Ali and Frazier fought three times and, in the last bout, each fighter ushered the other to the threshold of unbearable agony, so that when Frazier's corner threw in the towel before the 15th round, it was effectively speaking for everybody.
That could be a preview of Connecticut gubernatorial politics during the next 16 months.
It's shaping up as a rematch between Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Tom Foley, which is why I was surprised by the poor showing of my favorite candidate, Someone Else, in last week's Quinnipiac poll. Someone Else only got 1 percent of the vote in a Foley-Malloy match up. Inconceivable! But Someone Else was not offered as an option. People just volunteered his name.
I'm actually thinking of starting an exploratory Committee To Elect Someone Else. I suspect Someone Else Has more support out there than anybody has gauged.
The poll showed Foley beating Malloy by three points. It showed Malloy beating all other possible challengers by seven to nine points, although the Glass Half Full Award goes to Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton who tweeted: "Not even a candidate and 7 pts down to an incumbent Guv? Not too bad. Thanks CT!"
Boughton may be the first politician ever to thank an electorate for preferring someone else by a comfortable margin. Also, if he is not a candidate, why was he tweeting on a "Boughton for Connecticut" account as opposed to his wildly entertaining MayorMark Twitter where he refers to himself as Big Poppa, live tweets "The Bachelorette" and once christened a snowstorm "Snotorious B.I.G."?
The poll also proved that, if you can't get into a witness protection program, another great place to hide is in a Republican legislative leadership position. For example, 85 percent of people do not know enough about House Minority Leader Larry Cafero to form an opinion about him. This is extremely good news for Cafero, inasmuch as he was last seen converting $5,000 in cash placed in his refrigerator into Political Action Committee donations.
The bad news for Malloy is that he has theoretically built up as much political capital as he is likely ever to have. He has led the state through three disasters and has had almost three years to establish himself as a trusted incumbent. And he's still behind.
Given the strong resemblance between the state budget and the MasterCard statement of the Honey Boo Boo family, there aren't a lot happy surprises Malloy can whip out between now and election time.
The good news for Malloy is that he's very likely to run against a Greenwich millionaire whose 125-foot yacht is currently for sale for $5.9 million.
The good news for Foley is that he has more wiggle room for a Gatsbyesque stab at self-reinvention. He has already stepped forward as a champion of clean government — a departure from his stance in 2010 when he professed himself unsure that John Rowland had done anything terribly wrong. While he's at it, he might also be able to fashion a more winning public personality and get a kayak.
Malloy looks at humankind and sees a collective representation of the mean kid who taunted him about his learning disabilities. Consequently, he's torn between wanting to exact vengeance from all of us and wanting to convert his tormentors into believers. "You laughed at me, and now I am the boss of you!" is a great slogan for comic book super-villains, but not so much for politicians.
Foley looks at humankind and sees a vast valet parking operation in which his Bentley is temporarily missing. Consequently, he is torn between barking curt rebukes at us attendants and smiling weakly at us so we don't intentionally scratch the paint job.
Unpopular governors are sometimes primaried, but the other leading Connecticut Democrats will rise up against Malloy around the same time the quivering bunny rabbit in your yard leaps at the jugular of the UPS guy.
On the Republican side, Senate leader John McKinney is the most appealing option, but, matched against Malloy in a poll, he runs pretty much like Cafero and Boughton. And anyway, he seems soft. It's like expecting the Pillsbury Dough Boy to demand to fight the winner of Ali-Frazier. Normal people don't make those choices.
Colin McEnroe appears from 1 to 2 p.m. weekdays on WNPR-FM (90.5) and blogs at http://courantblogs.com/colin-mcenroe/. He can be reached at Colin@wnpr.org.Copyright © 2015, CT Now