Shumlin arrives at the party early and empty handed.

It’s rather fun to speculate on Governor Shumlin’s reason for blurting out his endorsement of Hilary Clinton on the same day as Bernie’s announcement of his own candidacy.

Since GMD is a blog, and an irreverent one at that, we can indulge in such things while the conventional news must remain somewhat more cautious.

The governor is, of course, free to endorse whomever he wants, whenever he wants, but Vermonters can be excused for fountaining rootbeer out of their noses when he does it at such a conspicuously inappropriate moment.

No one can accuse the governor of being politically naive, so we have to conclude that there was method to this madness; especially so since he more or less implied, in the same week, that he himself intends to run again in 2016.

Soooo…what can this all mean?

We might assume that it was just Shumlin’s way of sucking up to the divine Ms. C. so that he might later bask in reflected glory, quid-pro-quo, when his own 2016 campaign is likely, for the first time, to meet considerable push-back from the left.

But why the rush to endorse; particularly, on that day when progressive minded Vermonters were poised to feel good about an historic moment?

Did the Clinton camp specifically request this early token of loyalty?

Was the strategy to create a structural weakness in Sander’s home state support base?

Possibly; but that would suggest that someone has not done much market research in Vermont, where Bernie’s popularity ratings remain high while Shumlin’s have been circling the bowl practically ever since the last election.

Shumlin’s endorsement of Clinton is so much in character with his whitebread expectations that it was hardly worth mentioning, let alone provoking more alienation from the left.

Among governors, only that of Clinton’s adopted home state, New York’s Andrew Cuomo, has made the early leap to endorse her.

Perhaps Shumlin is only running again in 2016 because he is counting on the inevitable groundswell of Democratic support for whomever heads the national ticket to inoculate his tandem run on the homefront against genuinely progressive “spoilers.”  

The conservative money is on Clinton, so that is where Shumlin invests his hopes.

He probably realizes that this immunizing fairy dust of association will only be available to him one more time before even Democratic Vermonters are really unwilling to take him back on any terms.  By then, he probably hopes that getting an early leg-up on the Clinton train will carry him to new fields of opportunity in DC.

Tacky but true?

About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

5 thoughts on “Shumlin arrives at the party early and empty handed.

  1. Par for the course with this Governor.  Of course it’s a calculated move, Peter doesn’t know how to NOT be politicking.  

    My hope is that he takes an Ambassadorship a la Skip Vallee and leaves us alone!  

    I don’t see him stepping aside for a better candidate in 2016, and expecting the vtdems to put up with a primary contested vote is asking too much for our loyal party system (in Chicago I think it’s referred to as the “Machine”).

  2. I don’t see any big downside for Shumlin on this. He’s already on the progressive’s (any others)”s” lists.  And it probably doesn’t hurt to take the news chatter away from his performance in the now ending legislative session.

    So why not endorse HRC.

  3. but he’s such a wheel in the Democratic party that I am sure endorsing the party favorite early on goes with the territory.

    I’m very pleased that Peter Welch has resisted the race to endorse Clinton in these early days.

    ‘Shows a little independence and spunk.  Of course his star is ascendant in any case.

  4. so why not be the first to suck up to the next nominee.   Going to look nasty if she takes a serious stumble in the near future, and I suspect that Bernie will not hold back in the Feet to the Fire arena.

    I certainly hope Shumlin learns fast that the last election was a real bellwether for his next attempt.  MY bet would certainly NOT be on him doing well in a primary or a general if a real candidate were available.  If Randy had had a set he would be Governor now.

    90% of success is showing up, and Brock didn’t….  unfortunately the other 10% is cutting the legs out from under Shumlin–showing up and screwing up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *