He trashed his way out of Vermont, now he’s done the same in Connecticut

Corry Bliss, the master strategerist who cratered Brian Dubie’s bid for Governor in 2010, just did the same for Linda McMahon’s US Senate bid in Connecticut. Except that while Dubie lost a close race, by less than two percentage points, Bliss spent $100 million of McMahon’s fortune and led her to a 60% to 39% defeat.

And his expert leadership has drawn a sharp rebuke from Congressman Chris Shays, who lost the Republican primary to McMahon’s millions:

“The people advising her were thrilled to take her money, but they knew this was a long shot,” Shays said. “Corry Bliss, who ran her campaign, basically left Vermont in shambles, and he’s leaving Connecticut in shambles. But he’s got more money. He made more money.”

I’d chalk that up as a loser’s sour grapes, except that I recently read identical sentiments from someone right here in Vermont, who witnessed the Bliss/Dubie disaster up close.

“Corry Bliss took a candidate that was up 20 points and turned him into a loser by election day,” said Bradford Broyles, a Republican activist from Mendon, a town in the central part of the state, near Killington. “We’re still repairing the damage to the Republican party…If Corey Bliss runs [McMahon’s campaign] like he did up here, hold on to your seats.”

Yes, the same Bradford Broyles who just pulled a Bliss by piloting Wendy Wilton’s campaign into the nearest ridgeline. I guess he should know from turning winners into losers and damaging the Republican Party.  

Corry responded to Congressman Shays’ kiss-off with all the grace and restraint you’d expect from a disgraced Republican attack dog:

“Congressman Shays is a classless, bitter sore loser who should do the people of Connecticut a favor and keep his mouth shut and move back to Maryland,” Bliss said in an interview. “However, I would like to offer a portion of my salary to be used to pay for the psychiatric care that Congressman Shays desperately needs.”

I guess he should know from classless, bitter sore losers who should keep their mouths shut.

Anyway, given the track record of the Republican Party, I fully expect a bright future for Mr. Bliss. He’s spent his entire career failing upward. He graduated from law school in 2006. In 2008, he managed the losing re-election campaign of a Virginia congresswoman. Then he came up to Vermont and doomed Dubie. His reward: a bigger campaign in a bigger state with a $100 million budget. And a salary of $15,000 a month. Makes Darcie Johnston look cheap, no?

With that track record, I’m sure he will latch on, lamprey-like, to an even bigger campaign in 2014. Republicans are funny that way; they talk about the free market, but they reward failure among the ideologically correct. Just look at Ralph Reed, whose resume is a laundry list of failure and scandal, and yet he’s still a power player in conservative circles.

So weep no tears for Corry Bliss. He’ll find another Republican idiot he can fleece.  

5 thoughts on “He trashed his way out of Vermont, now he’s done the same in Connecticut

  1. I still believe that Brian Dubie could have won in 2010 had he not squandered his “good guy” image.  Yet, he must accept ultimate responsibility for buying into Corey Brown’s tactics.  Ironically, that is not something a good guy should naturally do.

    Don’t forget another one of the grim reapers of Vermont politics: Namely, Jim Barnett, who had been one of Jim Douglas’ attack dogs up here.  Barnett, too, went south and managed (mangled?) Scott Brown’s unsuccessful reelection campaign in Massachusetts.  Here is a take on Barnett’s role there — http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

  2. Sure, these guys are low value for the money. But don’t put it entirely at their feet Look at what they had to work with.

    Unpopular, unworkable policy ideas

    Fading bigotry

    Progressive demographic shift

    Unappealing candidates

    Locally and nationally people are starting to get an inkling that beating themselves vigorously on the head with the corporate-friendly, supply-side sledgehammer is both painful and a long term health risk. It’s gotten bad enough and obvious enough that even billions of dollars of advertising isn’t quite making the case.

    Witness Michelle Bachmann. She barely held on against a Democratic challenger even though she outspent him 12:1.

    Karl Rove was a “genius” as long as he was promoting a reasonably talented liar who could project folksiness to the southern rural conservative tribe. It still took a political Supreme Court to give him a “win.” With an artless, obvious plutocrat like Romney he was out of luck. So too with the wingnut shambles that came out of the Tea Party takeover.

    As Alec Baldwin said, “You know your party is in trouble when someone asks if the ‘rape guy’ won and you have to ask ‘Which one?'”

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