By Paul Choiniere
Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon has been facing a lot of news media criticism in the state for her decision to avoid interviews and stick to her strategy of direct voter contact and a TV commercial blitz to get her message across.
Both The Day and the Hartford Courant have published editorials urging the candidate to be more accessible and suggesting her unwillingness to do so cast doubt on her qualifications. McMahon is facing former Congressman Chris Shays in the Aug. 14 Republican primary. The Republican nominee will face the winner of the Democratic primary that same day between U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy and former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz. The other three candidates in the Senate race have been doing interviews and sitting down for newspaper editorial board meetings.
In his Sunday column in the Courant, Colin McEnroe had some fun describing McMahon's feud with my counterpart at the Norwich Bulletin, Ray Hackett. Hackett has written about the McMahon editorial board boycott both in his column and blog. In an email blast to supporters, McMahon explained why she was not meeting with editorial writers generally and Hackett in particular.
McEnroe noted that McMahon has so far even stayed away from WNPR radio's John Dankosky. Interviews with Dankosky, he notes, are almost automatic for Connecticut politicians.
But the McMahon campaign shows no sign of budging. Confident she is well ahead of Shays, McMahon apparently sees no upside in changing her strategy. It could be difficult, however, for McMahon to maintain the media blackout through the general election, with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee showing signs they are prepared to make it an issue.