Sunday, April 23, 2006

Lamont (Still) on a Roll

These are good times to be Ned Lamont. Money is (sort of) pouring in, his delegate count is rising, Joe Lieberman is foundering and the favorable press keeps coming. From the Norwich Bulletin:
...[T]he petitioning drive may not be necessary. Lamont would automatically qualify as a primary challenger if he can capture 15 percent of the delegate vote at the May 20 Democratic State Convention. And based on the buzz generated statewide by this race, I wouldn't be surprised if Lamont does significantly better than that.
(Hackett)

From the Hartford Courant:
On the way out the door, Lamont is asked to autograph a political cartoon. It pictures a broadly smiling Lamont with a lapel button that says, "Ned Who?"

Lamont, who collects political cartoons, seems bemused by a request for his signature on a work caricaturing his anonymity. He smiles as he scrawls a message, then disappears into the night for a fast, perhaps last, ride in a Lexus to another town committee. The signature he leaves behind: "Ned Who."

The Lieberman campaign is spooked enough by Ned Who that it is already spending some of its $4.7 million bankroll on early television ads. Lamont seems assured of qualifying for an Aug. 8 primary, either by a petition drive or by winning 15 percent of the delegates at a nominating convention May 20.
...
The great-nephew of a socialist and great-grandson of a capitalist is unsure where he falls on the political spectrum.

"I'm never quite sure if I am left of center, or others have just moved to the right," Lamont said.

Dwight Eisenhower never would have favored a unilateral invasion of a foreign land, and Ronald Reagan was the president who appointed O'Connor, whose retirement is so lamented by the left, he said.

"So," he asked, "what does that make me?" (Pazniokas)

Formidible.

Someone someday will write a story about two well-off Greenwich families who reacted differently to the decline of northeastern influence in the GOP: the Lamonts and the Bushes. Both started out in the same place, as northeastern moderate Republicans. But while Prescott Bush's son George moved his family west and his politics to the right, the Lamont family moved left and out of the Republican Party entirely.

It's a compelling story. Heck, isn't it Lowell Weicker's story? It's no wonder that Weicker and Weicker's crowd have supported Lamont.

Joe Lieberman, in the meantime, can't seem to catch a break. His new commercials seem to be leading political observers to the conclusion that he's spooked: which by all accounts he is. From the Washington Post:
But, Lieberman's decision to go up with ads defending his stance on the war illustrates the effect that Lamont's candidacy -- and the unrest among the state's liberal voters it symbolizes -- has had on the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee. Lieberman was greeted with boos during a party gathering last month, and did himself no favors recently when he refused to rule out a bid as an independent if he lost in the Aug. 8 primary.Murray)

Lieberman's campaign is trying its best to appeal to voters' common sense and reason. One of their ads says the following:
"I already know that some of you feel passionately against my position on Iraq."

"I respect your views, and while we probably won't change each others minds, I hope we can still have a dialogue and find common ground on all the issues where we do agree." (Senator)
How rational. How reasonable! Right? Right?

But this election year is shaping up to be anything but reasonable and rational. Voters are angry and frustrated with their leaders, both Republican and Democrat, and they seem ready for a change in the status quo in Washington.

Still, Lamont needs to be careful. The media has a record of building up candidates, then tearing them down. The press coverage won't stay so rosy forever.

For now, though, everything seems to be going his way.

Sources

Hackett, Ray. Column: Lamont effort to beat Lieberman is gaining surprising strength." Norwich Bulletin 23 April, 2006.

Murray, Shailagh and Chris Cillizza. "With Ethics in Question, GOP Seeks Answers." Washington Post 23 April, 2006.

Pazniokas, Mark. Out Of The Political Shadows." Hartford Courant 23 April, 2006.

"Senator Lieberman Begins Television Advertising Campaign." Press Release. Friends of Joe Lieberman. 20 April, 2006.

11 comments:

ctkeith said...

Which of the 2 mayors is going to be first to demand Lieberman "Committ To or Quit the Democratic Party BEFORE the Convention?"

He who Does Gets Line A.

ctkeith said...

Ray Hackett and the Norwich Bulletin have been very freindly to Joe Lieberman over te years YET when I phoned them Yesterday to find out if they were covering the "invitation only" meeting in their home town of Norwich they said they weren't informed of or invited to attend that meeting.

Man of Integrity?I think not.

MikeCT said...

In the Northeast section, Paul Bass also profiles Lamont's blog supporters and their clever use of homemade videos. I was especially entertained by the description of the "Leprachaunish-looking" Aldon Hynes!

TrueBlueCT said...

Change is the message of 2006, and Lieberman's hubris has him swimming against the tide.

Why does Joe find it necessary to befriend Sean Hannity, appear on the hate-monger's radio show, and even go so far as to call him a "wonderful American"?

What on earth was Lieberman thinking when he voted for the Bush energy bill, as the only Senator in the Northeast region to do so? (including Chafee and the two New Hampshire Republicans?)

Why would Joe join a handful of red state Democrats, (the Salazar six) in voting to confirm Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the guy who wrote the torture briefs?

Why sit at the same table with William Buckley, and Rush Limbaugh at a dinner honoring the 50th anniversary of the National Review, a journal which is anathema to the Left?

Why the Wall Street Journal op-ed, "Our Troops Must Stay", when the overwhelming majority of both Dems and Nutmeggers want a change of course?

And why the dismissal of Party loyalties by declaring he might run as an Independent in November, an action which would be incredibly destructive to everyone else's fall races?

Finally, despite his strength as a conservative voice with national name recognition, Joe did nothing for us in 2005. Risked nothing, got us nothing. On Schiavo, on Justice Sunday, on the Supreme court nominees, on the Bankruptcy Bill, on Iraq, -- he might as well have been a Republican.

Where does it end? I don't know. But as Joe continues to self-destruct, it makes more and more sense for the Party to embrace Lamont's breath of fresh air.

cgg said...

I'll be stunned if Lamont doesn't get the needed 15%. There's just so much good buzz around him right now. What will be interesting is to see how the press coverage changes once he's on the primary ballot.

hartford_for_lamont said...

LAMONT GOES TO SOUTHBURY; LIEBERMAN GOES TO ISRAEL

That could be the headline to THIS really interesting story;

I just read over at Daily Kos that the Democratic Town Committee for the small Connecticut town of Southbury has pledged all 8 of its delegates to Lamont.

Their stated reason for doing this was that Lamont personally showed up for their Q & A session, while Lieberman ignored their request for such.

Lieberman was in Israel, I think right when the Southbury DTC had wanted to talk to him.

So let me get this right; Lieberman has publically said that he takes the Lamont challenge very seriously, and yet, instead of barnstorming across Connecticut to visit every Democratic Town Committee that he possibly can (like the Southbury DTC) in the few days remaining before the May 20 Connecticut state Democratic convention, Lieberman instead was in Israel??

Is that how Lieberman "takes the Lamont challenge seriously"?

Does that strike anyone else as odd?

Do I have my facts right here?

pls lemme know!

Gabe said...

Is anyone planning on going to the Lamont meet and greet tomorrow at the Senior Center in Hamden?

I may go, so let me know...

Frank Krasicki said...

Today Lieberman visited with Democrats in Willimantic and my source tells me he was treated like a -gasp- snake-oil salesman.

Apparently during a question-answer session Lieberman's voice kept rising with each challenge to his support of all things Bush.

At some point Lieberman simply called it quits abruptly and left the hall, entertaining a few Democrats in the parking lot before rushing off to friendlier territory (maybe Washington).

Joe's looking more like a partyless Senator every day.

Wolcottboy said...

Lieberman hasn't had to campaign in Connecticut for the past 12 years. Six years ago he was roaming the country to be Vice President.

True Blue, its all of the issues you pointed out that wants me to vote for Lieberman. The only hold back is that he is pro-choice. Then again, that's why I wear red.

Perhaps Lieberman is hoping to win at the primary as it looks very close or a loss at the convention. Maybe he hopes that the common voter is much less left-leaning than the party loyalists on the state and local levels. Unfortunatly, that's never how it seems to work.

What makes people vote one way or the other anyway? A single issue usually (war?)? A "feeling"? Or the prodding from above of a feeling of a mob mentality that decides who's weak and won't win anyway?

Patricia Rice said...

The far right of the party is losing credibility every day as the keep pushing a candidate this has no chance. Towns like Manchester have been lining up to support Senator Lieberman because they know that he will win! Give Ned credit but his 15 minutes of fame is coming to an end.

MikeCT said...

Patricia/Sean,

A Freudian slip!
The far right of the party is losing credibility every day as the keep pushing a candidate this has no chance.

Indeed, that would be Joe, whose PR aces strike again!