From a 'little birdie' in e-mail : )
Dick BlumenthalUPDATE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/12/samuel-l-jackson-obama-vote-black_n_1271797.html
STAMFORD -- For the second time in less than a year,
President Barack Obama will visit Stamford Thursday afternoon in an effort to keep a Connecticut Democrat in the Senate.
The president will appear on behalf of U.S. Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal, whose lead over Republican candidate Linda McMahon has dwindled to only six points in a recent poll. The $1,000-per-ticket fundraiser dinner (the party of the poor?) will be held at the Marriott Hotel on Tresser Boulevard.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dannel Malloy, Stamford's mayor during Obama's last visit to the city in October 2009, said he plans to attend.
"I've met the president on many occasions," Malloy said. "I look forward to having him in the state of Connecticut. Obviously, he's supportive of Dick Blumenthal's campaign and I want to be supportive as well."
Obama's last trip to Stamford was to speak at a fundraiser for Sen. Chris Dodd at the First Stamford Hotel. Dodd has since decided not to run for re-election after being sharply criticized for his handling of the AIG bailout and undergoing a yearlong investigation, in which he was ultimately cleared, for his dealings with subprime lender Countrywide Financial. Obama will now campaign for Blumenthal, the state's attorney general, to replace Dodd.
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said he has to vote on Capitol Hill Thursday and will be unable to attend the fundraiser. He said he is happy the president will be visiting the 4th Congressional District, however.
"I am always pleased when a president of either party comes to Fairfield County to look around at the challenges we face and the things we need to do about traffic and housing," Himes said. "I am happy the president is coming by."
Republican Mayor Michael Pavia may not be campaigning for Democrats, but he is still looking forward to getting some face time in with the president.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing," he said.
On Wednesday, Pavia said he plans to meet with the president prior to the 5 p.m. fundraiser.
Preparations are under way for Obama's visit to the Marriott, said hotel General Manager Joe Kelly. About 500 people are expected to attend the sit-down dinner, which will feature a chicken dish.
"Everybody is very excited," Kelly said. "To my knowledge, it's the third president that's visited the Marriott."
Former President Bill Clinton stopped by in 1995 and Ronald Reagan also visited the hotel in the 1980s, Kelly said.
Ellen Camhi, chairwoman of the Democratic City Committee, said she is very excited for Thursday's fundraiser. Camhi received a complimentary ticket from the Blumenthal campaign for the event.
"I'm very thrilled," said Camhi, who attended last year's fundraiser for Dodd. "I know there will be a lot of people there, but I just love to be in the same room as Barack Obama."
Camhi won't be the only repeat attendee Thursday. The Connecticut Tea Party Patriots, who protested outside the October 2009 fundraiser with signs reading "Dump Dodd," plan to again voice their disapproval of Obama and the Democratic Party Thursday afternoon.
"We just want to let the contributors to Blumenthal's campaign and the president and the people in general know that we are still here, that we are not going away," said tea party activist Tanya Bachand. "We don't care for the big-government spending that has been going on. We will continue to try to weaken Blumenthal as a candidate by letting the public know that yes, in fact, there are people who object to this big government agenda."
The Stamford Police Department has assigned a section of the Tresser Boulevard sidewalk across from the Marriott for the Tea Party's demonstration, said Monique Thomas, coordinator for the Greenwich-Stamford Connecticut Tea Party Patriots. Thomas, who said she will be waving her "Linda McMahon for U.S. Senate" poster at the rally, appeared in a video invitation posted on YouTube for the tea party demonstration, which has been dubbed "No Blumen Way."
Camhi said the protesters' plans are "no big deal." She said she does not believe that the president's recent decline in opinion polls will negatively affect the campaigns of any Democrats running for election in Connecticut.
"I think the public is smart enough to know these are very difficult times and he is working very hard," Camhi said. "I don't think anyone expects these problems to resolve overnight."
Blumenthal was on the campaign trail Wednesday and unable to comment. His campaign manager, Mindy Myers, provided a statement via e-mail.
"Dick looks forward to welcoming the president of the United States to Connecticut," Myers said. "It's a
honor to have the president's support, and his visit will help make a difference for our campaign by energizing our supporters and helping raise the resources we will need against our opponent, who is spending an unprecedented $50 million on her campaign."
Parish Braden, a Republican National Committee spokesman, said Connecticut families need a candidate who will stand up to the president's failed economic policies.
"Richard Blumenthal can look to Washington to save his sputtering campaign, but the president's visit will only remind voters that Blumenthal is in lock step with the Democrats' tax and spend agenda that has yet to bring economic recovery to Connecticut," he said. "It's clear that sending Blumenthal to Washington will only make matters worse for the 91 percent of Connecticut voters worried about the direction of the economy."
The president will attend a second dinner fundraiser, which costs $30,000 a ticket, at a private estate in Greenwich following the Stamford event.