Badly drawn boy

The cartoony Cutler
By AL DIAMON  |  July 21, 2010

 I'm not saying this is a reason to vote either for or against independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler, but have you noticed how he bears a distinct resemblance to Fred Flintstone?

And Huckleberry Hound?

And he appears to have his hair done at the same salon as Captain Caveman?

Before we elect this guy to a four-year residency in the Blaine House, it might be worth considering whether Cutler is an actual person or an animated cartoon created by Hanna-Barbera.

Let's consider the evidence.

Cutler isn't funny. But neither were the Funky Phantom or Hong Kong Phooey.

Cutler thinks he's smarter than the average voter. And so does Yogi Bear.

Cutler's solutions to the state's problems seem vague and simplistic. Sort of like the resolution of a typical Scooby-Doo episode.

I have friends who swear that when they encountered Cutler at a cocktail party recently, he was outlined in black and his words all came from a voiceover artist who stood in the background reading from a campaign briefing book.

I have my doubts about that last one, because if Cutler were really being controlled by Secret Squirrel or Atom Ant, he wouldn't have such a difficult time getting his stories straight.

Cutler lives in Cape Elizabeth on an estate that would put Jonny Quest's compound on Palm Key to shame. The town assesses its value at a cool $4 million. But on his Web site, the candidate says his mansion is purely practical. "I built our house to be a place where a large and extended family could gather for generations," he wrote, "and as an investment in Maine."

He must have more relatives than the Smurfs.

Cutler lived in Bangor until his sophomore year in high school, when he left to attend a private academy in Massachusetts. Then, it was on to Harvard, to law school, and to jobs in Washington, New York, and Washington, again. He's repeatedly said he moved back to Maine in 1999 "for good," but he actually spent the period from 2007 to 2009 in Beijing setting up a foreign office for his law firm. During that time, he often referred to himself as "a Washington lawyer."

In other words, he's really lived in Maine about as long as The Snorks TV series lasted, which, for those of you who've somehow forgotten, was barely one season.

In a campaign video, Cutler says, "Every bit of opportunity that I've had in my life is tied to growing up in Bangor." But in a 2002 interview for the Muskie archives at Bates College, he said, "I was itchy to get out of Bangor . . . I was bored, I think."

So, faster than you can say Penelope Pitstop, he became one of the Banana Splits.

Cutler talks a lot about his commitment to giving back to the community. On a campaign video, he says, "Public service was at the core of everything."

Well, almost everything. While it's true he selflessly served (actually, he got paid rather well) for a few years as an aide to US Senator Ed Muskie and in a couple of semi-prominent posts in the disaster that was the Carter administration, he then parlayed the connections he'd made in "public service" into a lucrative career in what he calls "environmental and land use" issues. Which is Washington-lawyer talk for a lucrative law practice advising local governments how to oppose or promote airport expansions, so that in the future, George Jetson will have an appropriate place to land his flying car.

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