Clinton next up for Blumenthal

A day after President Obama campaigned for him, U.S. Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal already has lined up another presidential visit — this time from Bill Clinton.

The former president is coming September 26. No other details are set yet, but the campaign is trying to arrange a fundraiser and a public event, possibly in New Haven, where they met as Yale law students.

The visit was announced today, a day after Obama hosted a fundraiser in Stamford and, coincidentally, the race slipped from leaning Democratic to a toss up in the estimation of the Cook Report.

“It’s an honor to welcome former President Clinton to Connecticut,” Blumenthal said. “He is a long-time friend and a true champion for middle-class families. His leadership helped create one of the most prosperous economic times in our nation’s history.”


Bill Clinton on the way to Connecticut. (Tim Hamilton)

Blumenthal has a 6-percentage point lead in a Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this week, but Republican Linda McMahon has spent about $24 million on near-saturation television advertising.

The Connecticut race to succeed five-term Democrat Christopher J. Dodd appears to be getting more attention from the national party.

McMahon, who has no need of fundraising help, so far has declined visits from national political figures, even as the race increasingly has drawn national attention.

She has met with party leaders in Washington, but a major element of her campaign is casting herself as a political outsider.

“Linda’s going to run this campaign as a dialogue between her and the voters of Connecticut,” said Ed Patru, her communication director. “She has not sought outside endorsements. She doesn’t intend to.”

Blumenthal has a personal connection to the former president, who now lives in New York. He attended Yale law school with Clinton and his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and was a White House guest during the Clinton presidency.

Clinton campaigned here in 2006 for Joseph I. Lieberman, holding a rally in Waterbury prior to him losing the Democratic nomination in a primary to Ned Lamont.