Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Clinton Visits Waterbury

Former President Bill Clinton came to Waterbury yesterday to support friend Joe Lieberman. Clinton defended Lieberman on the central issue of the campaign, Iraq:
"We don't agree on Iraq," Clinton said of Lieberman. "But the real issue is, whether you were for it or against it, what are you going to do now? Let me tell you something. No Democrat is responsible for the mistakes that have been made since the fall of Saddam." (Pazniokas)

There's a lot to argue with in that statement. The case could be made (and has been made) that Lieberman, by providing support for Administration policies and undermining his party’s opposition efforts, exacerbates those mistakes. Clinton’s defense of Lieberman rings a little hollow.

But that’s neither here nor there. Clinton was a hit. He always is. He’ll probably swing a decent number of votes Lieberman’s way. The question is whether or not Clinton’s appearance will help Joe Lieberman enough to save him from defeat. Lieberman hopes so: I would expect to see at least one commercial featuring Clinton appear over the next two weeks.

An attendee who wishes to remain anonymous has sent these observations from the event:
1) There was a HUGE minority presence in the palace theater. Somewhere between a third and a half of the audience.
2) No Destefano supporters showed up (No Kevin Sullivan, No Don Williams, No Marty Looney, No Destefano, No Larson or DeLauro who were said to be out of town). Labor, however, was there in force
3) Malloy did show up but was not invited up on stage. His campaign had a big presence there including wall to wall signs outside as people were leaving almost to the point where it was stopping traffic…
4) Joe Courtney was the only Congressional Challenger absent...and very conspicuously so.
5) George Jepsen was camped out front trying to get a ticket to get in, he even tried to sneak in a few times to no avail....it was hilarious.

We'll see if Bill Clinton's visit helps right Lieberman's ship. If it doesn't, I don't know what will.

Source

Pazniokas, Mark. "Bill Stands By Joe." Hartford Courant 25 July, 2006.

42 comments:

CC said...

In addition to the persons listed as attending:

"Those who had opening remarks while waiting for Clinton's arrival with a Secret Service contingent included Waterbury Mayor Mike Jarjura, Democratic state Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo of Trumbull, state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, AFL-CIO President John Olsen and Speaker of the House James A. Amann, D-Milford."

Anonymous said...

Great event last night. I was shocked not to see DeStefano supporters. No signs. No volunteers. Very strange. The Malloy team was once again in everywhere supporting Dan Malloy. I have to think, If a campaign can work this hard for month after month in a primary, it makes me believe that their candidate will work just as hard to beat Jodi Rell in November. That, my friends, is what this is all about. Getting Democrats in office.

Patricia Rice said...

There was magic in the air in Waterbury. Bill Clinton, The most loved and respected Democrat on the planet was there asking CT Democrats to vote for Lieberman. That was moving!

This is going to swing a lot of votes back to Joe. For the good of the party, the true Democrats are uniting and the momentum is now going in Senator Lieberman's direction. I expect the Green party registration to go up when this is all over. They're calling your name, Bruce!

Anonymous said...

The Malloy team was once again everywhere supporting Dan Malloy. Was it really a good use of their time - now two weeks out from a primary - to be doing visability outside a venue with 500 Democrats who probably have their mind made up early. Signs of "strength" like that won't matter on the 9th.

People here like to think that they're right about how a campaign should spend its money - slamming DeStefano for going on TV and reaching out to voters. I wonder what those people would say if they found out Malloy's campaign paid the high school volunteers to go to New London for the debate? Is that a smart way to spend money?

Maura said...

It's stunning news that they wouldn't let George Jepsen in. We know that they "sanitized" the event of Connecticut Democrats who wanted to see Clinton but were known supporters of Ned Lamont.

But to hear that they even blocked George Jepsen is amazing and unconscionable. Wasn't he the leader of the state party when Bill Clinton was elected? How unspeakably rude.

It says a lot about the Lieberman campaign's paranoid, selfish, and petty approach to this campaign. They had an opportunity to unite CT Democrats during this visit and show themselves to be better than the way they've run the campaign thus far, but once again they decided to operate out of anger and resentment.

What did they think would happen, that George Jepsen would come in and sneak "Kiss" buttons to the crowd? That he would unfurl a great big Lamont sign during Joe's longwinded speech? (At least it would have broken the monotony, I guess.)

Seriously, how petty and divisive can they get? There was a "free speech zone", the crowd was sanitized as much as possible, and tickets were snatched out of the hands of supporters of Lamont. Yet another example of Lieberman approaching things just like George Bush, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Rice you certainly are indefatigueable. Clinton wont swing enough votes Liebermans way. The same goes for Maxine Waters and Marcy Kaptur for Lamont. Honestly I think most people don't want outsiders meddling in CT politics.

Love Me Some Bill said...

Maura,

Sanitizing a campaign rally is common practice among everyone in political campaigns. You don't let the opposition in when you are trying to rally your base, do you? George Jepsen, despite his Lieberman button at the JJB, supports Ned Lamont very publicly. That's his perogitive and he enjoys the right to do so, but I don't think it's odd that he wasn't allowed in, nor do I think it's rude. If he were still party chair he wouldn't be supporting Lamont because the party chair has an obligation to support the endorsed candidate. I don't think it's odd or rude. Just my opinion of course.

bluecoat said...

Bubba said "We don't agree on Iraq," Clinton said of Lieberman. "But the real issue is, whether you were for it or against it, what are you going to do now? Let me tell you something. No Democrat is responsible for the mistakes that have been made since the fall of Saddam." and Joe has said leave it up to Bush, he is the Commander in Chief. Yet 77 US Senators, but not Joe, voted last fall with John Warner(R-VA), the Chair of the Armed Services Commitee (that Joe serves on as well), calling on Bush to bring about significant change in Iraq this year. Bubba spins for his often moral adversary Joe and so what else is new?

MightyMouse1 said...

George Jepsen was bizarre at the event last night, trying to sneak in to the event. Taking off his shoes and sitting in a chair on the sidewalk, rubbing his feet.

Anonymous said...

After attending yesterday's rally, and listening, albeit painfully, to our leaders butcher the language, we really don't have much of a leg to stand on in criticizing Bush's gaffes. Yesterday's Top Five Worst:

5) Diane Farrell: She did herself more harm than good yesterday. When she rails against the war, her shrill words seem to be warranted. When she's shrill on anything else, she just sounds annoying. Anyone else want to know how she can make her entire campaign about her opposition to the war, and then endorse Lieberman (and appear at the rally that will hopefully save him?) In the words of Ned Lamont, "Poppycock."

4) Jim Amann: Am I the only one who finds it midly amusing that this guy's title is "Speaker"? I know the guy had esophagial cancer, but come on. He sounds like he's on his last legs! And have something prepared so at least you can TRY to get us going!

3) Eddie Perez: bar-none the worst speaker of all elected officials. Even if he were speaking in Spanish I still believe he would murder his words. "Twooo Democwaats"? He sounded like the bishop in the Princess Bride--"Maawedge." We said that our two mayor candidates for governor weren't ready for primetime-Eddie, I hope you like being Mayor, because after this, it's curtains.

2) Nancy DiNardo: Simply put, I can't believe that marble-mouthed airhead is our chairman. Have some self-respect.

1) Richard Blumenthal: Excerpt from his speech (paraphrased)-"Last night I was talking to my boys about this Senate race. Yes, last night. After I had instructed them about who to vote for, I began explaining to them all the great things Joe Lieberman has done for our state, and how Ned Lamont is running against him. As I'm explaining this, my youngest says to me, 'Dad, it's about the whole package.' And he's right. So let's talk about JOE'S PACKAGE." (I swear to god I was gonna lose it right there) He proceeds to go on and on about the virtues of Joe's Package. Apparently, Joe needs to challenge Ned to a "sword fight." Thanks, Dick.

dumbruss said...

Anonymous... I am happy that Lamont is alienating you. Hate to break it to you, but 60 to 70 percent of Connecticut are die-hard Bush haters. Last I checked 60 percent wins elections.

MightyMouse1 said...

Tickets were snatched from Lamont supporters? I am horrified that the opponent's supporters would not be invited to a rally for Lieberman! LOL

Genghis Conn said...

Let's NOT talk about Joe's package! Wow.

Barbara Kennelly had the same problem as Perez, as I recall. Disgwaceful.

MightyMouse1 said...

Blumenthal was probably the best of the 'warm-up' speakers, although the "Joe's Package" line did cause some giggles. John Olson and Chris Dodd can always be counted on for some fire and brimstone. Murphy was really weak and except for his volunteers, got a tepid response in Waterbury. The Farrell assessment is right on.

Anonymous said...

..and Barbara Walters

Genghis Conn said...

Always reminds me of this.

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

He has a wife, you know ...

Anonymous said...

ummm, speaking of sanitizing, I thought this blog was moderated.

Are we really allowed to say FU's and call people A-holes? I'm referring to the 9:56 poster.

BRubenstein said...

Pat Rice...no one listens to out of town suragates in voting for such a important post as Senator...I doubt that 50 people were convinced by Clinton yesterday..the fact remains that Lamont will win by 10-15% and i see nothing changed from yesterday's event.

bluecoat said...

Anon 9:56 referred to Ned not a fellow blogger. Although I disagree with the commentary, I think the public officials and candidates can be fair game.

Anonymous said...

Two weeks out from the primary, campaigns need to be doing everything possible to reach voters. I think the Malloy team has so many staff and supporters that they are able to work on all different fronts. Perhaps just different strategies. Good to see volunteers out waving signs, anyways.

Genghis Conn said...

Don't see a 9:56 poster... what are you referring to, anonymous?

Anonymous said...

This is just glorious. Can't wait to see how the Dems will feel waking up "the morning after" next to Tom Swan, your new defacto party leader.

Genghis Conn said...

I think that comment was deleted.

BRubenstein said...

Dear Anon 11:20...Tom Swan is already a party leader on the basis of his past successes and the strength of CCAG...just as there are 100 other party leaders.
Why would he have anymore special clout then anyone else who has managed or had senior status of a state-wide race?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:11 your comments re Farrell are right on target. She is shrill and her claim as the "anti-war" candidate rings hollow.

Look at the facts:

1. She NEVER publicly opposed the war resolution or the invasion of Iraq, until after the fact.

2. Everyone in Westport political circles knows that she squashed an anti-war resolution that many on the RTM wanted to pass.

3. I was at Shays' town meeting in Westport on the war, where she publicly called on him to ask the President to proceed cautiously and exhaust all avenues of diplomacy. Everyone (except Lieberman) was saying that! That is NOT opposition; rather, it is typical Farrell - too cute by half, as they say.

Now she has a chance on Aug. 8 to vote for one of 2 Democratic Party candidates, one (Lamont) who shares her position on Iraq and on every other major issue of the day from education, to tax policy, to social security, and the other (Lieberman) who is four square in support of Bush and his war, not to mention his support for vouchers and opposition to universal health care. Who is Farrell voting for? Who is she on stage campaigning with? Lieberman.

How can she say to the voters "vote for me because Shays and Bush are wrong on Iraq" on the one hand, when she herself is supporting a candidate with the same views as Shays and Bush? It is the height of hypocracy and proves, sadly, that Farrell is not a candidate of principle or integrity, but just another political opportunist.

CTKnows said...

Sorry this off topic
Connecticut Governor: Rell by 22%+

BRubenstein said...

Dear Anon 11:51...i couldn't agree more with you...I heard directly from Westport anti-war folks( Patricia Taylor and others) who gave the anti-war resolution to Diane and the rest of the RTM...Diane was not only pro Iraq War at that time...she took the lead in helping to kill the anti war resolution....she has followed up her hypocracy by being for Joe and against Lamont..

When Lamont wins i bet Diane says to him.." i was with you all the time but i couldnt be public about it..."

Anonymous said...

Brucey, was checking out your firm's website (and you're older than I remember) and didn't see anything on there about political consulting services, nor was there anything on your CV page that indicated a managerial or senior-status position on any statewide races?

And if there is a campaign out there in need of a progressive mind, do you still do some side work?

BRubenstein said...

Dear Anon 12:03...the reason you didnt see anything about "political consulting" on my webpage is because in all the races i have either managed or had senior status, I never charged for it.And,the reason I dont list my political CV on my business webpage is that they are both seperate and distinct..I do law for money and politics for change.

Chris, try harder next time.

cgg said...

I wonder how many people in the audience were only there to see Bill Clinton.

Genghis Conn said...

According to this article, a lot.

I'm not surprised. I once stood out in bitter cold for two hours waiting to see Clinton's motorcade turn into Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, where he was giving a speech for Joe Courtney (2002). About two dozen other people were there with me, just waiting to try and catch a glimpse of him.

disgruntled_republican said...

I was there too GC...was a Councilman back then and was in a Police Cruiser...

BRubenstein said...

I was there too...for the private reception for him inside the school just before he came outside to the tent to speak to everyone.My son worked for Hillery and him in the white house and he knew me from the Duffy campaign and of course from his 1992 effort, where i was a delegate to the national convention for him.

Mr X said...

I think The Lieberman Campaign should of had the event somewhere where more people could of participated.

I would of liked to have gone to the event But I knew with this lottery system that they would likely give the tickets to Waterbury residents and VIP's and that people like me who actually work on campaigns or on our DTC would not get a ticket at all.I think they had to stack the audience so to speak.

And someone said that they took tickets away from Lamont supporters that is so wrong if that is true.

I did not want to just stand on the street and maybe get a glimpse so i stayed home and watched on TV.

Jawelcome said...

I'm happy to report that the Ned Lamont Meet & Greet across town at Vasi's restaurant was a huge success--definitely much bigger than we planned for. Those of us involved in inviting people to the event were hoping for 50 people or so, especially with the competition from the former president being in town. By the end of the night, approximately 125 people stopped by to meet Ned. It amazes me how fast his campaign has grown and how much support Ned now has from regular voters. Even on a night when President Clinton was in town, 125 people jammed into a restaurant to meet Ned Lamont. Even in Waterbury, where there has been a lot of support for Lieberman in the past. That explains a lot more to me about the strength of Ned Lamont's support in Waterbury and the rest of the 5th Congressional district-- a lot more than any poll can show. Lieberman's strength lies in the cities. Hearing about the event in Waterbury should be worrisome for Lieberman's campaign. People may say that 125 is nothing compared to the 1600 or so that showed up to see Clinton/Lieberman, but as I think has been mentioned earlier in this blog, (1) most people went to see President Clinton and not Joe Lieberman, and (2) 125 people showing up to meet Ned Lamont in Waterbury at a restaurant on any other day is front page news in the Waterbury Republican-American.

Anonymous said...

A few observations on President Clinton's appearance:

I was sitting in the balcony. From my perspective, the people in the house love the president. But the response to Lieberman was not as enthusiastic. I would not be surprised if half of the people upstairs don't vote for Lieberman. People were there to see the president, not to support Joe.

Malloy sat through the speechifying in the mezzanine with Gerry Weiner from Orange, who I thought was stumping for Destefano on the floor of the convention.
Maybe Gerry is just hedging his bets.

Olsen stumbled over his words a few times and some in the crowd wondered if he had a few cocktails beforehand. If that is the voice of labor, labor might need a new voice.

Jarjura actually performed fairly well in front of the home-crowd. Maybe he shared a few of his secrets about losing a primary but winning the general.

Murphy, I thought, was a polished speaker and made a favorable impression on the crowd upstairs. He was certainly stronger than Dianne on stage.

Eddie Perez peppered his speech with Spanish phrases, which was not well-received by the blue-collar crowd upstairs. I heard more than a few say that we speak English in this country.

Clinton was fabulous. He articulates his arguments simply and he made most of us long for the days of his presidency. If only he were sitting in the Oval now.

But his arguments about keeping Joe in office just don't wash. Lieberman's policy stance is causing thousands to die. You can't get past that truth. Lamont will be an effective Democrat Senator from Connecticut, and he will serve the interests of his constituents with regard to the seminal issue of our time - this ridiculous foreign policy folley in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

"People here like to think that they're right about how a campaign should spend its money - slamming DeStefano for going on TV and reaching out to voters. I wonder what those people would say if they found out Malloy's campaign paid the high school volunteers to go to New London for the debate? Is that a smart way to spend money?"


As one of those high school Malloy volunteers, I will say personally that we were NOT paid for doing visibility and showing up for the debate. We did it because we wanted to. Not because of the hourly rate.

Anonymous said...

Tom Swan for Democratic State Party Chairman (yeah right what a joke)

Chris MC said...

the reason you didnt see anything about "political consulting" on my webpage is [snip] ...I do law for money and politics for change.

Chris, try harder next time.


Wrong as usual Brucie boy.

Honestly, when I come after you, you know it, don't you?

Hey, look what I found!
BRubenstein said...
[snip]
...for 2 years in the race [JDS] hasn't yet thought of a way to [bring Rell's popularity numbers down] and I doubt he will in the remaining few months.
10:51 AM, July 20, 2006


LOL

BRubenstein said...

chris...get new lines...those are old..and..i stand by everything ive said...too bad you dont..

Anonymous said...

Ned Lamont....Only 13 days until you return to your empire....The Real Democrats know you arent worthy to be Dog Catcher in Greenwich Let alone a US Senator.

You get to go back and be a prissy rich millionaire while Joe gets 6 more years in the US Senate.

I can't wait to see all you Liberals crying the blues when Joe beats the Pretty boy and all this venom and nastiness you have been spewing on all the blogs will just be a memory and for nothing.