Friday, July 28, 2006

Ned Lamont Comes to Suffield

My wife the registered Democrat and I decided, since a political event was actually taking place near us, to go to Suffield High School and see Ned Lamont speak tonight.

The high school is only a few years old. I actually taught as a substitute in the old Suffield High School, and this building was an incredible, stunning improvement. The parking lot was a lot fuller than I had expected it to be. Suffield isn't known for being a hotbed of liberalism.

In fact, people had come from Suffield and from all over the region to see Lamont, if only because, as one woman bitterly remarked, we don't see as many candidates around here as people in other parts of the state. The auditorium wasn't full, but a crowd of probably 100-150 had gathered to hear Lamont. Many of them were either middle-aged or older people, although a few younger faces dotted the crowd here and there.

Lamont arrived a bit late, but was greeted with a standing ovation when he finally showed. He shook a few hands, then launched into his stump speech. The speech focused on the idea that "stay the course" was no longer an acceptable strategy. He started off a little slowly. He hesitated over a few lines, and his energy seemed a little low in the beginning. However, as in the debate, Lamont became much more dynamic and effective as he warmed up.

Perhaps deliberately (considering the audience), he started off by talking about the need for universal health care, not getting to Iraq until about midway through the speech. It was by and large pretty positive and focused on progressive policies, but he did have a few attacks to send Joe Lieberman's way. When talking about the energy bill and the influence of lobbyists, he said:
I know Senator Lieberman is often talking about reaching out, finding common ground: with Dick Cheney on the energy bill, or President Bush on Social Security, and I appreciate the thought about common ground, but I think it's so important that we send Democrats to Washington D.C. and start talking about common good.

This line drew huge applause.

But the most interesting part of the night was when Lamont wrapped up his stump speech and took questions from the audience. This is where Lamont seemed to be at his best. Perhaps it was the friendly crowd. These were Democrats who were concerned with a huge range of issues, from Iraq, Bush, what they felt was the miserable state of the country, to paying for health care and property taxes. He seemed at ease, and was able to express unqualified support for rolling back the Bush tax cuts (even though, as the questioner noted, this would mean Lamont himself would pay more in taxes), stem cell research and public financing of campaigns (!), although he wasn't sure if he favored term limits. He also responded to the idea of his supporters being a bunch of fringe lunatics by suggesting that, in fact, his campaign was helping to drag the country's politics back into the mainstream. When a woman in the crowd was complaining that candidates like Lieberman rarely come to northern Connecticut, Lamont pointed out that Lieberman was, in fact, there--in the form of a Lieberman staffer who was videotaping the event. Lamont waved to the staffer, to much laughter. The staffer sheepishly waved back.

The audience seemed smitten by Lamont. He is a good public speaker, although this didn't come across as well on television during the debate, and he has a kind of intense, personable charisma that people seem to like. He still doesn't quite seem like the kind of man who could possibly bring down one of the most prominent Democrats in America. Which maybe is why he's been so successful.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

ha, underestimate Lamont at your own peril. That's my boy.

Anonymous said...

Norman Rockwell-esque.

Anonymous said...

Lieberman has been picking up huge support ever since Bill Clinton and company stumped in Waterbury.

Anonymous said...

why does Lamont roll his sleeves? It looks like his shirts never fit!

Anonymous said...

The Groton DTC unanimously passed a resolution last night:
It is the sentiment of the GDTC that all Democratic candidates should respect the process and support the winners of the Democratic primaries.

Is that the sixth town?

Deacon_Bluz said...

Anon1:23: Norman Rockwell-esque.

Dude?! Have you seen those eyes?!

Norman Bates-esque.

Anonymous said...

He rolls up his sleeves to showcase his mainly hairy arms... Chicks dig it.

brit said...

It is a such a breath of fresh air to have a candidate who speaks to the issues and cares enough to work to bring about change from the ground up. It really came across how he has a good grasp of the issues and the direction this country should be heading in and has the confidence to make it happen.

Anonymous said...

Lieberman has been picking up huge support ever since Bill Clinton and company stumped in Waterbury.

Sure he has. It's all from the DC establishment insiders and Hilliary's campaign.

But democrat and republican CT voters alike know where Joe stands and that he will continue to support the GOP agenda if re-elected. That's why the CT GOP voters support Joe more than double the numbers that support their own candidate.

Stay-the-Course Joe. Status quo Joe. More of the same, Joe. That's not what democratic voters are going to vote for.

BRubenstein said...

GC....while in your post you say that you arent sure about Ned's being ready to be Senator and his ability to beat Joementum, I submit to you that one of the reasons for Ned's surge in the polls is his complete lack of guile or political gamesmanship...people are reacting positively to his genuineness,candor and openness and feel he is an honest and ernest aspirant for a job in which he seems very suited and qualified for.

bluecoat said...

Apparently Joementum is now questioning the source of Ned's wealth stating that his business, Lamont Digital Business Systems, was basically never much of anything and that Lamont is just a trust fund baby sucking off his wife's hard work. No link, but I saw a letter about it in a local throwaway.

Anonymous said...

I was in Suffield. I gave the Lieberman video 'camera' the middle finger. That is what Lieberman has done to me for years. The Lieberman cameraman approached me afterwards - a nice guy -I explained some of my issues with Joe (one of which is voters cannot contact him) and asked that he pass them on. He told me he never talks to or sees Joe Lieberman either. My prediction - Joe Lieberman will vote for Ned.

Anonymous said...

Ned, no one buys the millionaire with the ill-fitting clothes routine anymore. Stop trying to look like your campaign manager and start looking like a senator.

Socrates4242 said...

Great review and amazing state maps. I missed the rally, but I was happy to read about it. Check out my blog for a picture from the event. http://heysavino.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I see Lamont, Swan and Crane are bringing that idiot Michael Schiavo to town.

I wouldnt want be in the same room with that lamo creep.

BTW Dummies for America still sucks they probably paid Schiavo's way to come to Hartford.

Prevent the Liberals from taking over the Democratic Party Vote for Lieberman Vote for The Real American not the millionaire who is a cut and run politician as far as Iraq is concerned.

DFA.....really still sucks...10 days until its gone along with that loser lamo dumpjoe.com website. hope you liberals have an alternate candidate to support lined up.

Anonymous said...

Anon..we are planning on getting both Swan and Lamont new clothes...we have 2 choices...the salvation army or the used fatigues of Fidel Castro

Anonymous said...

Anon...when DFA assumes the control and power the first thing they will do is make you wear a red arm band...and do the secret handshake and geneflect to Chairman Mao.

Anonymous said...

Joe Lieberman -- the self-proclaimed Mr. Morality -- has "gone negative" from the beginning of the campaign.

What a shock - it's what he did against Weicker 20 years ago.

I got called the other night by a push-poll for the Conscience of the Senate.

Anonymous said...

Why would traditional Democrats support an upstart WASP millionaire spouting a pathetic mixture of red-meat for outside-the-mainstream activists and pablum, while bribing blogs left and right, and buying his office with high net worth? Over one of the proud leaders of the Democratic Party, the annointed Vice President of the ticket following Bill Clinton, and the first Jewish candidate? I'm with Bill Clinton on this. Ned Lamont turns my stomach. Go Joe!

Anonymous said...

Tom Swan needs to go and get a nice suit and tie and look like a professional politician and maybe he could have a little more credibility(not likely)

Anyway If he doesnt have the money ask Ned and the Liberal Army to give him the cash or go ask Dummies for America Im sure they have some cash to help Tom by his suit and tie.

Anonymous said...

Ned Lamont will not win on August 8th Because of his rowdy supporters like Keith Crane who no one has ever heard of and his deplorable tactics of following around Lieberman in a truck with a Bush and Lieberman model in the back it just shows this lamo has nothing better to do with his time.

I still would like to know what his background is i think he is just a liberal troublemaker myself.

brit said...

I would suggest that Annonymous has not met Ned Lamont. Having been at the Suffield event and gone basically as someone whose primary intention is to get Lieberman out because of his support for Bush in every important subject, I came away as someone who wanted Lamont to be elected for positive reasons. For every question asked of Ned, he allowed the questioner to complete the question and he answered that specific question in a very strong and positive way and did not once divert onto some other subject which he would rather talk about like so many other politicians.
Lamont also offers real life business experience, which career politicians lack. He brings an understanding of Connecticut communities and their needs, because that’s where he has lived. Do not underestimate the value of those experiences in a Congress full of lifetime politicians.

brit said...
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