Yep, that was Tom Foley, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s biggest Republican headache, on the streets of downtown New Haven Wednesday with a microphone in hand and video camera in tow.
Foley was asking the questions, not answering them.
But he was campaigning, too.
In what may be a first for a local political campaign, the candidate decided to play the role of reporter as he pressed flesh and sought voters’ support.
Foley—a Republican gubernatorial candidate who ran against Malloy in 2010 and is neck-and-neck with him in the polls as he seeks a rematch this year—stopped voter Joan Mazurek outside the state courthouse at Church and Elm streets across from the Green.
Video rolling, he asked her questions reporter-style about jobs and taxes, two issues he’s hoping can propel him to victory this time.
“What about spending,” he asked. “What do you think about spending? What would you do about spending?”
Then he pointed the mic at Mazurek.
“People should be out there earning!” Mazurek told him.
Might politician-reporters become this year’s new campaign tactic?
Foley said the reporter shtick was his idea, a tool to add to the kit as he seeks voters’ views. “Some of this stuff we might throw up on YouTube,” he said.
“Believe me, I’m not very good at it,” he said of his first tour of duty in the politician press corps. “I keep getting the mic wrong,” pointing it away from himself while speaking, and vice versa.
“I’m going to get better. I’ve only been doing it for 15 minutes.”
During his “interview” with Mazurek, Foley occasionally segued from asking questions to offering answers. As in: “You have to spend so much on taxes ...” But he mostly stuck with questions. Such as: “What would you do to bring more jobs to the state?” (“There are jobs,” Mazurek told him.) And: “You’re retired. Do you know anybody here who doesn’t have a job? Who’s looking for one?” Her son’s friends are, she replied. And they’re having trouble.
Mazurek closed the interview with a made-for-pay-TV moment.
“I’m voting for you!” she told reporter Foley.
“Well, you’re an engaged citizen,” he responded. “Thank you very much.”
I as a New Haven Democrat will be looking at all candidates that are running.
He stepped over the line this day.
posted by: Burbel on June 11, 2014 8:21pm
This is phenomenal!
Very, very effective!
Let’s hope Mr. Foley makes this a centerpiece of his campaign!
What a great idea!
This man is a political genius!
posted by: Ron Peterson on June 11, 2014 8:46pm
Really? Your idea?? Palin Smith has been doing this for years.
posted by: Jeff Weiss on June 11, 2014 9:11pm
So, how many people did Foley ask about how they feel about giving up their Second Amendment rights? How many people were asked if they liked the fact their children’s education was being sold out to the corporate testing industry?
Maybe, Tom, in your next 15 minutes of “reporting” you can ask some real questions. Anyone can softball “how do you feel about jobs and taxes?” Heck, a turnip will tell you “jobs good, taxes bad.” Campaigning on rhetoric is not the way to inspire voters.
Please, Tom, inspire me! You’ve dropped $10 million of your hard earned money to buy name recognition. Make your investment pay off. Give me a reason to get out to the polls and vote for you. Show me a real solution for something voters actually give a damn about.
I get the “control the questions / control the conversation” tactic you’re using. But, please, for the love of God, ask some questions that aren’t as dry as crackers. Have a REAL conversation. Take a stand on something more substantial than the latest poll results. It’s OK. People will respect you for it. They may even vote for you.
posted by: alexey on June 12, 2014 6:29am
I would suggest some investments to Mr. Foley: A windscreen for your microphone; a better mic wouldn’t hurt; and a mic flag. It could be emblazoned with the Foley campaign logo, or more cleverly, WGOP.
posted by: TheMadcap on June 12, 2014 10:39am
Foley’s solution’s are the same as every Republican, if you just keep cutting taxes magic will happen(except the EITC, that’s a bad tax cut and needs to shelved ASAP). I mean he harps on Malloy for his terrible budget, but as the CTmirror pointed out, while Malloy’s proposed budget back when he first became governor was predicated on growth numbers as well as contract savings that didn’t come to fruition and were over optimistic to begin with, the amount of growth Foley put out there as expected from tax cuts as well as potential savings were basically fairy dust and Narnia.
posted by: Palin Smith on June 12, 2014 10:48am
I always wondered what happened to William Landers.
posted by: Mike Brown on June 12, 2014 4:27pm
Statistically, Joan Mazurek may be a predisposed to vote for Foley. She is a registered Republican from North Haven.
posted by: Art Vandelay on June 12, 2014 9:44pm
Walking around New Haven Green is NOT campaigning in the urban city. Try walking the streets off Sherman Ave, Whalley Ave, or Dixwell.