Walking on a rainbow

By AL DIAMON  |  July 28, 2010

"I think the voters share our party's vision of hope," Mitchell told the Portland Press Herald in June. "I think the message that Maine is about to fall off the end of the earth is not one that is resonating with Maine people."

It isn't? Then why is LePage leading you by eight points? Why are Democratic legislators defecting to Cutler? Why does your campaign have no traction anywhere outside of your state Senate district in the Augusta area and among the die-hard liberals in Portland (the ones who still can't figure out why same-sex marriage didn't win)?

Maybe it's because Mitchell keeps saying stuff like this comment (from an impromptu speech she gave at the opening of the Democrats' campaign office in Bangor): "I honestly believe that Maine is coming out of this recession much stronger because of the hard decisions and the tough decisions that we had to make."

Most legislative candidates have to interact with normal people every day. They know this rose-colored-glasses vision of the Maine economy is crap. They know their constituents aren't going to buy claims that it's all going to be OK. They know the voters don't want to hear improbable flights of fancy, such as Mitchell's claim on her Web site that, "Together, we have made great strides to modernize our economy."

So, when the message light starts blinking on their phones, Democratic legislators start working on their excuses, most of which are loose translations of something like this:

"I'd like to help you out, Libby, but my instinct for self-preservation just kicked in, and it won't let me."

Pessimistic comments may be e-mailed toaldiamon@herniahill.net.

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