Flanagan, now in his fourth term as senator, served four terms as state auditor where he earned the nickname "bulldog" for his ability to hold accountable the administration of fellow Democrat Gov. Howard Dean.
Rumors of Flanagan's potential bid to unseat Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie first surfaced on the Democratic activist blog Green Mountain Daily.
When I followed up directly on the GMD rumors with Flanagan for my "Fair Game" column, he chuckled and sidestepped the question. "Right now I’m just trying to absorb all these rumors, and find out who started them."
He then added, “I have no plan now to run for lieutenant governor.”
Didn't take him long to change his plans. Guess he was just being coy.
I wonder if the rough portrait Seven Days painted of Flanagan's competence as a lawmaker had anything to do with his circumspection? He was a bit more direct with Nancy Remsen at the Burlington Free Press in a post on the paper's political blog vtbuzz.
Rep. Floyd Nease (D-Johnson), the House majority leader, has been openly exploring a bid for the lite-guv post. The 2008 challenger, former Rep. Tom Costello and Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan are also mulling runs.
What I wonder is this: Is Flanagan's bid serious or is it just a way for him to bow out gracefully from the political stage?
Dubie's mum on his plans for 2010, but it's still early. Besides, rumors of Dubie not running for re-election always surface around this time in the election cycle. May be wishful thinking on the part of Democrats.
"The campaign season starts next year, not now. Its too early. People are not interested in non-stop campaigning. When the time is right to announce my intentions, I will," Dubie said. "Right now I am focused on doing the job Vermonters elected me to do."
On Wednesday that job took him to French Guiana where he watched a TerreStar satellite launched into orbit. The satellite is designed to improve AT&T mobile phone service in Vermont, as well as bring high-speed Internet services to the Northeast Kingdom.
Now, that's quite a photo-op, eh?
PS: To those hard-working volunteer bloggers at Green Mountain Daily, let me be clear: I didn't call you liars. If I thought you were liars, I wouldn't have even cited you as a source of the original rumors. My comment had more to do with the pols than with you. I thought I was being diplomatic by giving you cred for having this info first. Since my days at the Vermont Guardian, I've given credit where credit is due in the blogosphere and have given plenty of props to GMD and other sites. Life's too short, folks, and there are bigger battles to wage.
Photo by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur.