Connecticut's U.S. Senate race continued Monday along its unpredictable way: The White House declined to endorse the nominee of state Republicans - and a new "Vets for Freedom" group with ties to the GOP advertised its backing of incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is waging an independent campaign for re-election after losing last week's Democratic primary.
The group's full-page ad Monday in The Courant created an immediate stir: Former Democratic State Chairman George Jepsen, a top adviser to Democratic primary winner Ned Lamont, said the ad showed that "national Republicans, in their effort to help Joe Lieberman, clearly have a well-laid-out strategy to attack Ned Lamont."
[George] Jepsen, a senior Lamont campaign adviser, said he saw a similarity between the 2004 Swift Boat Veterans effort and Monday's ad by the Vets for Freedom.
"So, the swift-boating begins," he said. (Lender)
The Lieberman campaign, of course, said that they had nothing to do with the ad, and the veterans' group claims that they are the ones being smeared--by a paranoid Lamont campaign.
So. This ad really isn't "swift-boating," which seems to mean character assassination on a grand and audacious scale, but parallels between the 2006 Senate campaign and the 2004 presidential campaign do exist. In fact, they've existed for a while. A lot of the same themes keep bubbling to the surface, and many of the charges hurled and positions taken are like those of Bush and Kerry. Lieberman has attacked Lamont for flip-flopping on Iraq, and not having a clear position, while portraying himself as resolute and tough on terror. The fact that Lieberman's attacks have lately been supported by a Republican echo chamber makes the parallels that much stronger. Lamont, on the other hand, has done all he can to tie Lieberman to the Administration and its failures in Iraq.
To put it another way, Ned Lamont has to a degree been running against George Bush. Joe Lieberman is currently running as George Bush.
It isn't hard, then, to see why Lamont supporters would be a little jumpy about GOP-linked veterans' groups taking out full-page ads. Who knows where it could go next?
Lender, Jon. "`Vets For Freedom' Creates Stir." Hartford Courant 15 August, 2006.