There is no better barometer of the increasing desperation of the Lamont campaign than the reaction of Ned 's biggest blogger boosters to yesterday's debate.
Instead of touting Ned's performance -- which would have been a challenge for the even the best spinmasters --the usually Republican-hating keyboard jockeys spent an inordinate amount of their hype on Alan Schlesinger.
The reason for this sudden turnabout could not be more transparent. The bloggers know that Negative Ned' s message of blame and blather has totally failed to resonate with voters outside his anti-war base, and that Lamont's only hope in this race now is to try to peel away Republican voters from Joe Lieberman's broad-based coalition.
Seems pretty clear to us this cynical tactic is part of a coordinated strategy -- and that it will fall as flat as the rest of Ned 's general election campaign.
At this point, several left-wing blogs are quoted praising Schlesinger's performance.
This is an interesting wrinkle. The Lieberman campaign has something of a point: Lamont supporters like Schlesinger because he takes votes from Lieberman. That's not hard to figure out. Schlesinger is a road to victory. He isn't the only road, but at this point he's probably the easiest.
But they also like Schlesinger because he smacked Lieberman around yesterday, and that's something they can get behind. Joe Lieberman has been counting on half-hearted support from Republicans and conservative independents to carry him across the finish line against Lamont, and it's refreshing to see a representative of those voters repudiate him.
The post also mentions something about a "coordinated strategy," and even goes as far as to suggest that Lamont's "wealthy friends" will start funnelling money to Schlesinger. It also, in a twist of irony, accuses Lamont's campaign of deep cynicism.
It's posts like this one that remind me of the defensive, nasty and paranoid Lieberman campaign that crashed and burned so dramatically this summer: not least of all because the Lieberman campaign suddenly has something to be paranoid about.