Since the day Governor Dannel Malloy won reelection in November 2014, the question at the front of many political observers’ minds wasn’t what he would do with a second term. The question in their minds was, “How long will he stick around?"
At the time, Malloy was no longer a rising star within the Democratic Party, but a bona fide rock star. He was the Chairman of the Democratic Governors’ Association. His progressive credentials were impressive: he pushed through a $10.10 minimum wage, proposed and signed into law some of the most strict gun purchasing and background check laws in the country in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre, and ushered in the era where Connecticut recognized same-sex marriage.
A lot has changed since then. He has been at the helm for some of the biggest fiscal troubles of any state in the country, General Electric announced it was leaving its Fairfield headquarters in January, and then a cloud of a federal investigation into his 2014 gubernatorial campaign became public with leaks from a Grand Jury proceeding.
With all of that, the circumstances have changed for his political future.
During an interview with NBC Connecticut back in April, Hillary Clinton was non-committal on whether she was considering or even vetting Malloy to be a member of her administration.
“Oh my gosh, I don't want to talk about what could be a position in the future” Clinton said. “That's totally hypothetical but you know clearly I appreciate what he's trying to do and wish him well here in Connecticut.”
Publicly, Gov. Malloy has always said he would complete his second term. Since Connecticut doesn’t have term limits, there is no time limit on his service.
“I don’t think he’ll be a member of Hillary’s cabinet if she wins,” said a Democrat close to the Malloy Administration who agreed to speak candidly on the condition his identity remain anonymous.
“Before the investigation became public, I would have said he would have been a perfect fit, especially in a modern Democratic administration. That investigation is baggage for him.”
The State Democratic Party settled with the State Elections Enforcement Commission for more than $300,000 to end a case relating to the party’s spending actions from state and federal accounts during the 2014 cycle. It was the largest settlement ever reached by the watchdog agency.
The target of the probe was always Malloy, and the agency told NBC Connecticut it has been cooperating with federal investigators with its separate examination.
Another high ranking legislative Democrat told NBC Connecticut he thinks Malloy was always middle of the list when it came to posts like Transportation Commissioner, Secretary of Homeland Security, or even Attorney General.
“He certainly had the credentials for it, especially with his transportation and Second Chance initiatives,” he said. “But I don’t think a president with the issues Hillary has picks a cabinet member with the issues Malloy has.”
Malloy, when asked recently whether he would leave Connecticut for a post in Washington, he said he enjoys his gig in Hartford.
“I plan on serving out my terms here in the state of Connecticut, and I look forward to the challenges. I like my job,”
If Hillary Clinton wins, could that could change?