Just finished the first installment of Ted Mann’s opus for the CT Post, “Malloy’s first year in the eye of the storm.” It had been promoted by The Post as “riveting” — an adjective I had dismissed as empty hyperbole.
But I’m forced to admit that the PR folks at The Post weren’t exaggerating. As a news junkie and someone who has wanted to get a closer peek at Gov. Malloy, I simply couldn’t stop reading the piece.
It’s obvious that Mann, a former star reporter at The Day of New London, was given extraordinary access to Malloy and his inner circle. Add to that his keen powers of observation, his institutional knowledge of state government, his narrative prowess and his powerful command of the language, and you have a series that will be well worth the time spent reading it over the next three weeks.
What struck me the most was the sharp contrast in style and substance between Malloy and his do-nothing predecessor, M. Jodi Rell, who for her entire governorship never really exited the lieutenant governor mode. Whereas Rell derived immense pleasure from attending ribbon-cutting ceremonies, Malloy is a problem solver who relishes a challenge and refuses to back down from a fight.
I especially liked the opening scene in Mann’s piece in which Malloy and his top aides assembled in June at the Emergency Operations Center for a dry run, using what were then the current staffing levels, on how to react to a possible hurricane:
Now,” [Malloy] says in a flat voice. “Everyone needs to go back and plan for what you’ll do with a workforce that’s 25 percent smaller. Because that’s what’s about to happen.”
After elaborating briefly, Malloy walked soberly out of the room with his State Police bodyguard and a handful of other aides.
Now, imagine Rell doing that. Heck, imagine Bill O’Neill or Johnny Rowland doing that!
Tomorrow: A look at the governor’s closest aides — aptly called Malloyalists.