by Charles A. Monagan
Apr 25, 2012
08:25 AM
On Connecticut

The Type A Governor


The most recent Quinnipiac University poll shows that Gov. Dannel Malloy's approval ratings continue to stay low. When asked if they "approve or disapprove of the way Dannel Malloy is handling his job as Governor?" only 37 percent of the 1,745 voters surveyed said they approved. This is down from 44 percent in March and 41 percent last September.

If it's any consolation, Gov. Malloy gets a better approval rating than the state legislature, which only rated 36 percent from voters. Also on the plus side, 47 percent said regardless of policies, they like Gov. Malloy "as a person." (As opposed to "a throw pillow"?)

Interestingly, these "popularity" numbers come in conjunction with an article by Steve Kotchko from our May issue ("Type A Governor"), which looks at how the governor's hard-charging style has caused some strife in the Capitol. As Steve points out, unlike the prior administration, Gov. Malloy is very proactive and energetic when it comes to duties of his office.

Here's the opening to the story:

Arriving 25 minutes early for a luncheon speech to municipal officials, Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy powered through the crowded corridors at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Cromwell. A reporter mentioned to one of his aides that the ballroom luncheon site was not ready yet. But Malloy bulled ahead, and convention officials had to hurriedly shoo people into the room as his speech got under way.

Capitol hands have gotten used to the Malloy administration’s “my way or the highway” approach to governing, although it remains the source of some friction.

Former Democratic lawmaker Michael Lawlor, now undersecretary for criminal justice at the state Office of Policy and Management, sees the governor’s style as a plus.

“There is no question Malloy is a Type A [personality], and sometimes people like that micromanage and are in everybody’s business,” Lawlor says. “This governor hired other Type As and said, ‘Here’s what I want, and I trust you to get it done.’” He adds that the state is well served by a governor “willing to lead and stay on top of things, because there are plenty of people who don’t want legislation to happen and try to run out the clock.”

Lawlor’s favorable view of Malloy’s team as a cadre of eager true believers out to reform state government is not universal. “Malloy and his staff are sensitive to every perceived criticism,” says one Republican. “There’s no reasonableness and every time one of us [Republicans] opens our mouth, their reaction is way over the top.”

Debate can always be made on the governor's policy and decisions, but when it comes to his effort, clearly there's very little to discuss. He's "all in," as they say. And although we're only a little over a year into his term, it'll be interesting to see if he can sustain his high levels of energy and enthusiasm, and whether that go-go-go attitude ultimately gains—or loses—him support.

To read the rest of Steve's story, pick up the May issue of Connecticut Magazine, which will be on newsstands on Monday.

The Type A Governor

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