by Peter Freyne
Recognize that face?
Of course you do!
It's the face of the Democrat who lost the 2006 lieutenant governor's race to Republican incumbent Brian Dubie (51-45). The face of a man who was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives at the age of 22 - fresh out of college - just like incumbent Gov. Jim Douglas was!
Matt Dunne lives today on the family farm he grew up on in Hartland with his lovely wife and young son.
Matt had a chat with yours truly over coffee at Speeder & Earl's on Pine Street early Wednesday - (He'd stayed overnight at the Sheraton and was 10 minutes late - surprised, was he, by the rush-hour traffic jam that's become common in Vermont's largest city.)
Dunne is currently making a buck as a "strategic planner/consultant," and his clients include Google and groSolar.
Is he thinking about stepping up to challenge Gov. Scissorhands and running for governor in 2008? The Dems, after all, are lacking at the moment candidate-wise since none of the likely choices such as a Sen. Peter Shumlin, think GOP Jimmy Boy is beatable. At least, not in 2008.
"Way too early to be thinking about that election cycle," said Dunne.
After seven years in the Vermont House in the 1990s, then being tapped by President Bill Clinton to head Americorps/Vista - and being reappointed by George W. Bush, Young Dunne returned to his home state to settle down and win a seat in the Vermont Senate.
Dunne told us he's developed "a whole new appreciation for the power of the governor's bully pulpit and an understanding of why some issues that feel critically important inside the Statehouse do not resonate outside the Statehouse walls."
And vice versa, eh?
That appears to be the case with J.R.H. 15 - the non-binding impeachment of George "WMD" Bush that Montpeculiar's Democrat leadership under the golden dome does not want to take up. (See entire resolution posted below.)
Are they wrong? Should the legislature take it up, we asked Dunne?
"The people of Vermont have spoken loud and clear," answered Young Matt, the future something-or other on Vermont's political stage, referring to the Town Meeting Day votes in almost 40 towns.
But should the legislature take it up?
One word answer: "Yes," he replied.
Oooooooh! Disagrees with Shumlin and Symington, eh?
"I don't know if he can win," said a seasoned insider, "but Matt Dunne will be aggressive, well-funded and will give Jim Douglas fits."
After all, as a campaigner, Dunne, he said, is "indefatigable," He's "never in neutral. There's no off-button. This will be the opposite of Scudder Parker."
Ladies and gentleman - start your engines!