Soft and cuddly is not his strong suit, but Gov. Dannel P. Malloy stopped by an event to publicize a program that gathers holiday gifts for residents of the state Veterans Home.

“It’s a great honor to be with the elves,” Malloy said, glancing at three children who are helping with the drive. “Any day spent with an elf is a good day.”

Malloy is playing Santa himself this afternoon (under a little-known law of journalism, we are required to make this observation whenever a governor hands out goodies around the holidays), announcing economic development grants in Thompson and Putnam.

The governor is making the drive out to Thompson and Putnam to announce two competitive grants.

Asked why he was making the effort, Malloy tartly referred to Sen. Andrew Roraback, R-Goshen, who complained at a recent Bond Commisrecently about money for East Hampton that came through a legislative earmark, as opposed to a competitive grant.

“As Sen. Roraback told you, these are merit grants,” Malloy said, “and I’m celebrating the merit of the grant.”

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Mark PazniokasCapitol Bureau Chief

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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