* Updated: new locations for the Democratic tour *
The never-ending primary campaign of 2010 continues this week with five Democrats and sole Republican candidates for Vermont governor crisscrossing the state.
The Dems seem to be stuck on "unity" auto-pilot, or a political version of Groundhog Day, in which they keep campaigning each day until one of them gets it right and wins. Then, they can wake up the next day and get on with their lives. (Um, please?)
The recount of the primary ballots begins Wednesday and could take all of next week before a true winner is known. So much for moving up that primary date to "help the troops."
Republican Brian Dubie seems to be working from a script that was tightly written with the expectation of a Democratic winner come August 25.
In an attempt to prove he really does want the job of governor, Dubie is touring the state in a nonstop, 26.2-hour "marathon."
FYI, Lt. Gov. Dubie, you don't need to take "running" for office quite so literally. We get it. You want the job.
Methinks Dubie is worried some folks don't believe he's serious enough about wanting the job, or up to the task. Hence, the marathon meet-and-greets with voters across the state, including workers on second shifts and early-morning diners.
The "starting gun" will be fired at 7:10 a.m Tuesday on "The Charlie, Ernie and Lisa Show” on WVMT-AM Newstalk 620. From there, the lite gov will take his race to St. Albans, Enosburg Falls, Burlington, Middlebury, Rutland, Bennington, Brattleboro, Springfield, Hartford, Wells River, St. Johnsbury, Essex Junction and Barre. He's scheduled to cross the "finish line" at the Pit Stop Diner in Barre at 9:22 a.m. on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the five, yes five, Democrats are making a reunion tour of their recently completed 18-month primary run around Vermont. Until now, only three candidates have been at the podium in these "unity" press conferences and events — the presumptive nominee, Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin, the second-place finisher Sen. Doug Racine and Secretary of State Deb Markowitz.
Someone must have pointed out that "unity" minus two doesn't really equal "unity." You'd think Shumlin would know better than sour relations with the other candidates — especially given that three-quarters of the Democratic primary voters chose one of his opponents.
The five Dems will also be touring the state — possibly in a Winnebago — but making fewer stops than Dubie. They may be unified, but apparently don't have the stamina. That primary must have really sapped their strength.
Unfortunately, the six pols won't be in the same town exactly at the same time during the tour. Though they may be able to wave to each other on Route 7 in St. Albans, Rutland or Bennington.
For what it's worth: Out of the six candidates, only one will set foot in the three northeastern-most counties — Dubie. He'll make one stop in St. Johnsbury. Not exactly the heart of the Northeast Kingdom, but at least he's making an effort.
Here's a complete rundown of Dubie's stops:
Tuesday, September 7
7:30-7:45 a.m.: Newstalk 620 WVMT, Colchester
8:30-9:30 a.m.: KJ Diner and downtown sign wave, 51 S. Main St., St. Albans
10:15-11 a.m.: Downtown walking tour, Enosburg Falls, Kit Kat Diner
Noon-12:30 p.m.: Lunch at Burlington Fire Station, 136 S. Winooski Ave, Burlington
12:30-1:30 p.m.: Downtown walking tour, Church Street, Burlington
2:30-3:15 p.m: Downtown walking tour, Middlebury Market, 54 College St.
4:30-4:45 p.m.: Rutland Fire Department, 104 Center St.
5-5:30 p.m.: Downtown walking tour, 172 S. Main St., Rutland
5:30-6 p.m.: Sign wave, Rutland, Aubuchon Hardware
7-8:30 p.m.: Bennington BBQ and rally, 214 South St.
10-11 p.m.: Ice cream social at Brattleboro Fire Department, 103 Elliot St.
11 p.m.-midnight: Second shift, GS Precision, 101 John Seitz Dr., Brattleboro
Wednesday, September 8
1-2 a.m.: Springfield Fire Department, 77 Hartness Ave.
2:45-3:15 a.m.: Hartford Fire Department, 812 VA Cutoff Rd.
4-4:30 a.m.: P&H Truck Stop, 2886 Rte. 302, Wells River
5-5:30 a.m.: St. Johnsbury Fire Department, 1187 Main St.
7 a.m.: Newstalk 620 WVMT, Colchester
8-8:30 a.m.: Sign wave, Simon’s Gas, Five Corners, Essex Junction
9:22 a.m.: Pit Stop Diner rally, 240 N. Main St., Barre
Here is where the five Democrats will land during their two-day unity tour:
Tuesday, September 7
10-11 a.m.: Cosmic Bakery, 30 Main St., St. Albans
Noon-1 p.m.: Wake Robin, 200 Wake Robin Dr., Shelburne
2:30-4 p.m.: Vermont State Fair, In the President’s Building at the Rutland Democrats Booth, 175 South Main St., Rutland (updated location)
5-6:30 p.m.: Vermont Democratic Headquarters, 190 North St., Bennington (updated location)
Wednesday, September 8
8:30-9:30 a.m.: Pliny Park, on the corner of Routes 5 and 9, Brattleboro (new location)
10:30-11 a.m.: GroSolar, 601 Old River Rd., White River Junction
12:30-1:30 p.m.: State House Lawn, Montpelier (updated location)