Himes, a Greenwich resident who runs a New York City nonprofit housing agency, is attempting what Farrell failed to do in two bids - unseat longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Bridgeport, in the 4th Congressional District, the only one in the state held by Republicans.
"It's a huge honor for me to get Diane's endorsement for this race," said Himes, who was joined by his wife, Mary, and two daughters, Emma, 8, and Linley, 5.
"By all rights, Diane should be our congresswoman," he said to applause....
Farrell said Himes will succeed because Shays' continued support for the war in Iraq and Bush's fiscal policies "will give voters pause."
"I think the story of this campaign is Jim's qualifications," she said, "and the closeness of the last two races indicate that voters have looked closely at Shays' record."
Diane Farrell's 2006 Congressional campaign against Chris Shays might have come up a little short, but it should always be remembered for at least a couple of things. It was during a debate with Farrell that Shays made the outrageous claim that the Abu Ghraib scandal did not involve torture but was a mere sex scandal. That statement, captured on video, illustrated just how out-of-touch Shays was on Iraq, despite making more than a dozen trips to the country. He later reversed himself on that statement - because no one believed him.
It was also during the Farrell campaign that Shays declared that he supported timelines for troop withdrawal, reversing his "stay-the-course" position just long enough to fool voters eager to believe any sign of sensibility coming from Shays on the war issue.
Well, Shays flip-flopped on timelines, voting against them not once, or twice, but three times. Now, going into the 2008 campaign, Chris Shays has a huge credibility problem.
Jim Himes made this point himself yesterday:
"There's a saying," he said. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The voters of this district will not be fooled again."
And it's not just Shays' credibility on the war that's at issue. Shays' support for Bush's disastrous economic policies -- tax cuts for the rich, and no relief for the middle class wage earners who fuel the economy -- exposes Shays' lack of credibility on economic issues as well.
Diane Farrell's campaign clearly exposed some rather large chinks in Chris Shays' armor, opening the door for the next candidate to hammer home the argument that Shays can no longer be trusted to represent the interests of voters in his district.
Farrell's support of Himes, at the very least, is a reminder of Shays' unkept promises and lost chances to move the country forward. That's no small thing.