Dr. Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the Rothenberg Political Report, will be speaking in the Dodd Center at UConn on Tuesday, March 29 at 4 pm. Rothenberg received his PhD from the University of Connecticut. We spoke with him about Washington politics to get a taste of his upcoming talk, “Oh no! It’s Only 20 Months til Election Day!”
Q. Is there a middle ground on the federal budget? (or: Is it courageous or foolish for a politician to try to tackle federal entitlement programs?)
A. Is there a middle ground between Yankees fans and Red Sox fans? Voters make it very difficult to be brave when tackling entitlements. But the GOP freshmen are an interesting lot. They don’t yet entirely understand what they can’t do – which is both admirable and really scary.
Q. Any tactical advice for President Obama’s staff?
A. Sure. Keep your head down and hope that the Republicans keep shooting at each other. Try as hard as you can to make the next few months about the Republicans and pray that international events don’t short-circuit the economic recovery. It’s still about jobs, as far as President Obama’s re-election prospects stand.
Q. Are you surprised at all that Connecticut stayed so blue in the 2010 election?
A. Linda McMahon would have defeated Chris Dodd. Republicans expected Foley to win the governorship. I thought the race in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District would be closer than it was. The results throughout New England (except New Hampshire, of course) show how difficult the region has become for the GOP. Any future Republican victories in the state should be treated as surprising.
For more information about the event on March 29, please contact jeremy.pressman at uconn.edu. The event is free and open to the public. Rothenberg’s talk will be followed by Q & A and a reception.