Welcome to Politics Bites, where every day at It's A Free Country, we bring you the unmissable quotes from political conversations on WNYC. On today's Brian Lehrer Show, Connecticut's Senator-elect Richard Blumenthal spoke about his win over Linda McMahon and his agenda as he heads to Washington D.C.
Senator-elect Richard Blumenthal is one of the few new Democrats to be heading to the Senate amid a wave of Republican triumphs. But speaking on The Brian Lehrer Show, Blumenthal sounded just as hopeful about bipartisanship as President Obama did in the beginning of his term:
Washington isn't getting things done, isn't working for people, isn't responding and heeding and listening. People want pragmatic, common sense solutions. There's no great Republican idea. There's no great Democratic idea. There's just good bipartisan solutions and I think folks want leaders to reach across the aisle.
Blumenthal views himself as someone who can forge the Congressional gap. He cited his background going after the tobacco industry and the pharmaceutical industry while he was Connecticut's Attorney General.
The Senator-elect is supremely optimistic: he thinks green energy, immigration reform and education reform are all potential areas of "common ground" for the political parties. "Who is against more green energy, technology, or green jobs, or putting America back to work?" he asked, rhetorically.
It's fair to say that no one in Congress is against job creation, but is that idealism realistic in a political climate where the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, says the top Republican priority is to ensure Obama isn't reelected in 2012?
We can only hope that Blumenthal's new-kid-on-the-block enthusiasm for bipartisanship will hang tough and prove all the jaded citizens wrong. Best of luck!
Tell us what you think: will the next two years see more bipartisanship or less?