Lee Whitnum is my favorite new Connecticut Senate candidate.
Whitnum is the candidate who ruffled so many feathers at a recent debate among Democrats running for Joe Lieberman's Senate seat. She called a leading contender, U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy, a "whore" for Israel.
You would have thought she used some unprintable word, given that her offhand insult reverberated around the national political blogosphere for days.
After all, another candidate from Greenwich, Republican Linda McMahon, has a flashy boat named Sexy Bitch and no one takes much notice of that.
I think Whitnum's obsession about Israel and her endless criticism of a strong American ally puts her way out of the mainstream of Connecticut thinking, but still, tossing a pointed barb at a political opponent for supporting a cause that gives him campaign money seems like legitimate debate skirmishing.
Yet the sponsors of another debate for Democrats Monday made Whitnum and the others sign "civility" pledges.
Maybe that's why the debate, which deteriorated into a long string of boring questions about books the candidates have read and the kind of phones they use, was such a snoozer. (We did learn, though, that Murphy has not been able to master typing on an iPhone.)
The debate was held in a half-empty recital hall at the University of Connecticut. Apparently, all those UConn students knew to stay away.
Whitnum's use of the W word apparently so shocked Gov. Dannel Malloy that he suggested, hours before Monday's debate, that she not be included.
"She really is on the fringe of the fringe," Malloy was quoted as saying.
I have heard Whitnum refer to herself as the "under underdog."
Whitnum also ran for Senate in 2010, although she was clearly way under then. She also petitioned herself onto the primary ballot in 2008 for a run at the Fourth District House seat.
I guess Whitnum is my new favorite candidate because she is so candid, unscripted and, well, colorful.
She has a master's degree from Harvard. It may have been while she was studying in Boston that she had a relationship with then-single Sen. John Kerry. She wrote about it in an Internet posting when Kerry was running for president, and, again, the blogosphere lit up. She called Kerry "100 percent" male.
"John would whisper French phrases in my ear," Whitnum was quoted as writing at the time. "I would say, 'Speak to me in French!' and so he'd do it. I don't know what he was saying. I don't speak French."
She has lots of other interesting things to say about other candidates in this year's Senate race, without using the W word.
She called former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz a "card-carrying Israelist."
In a recent television interview, Whitnum also said she was puzzled by Bysiewicz's candidacy.
"Why is she running?" Whitnum said. "What motivates her?"
This is what Whitnum told the News Times of Danbury about McMahon: "There's nothing there. … She's just a rich woman with too much money and too much time."
I have seen published references to Whitnum being employed at one time as a science teacher. It says on her Facebook page that she worked for 12 years as a contract software engineer for the U.S. Army.
She also has written and self-published some books, including what looks like, judging by its cover, with its picture of a woman in bra and panties, to be a steamy romance novel. It's called "Hedge Fund Mistress."
Whitnum apparently also likes to go to court and represents herself. She has sued Malloy, a Connecticut-based chain of newspapers and a political blogger.
I hope she doesn't sue me, because she's my new favorite Senate candidate.
This is the opinion of David Collins.