With popular Attorney General Richard Blumenthal out of the governor's race, Democrats are turning their attention to two big-city mayors who want the job.Chris Cillizza has some commentary on this matter and believes that Blumenthal is an example of the "Hamlet effect."
Many of the party faithful were waiting to throw their support to Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy or New Haven Mayor John DeStefano until Blumenthal announced his plans. He said Tuesday he will seek a fifth term as attorney general rather than running for governor in 2006.
"This crystallizes the race," Malloy said. "I think Dick is held in such great regard throughout the state he certainly would have been the nominee out of the convention."
Democratic Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said the indecision surrounding Blumenthal's candidacy was one of several reasons she withdrew from the governor's race a month ago.
She said many Democrats were waiting to see how the political landscape would shake out before committing to a particular candidate.
"There was certainly an element in the Democratic Party waiting for a statement from Richard about his plans," she said.
Blumenthal has been floated as a possible Democratic gubernatorial candidate for years. He made what he called a difficult decision to stick with the attorney general's office during his five-mile run in the pre-dawn hours Tuesday.
"I love this job," Blumenthal said. "It affords endless challenges and opportunities to help people.
"This job is also right for my family," he said. "My children are still at ages where they are counting on me to be there. I have always put family first, and I have decided to do it again now."
Blumenthal has four children, ages 11, 13, 16 and 19.
Blumenthal is a perfect example of a political Hamlet. After roughly a year of playing the "wait and see" game, he bowed out of a run for governor today and will instead run for a fifth term as the state's top cop. This repeats a familiar cycle for Blumenthal, who passed on gubernatorial bids in 1994 and 1998. In 2000, he was mentioned as the most likely Democratic candidate for the Senate if Sen. Joseph Lieberman decided not to seek reelection while he simultaneously ran for vice president on Al Gore's ticket. Lieberman ran for both offices, though, and Blumenthal saw another window close.Maybe 2010 will see him run?