Greenwich Time (Sunday)

A report card on Connecticu­t’s fictional guv

- COLIN MCENROE Colin McEnroe’s column appears every Sunday, his newsletter comes out every Tuesday and you can hear his radio show every weekday on WNPR 90.5. Email him at Sign up for his free newsletter at­oe.

The Connecticu­t politician I am most excited about for 2023 is Claire Debella, who says things like, “Every time we’ve gotten to the point where I’m going to strangle you, you pull something like this, and it’s magic.”

Debella is the governor of Connecticu­t in the current hit movie “Glass Onion.” Played by actor Kathryn Hahn, Debella does not really exist and is only around to entertain us for a couple of hours and then be forgotten. Sort of like Steve Obsitnik.

But I kid! Steve Obsitnik did not really entertain us at all, unless you count my friend and colleague Dan Haar who briefly entertaine­d the idea that we’re all living in the Matrix and that Obsitnik was The One. Only half of that statement is true.

Back to Claire Debella. I promise not to do any spoilers, although anything that dissuaded you from watching this mediocre movie would be sort of a gift.

Film auteur Rian Johnson probably doesn’t even know he gave her a spelling variant of a last name from one of Connecticu­t’s storied political families. William “Billy” DiBella turns 80 this year which probably does not matter because he is immortal as long as he is not exposed to sunlight.

His son Marc DiBella is the Democratic party chair in Hartford and does not appear to have any superpower­s, which is unfortunat­e, because in a few weeks there will be about 72 putative adults fighting over the 9,000 available votes in the 2023 mayoral primary/election and anyone attempting to referee that is going to get bitten.

Billy DiBella has held several elective offices but will probably be best remembered as longtime chair of the Metropolit­an District Commission, one of those quasi-public water and sewer agencies that does not seem to be answerable to the rules governing either government­al entities or private corporatio­ns.

A few years ago, one of DiBella’s many critics tried to challenge his chairmansh­ip, claiming he was in violation of the requiremen­t that he live in the area served by his agency. Although he seemed to be living with his wife in Old Saybrook, DiBella claimed he really lived with his son and daughter-in-law in a Hartford high-rise and visited his wife on weekends.

An independen­t investigat­ion was conducted by the famous Southern detective Benoit Blanc who concluded that … no, wait. I’m getting real life mixed up with the movie.

Actually, the investigat­ion was way funnier than the movie. It eventually found in favor of DiBella, at least partly because he kept toiletries and personal effects in Hartford. Johnny Mercer was incorrect

Maybe it’s time we had our first fictional governor. (I don’t count M. Jodi Rell.)

when he wrote “Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home.” Home is actually where you keep your Aveda Hair Gel.

“Glass Onion” takes place on an Aegean island owned by a thinly disguised version of Elon Musk, which would also be a very good name for a toiletry.

Claire Debella is very worried that the voters back home in the grip of a pandemic will find out that she has left the state and doesn’t even have to wear a mask because the ultra-rich have a device that injects something into their mouths and makes them completely immune. (I’m pretty sure that’s real.)

This also very true to Connecticu­t, which has a weird chip on its shoulder about absenteeis­m. Gov. Thomas Meskill was on ski trip in Vermont in 1973 when the state was hit by a legendary ice storm which actually inspired a book and movie named “The Ice Storm.” People never forgave him. Voters also got edgy about the travels of Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr., especially when he was in St. Croix when United Technologi­es lowered the boom with massive layoffs.

Claire doesn’t want to be them. She wants to be Gov. Abraham Ribicoff, who did a credible impersonat­ion of Moses during the floods of 1955 or Gov. Ella T. Grasso who was so stout and doughty during the 1978 blizzard that voters subsequent­ly convinced themselves that she had personally showed up and shoveled 4-foot drifts out of their driveways.

Anyway, maybe one of the two major parties should start thinking about Claire in 2026. (Hahn actually looks a little bit like Susan Bysiewicz, so that could be confusing.)

Maybe it’s time we had our first fictional governor. (I don’t count M. Jodi Rell.)

Although, come to think of it, in the movie Claire is already planning to ditch the governorsh­ip and run for Senate. Watch out, Chris Murphy.

 ?? Netflix/John Wilson / Netflix © 2022 ?? Janelle Monae and Kathryn Hahn, right, in a scene from “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”
Netflix/John Wilson / Netflix © 2022 Janelle Monae and Kathryn Hahn, right, in a scene from “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”
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