Heard from one of my far-flung correspondents:
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce’s Business and Industry Expo took place Wednesday and Thursday. Making the rounds was one Scott Milne, majordomo of Milne Travel and the Vermont Republicans’ last hope for a credible gubernatorial candidate.
Mr. All Directions was working the floor: meeting, greeting, chatting up and gladhanding the assembled high and mighty. Which, in itself, wouldn’t be that unusual; he might simply be soliciting business for his agency. However…
Milne was accompanied by a guy with a professional-quality video camera, recording Scotty’s every move. And I can think of only one explanation for that: he’s gathering footage for future campaign commercials.
If, of course, he actually becomes a candidate. He is still publicly insisting he has not made a decision, and won’t reveal his intentions until June 12, the filing deadline. His uncampaign operation will gather petition signatures in the meantime, just in case he hears the clarion call of his fellow Vermonters to lead them out of the wilderness.
The slogans almost write themselves: Let Milne Be Your Guide To a Prosperous Future. Scott Milne: He Knows the Way To Go. Milne: Charting a Path to Vermont’s Tomorrow.
In other news, Vermont’s Pundit Emeritus is raising the white flag on the VTGOP’s behalf.
Eric Davis, the go-to guy for all things politics*, made a brief appearance on VPR’s Vermont Edition today. I haven’t heard it yet, but I gather that Davis had some free advice for Vermont Republicans: forget about statewide races entirely, and concentrate on a relative handful of possibly winnable House and Senate races.
*His lofty position appears unchallenged since most of our media outlets finally concluded it was too embarrassing to keep hiring Chris Graff, due to his obvious conflict of interest as well-compensated chief spokesflack for one of our leading employers, National Life.
Setting the bar painfully low, methinks. But the VTGOP might be reduced to that strategery by all the empty slots that may well appear on its ticket. One well-connected source confirms my previous speculation that the VTGOP has yet to identify any candidates for Secretary of State, Auditor, Attorney General, or Treasurer. (Obvious hint to political troublemakers of the Emily Peyton mode: quietly gather petition signatures and grab a Republican ballot spot. Paging Annette Smith… Annette Smith, please pick up the wind-powered courtesy phone…)
The pain of such a failure would be mitigated if Milne can be cajoled into staffing the top of the ballot and taking one for the team. Still, if more than half its statewide slots are empty (or filled by opportunists… too bad Karen Kerin’s dead), it’ll be a truly embarrassing day for the party that ruled Vermont for more than a century.
One good thing: It’ll give the Progs a whole lot of chances to renew their automatic ballot status. Maybe even get some high visibility and OJT for a new generation of Progressives. Hell, somebody’s got to keep the Dems honest.