Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Back from Washington....

A few thoughts that gathered during my visit to Washington this past week to help my daughter make the move to college....

I find it interesting that the three top Democratic candidates in the presidential race want to make "experience" a major issue in the campaign. NY Sen. Hillary Clinton, the leader of the pack, has served only one full term in the U.S. Senate - and I'd be hard pressed to name any one specific piece of legislation she authored that had a significant impact on people's lives. She does have White House experience from her eight years as First Lady, something the other candidates don't have. Yet, her major claim in that endeavor was her leading the effort for universal health care more than a decade ago that failed...and failed big time.

As for the other two top tier candidates - Illinois Sen. Barrack Obama and former N.C. Sen. John Edwards...their "experience" is even more limited. Edwards served only one term in the Senate and Obama is just barely half-way through his first term on the national stage. Again...I can't think of a single piece of legislation that is tied directly to them.

I find it interesting also because if "experience" is going to be the issue going into the opening rounds of Iowa, New Hampshire and the like, the three second tier candidates have the upper hand. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Del. Sen. Joe Biden and CT Sen. Chris Dodd not only have some experience to talk about, but proven records of success.

Another note...a bit more local:

There's been a lot of talk about returning toll booths to Connecticut's major highways. Much of that talk has centered on the amount of revenue states around us are scooping in from the booths. Well...I think we need to take a closer look at what that means for motorists - our own and those who might travel through the state. They can cause some pretty significant gridlock.

The trip down to Washington, normally a six hour drive, took more than nine and half hours as we crawled through the Garden State Parkway, NJ Turnpike and across the very small state of Delaware who hits you twice with tolls. Bringing back tolls might increase the state's treasury, but it's not going to make traveling I-95 any easier.


Blogger Middle Aged Lunatic said...

Maybe road travel shouldn't be easier. If we're serious about global warming we should be encouraging the growth of reliable public transportation, an expensive proposition. Perhaps the tolls could be a step toward achieving that goal.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Ray Hackett said...

I would agree with you that perhaps the revenue collected from tolls could be put to good use...but from an environmental standpoint, and what I saw during that trip to Washington, was a lot of cars idling while we crawled to the toll booths. That, I would think, isn't helthy for either the environment or the people stuck in the gridlock.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Bill Jenkins said...

Putting the tolls back on route 95 is one of the stupidest ideas I've ever heard.

We will lose federal highway monies if we build toll plazas and for you environmentally-minded souls, it will INCREASE pollution from vehicles having to start and stop at the tolls. Toll plazas are dangerous and if they are put back, more people will die from accidents caused by the existence of these.

Connecticut doesn't have the population density to even consider "reliable public transportation" so that's not a concept worth discussing.

10:16 AM  
Blogger mccommas said...

Voters instinctively know that senators are strictly followers and not leaders.

Dodd has not had to deal with real problems his whole adult life. Any one of the 50 governors has far more experience with fixing problems and getting results than he. Even the first termers.

Hillary as a former co-president mops the floor with her competition. She will be the nominee and she will in turn get her clock cleaned by Republican Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani was mayor of New York City which in a lot of ways is our 51st state. He has a proven record of success there that will serve him well in his presidency.

10:03 AM  

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