It’s not a recent decision, nor is it a surprise. But the time has come to go public: With the legislative session over, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy endorsed Hillary Clinton for president Sunday.
“I’ve been an admirer of hers for many years, going back to when she was first lady. I want to see her get elected president. I also think she is the best candidate the Democrats could run. I think she is one of the most experienced candidates that any party has run,” Malloy said.
Clinton was elected U.S. senator from New York in 2000 as her husband’s presidency was winding down. After losing the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, she joined the administration of Barack Obama as secretary of state.
“I’ve known the Clintons for a long time. I think she is the best prepared candidate, and I’m really excited about helping her get elected president,” Malloy said.
Malloy’s national profile will grow next year as becomes chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, a role likely to win him a slot as a speaker at the Democratic National Convention.
One of his friends and DGA predecessors, former Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland, announced his candidacy last week, but Clinton already has wrapped up key endorsements, even in O’Malley’s home state. O’Malley should not be surprised by Sunday’s news, Malloy said.
“The governor and I had discussion about this in the past, where I had made it clear if Hillary was a candidate I would support her,” Malloy said. “And I have had the opportunity more recently to indicate I would be supporting Hillary. But I don’t think there was an expectation I would be supporting him over Hillary.”
Malloy announced his endorsement at an event promoting the kickoff of the Democratic Party’s municipal election season.
“I think it’s an opportunity to talk about two races at once, the municipal races which are coming in November, followed by the first primaries and caucuses that will play out,” he said. “They automatically overlap, so why not admit that and do the two things together?”
He also talked about the endorsement in a taped segment that aired Sunday morning on WFSB, Channel 3’s “Face the State.”
In 2008, when Malloy was mayor of Stamford, Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the Connecticut primary. Malloy’s two successful runs for governor in 2010 and 2014 benefitted from get-out-the-vote rallies headlined by Obama and Bill Clinton.
Bill Clinton is the Democrat who ended the GOP’s run of carrying Connecticut in six consecutive presidential years. Beginning with his win in 1992, Connecticut has gone blue in six straight presidential elections.