winners.