I Would Cheat On Foley With McKinney

A political column is probably the wrong place for this, but: Tom Foley, will you marry me?

I ask because I've been watching and re-watching Foley's new commercial, which is not so much about his race for governor as about what a good husband he'd make.

The commercial begins with his wife, Leslie, confessing her undying love and unquenchable passion for this man. "I've never met a more thoughtful, effective person than Tom Foley." OK, maybe that is not so romantic, but then she says, "Tom's incredibly smart. He can fix anything."

Like my dishwasher? That's the kind of husband I'm looking for.

We see him, in a Harley T-shirt, fixing the car with his son from his first marriage. We see him tumbling with his young twins by Leslie. Near the end, we see him, in a lavender Oxford button-down shirt and matching lavender V-neck sweater with mushroom piping, and Leslie, who is also dressed in a feminine manner, but not quite so much. They are standing in front of a steroidal rhododendron formation.

I am indebted to my WNPR colleagues for pointing out that one of the things he says in front of that bush is "Nobody should be doing better than right here in Connecticut." The grammatical asymmetry of that statement has a Stephen Colbert-like ring. One of Colbert's books was called "I Am America (And So Can You)."

There's also something a tiny bit spiteful about that sentence. Don't we just want to do well? Is it really important that nobody else be doing better?

"Nobody should be doing better than right here in Connecticut" may not be the best slogan ever, but it certainly beats some of the others that were considered and rejected such as "It's morning in tenacious from our wilderness" and "Transparent the hope for a fearless community."

The anthropologist Helen Fisher once told me that women are wired — in a manner dating back to the early hominids on the grasslands of Africa — to respond to a male with a hard exterior and a soft creamy center. The sweet spot, she said, is that perfect mix of hardened aggression (linked to the acquisition of food and other resources) and compassion (linked to the sharing of said resources with mate and offspring).

In his last public poll, Foley did a lot better with men than with women. So this commercial is an undisguised attempt to address that gap, although it could have done with a dollop less lavender and a soupcon more of gazelle haunch.

Also in the works is a commercial for John McKinney and running mate David Walker. McKinney is Foley's opponent in the Aug. 12 Republican primary. I really like McKinney — enough so that I was prepared to cheat on Tom Foley and wreck our nascent marriage.

Last week I quietly and seriously investigated the idea of changing my party affiliation from Democrat to Republican so I could vote for McKinney — not to monkey wrench the primary but because I genuinely think he's a good guy with good ideas who deserves to be heard. I also figured that, while I was Republican, I could take some time to enjoy things like "Duck Dynasty" and Kid Rock before I switched back.

It doesn't work that way. Connecticut has a 90-day cooling-off period from the time you try to change party affiliation. It's like going in swimming after you eat, apparently. You could get cramps if you don't wait just a spell.

Fortunately, McKinney does not have to obsess about the women's vote, because he is more occupied with his bad case of Richard Gephardt Syndrome. You may remember (but you probably don't) that after serving in Congress for 12 years, Gephardt ran for president in 1988, and it turned out nobody had heard of him. This inspired him to become majority leader and other important things in Congress for 16 more years, until he ran again in 2004. And guess what?

McKinney has been a state senator for 16 years and minority leader for seven. Voters know way more about World Cup soccer than they do about him. I believe this can change. I believe that nobody should be doing better than right here in McKinneyland.

Colin McEnroe appears from 1 to 2 p.m. weekdays on WNPR-FM (90.5) and blogs at http://courantblogs.com/colin-mcenroe/. He can be reached at Colin@wnpr.org.

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