Monday, December 18, 2006

Connecticut Political Person of the Year

Time Magazine has named "You" as the Person of the Year, which seems like an incredible cop-out to me. That said...

Who was Connecticut's Political Person of the Year?
Jodi Rell
Ned Lamont
Joe Lieberman
Chris Shays
Chris Dodd
Joe Courtney
Chris Murphy
James Amann
Someone Else
Free polls from

If I had to choose, I'd pick Lamont--and perhaps, more importantly for the future, his supporters both online and off--for sheer impact on state politics, and for getting a lot of people involved in and excited about politics statewide. Close runners-up would be Murphy and Courtney, followed by Rell.

Is there anyone I should have put on this list that I didn't?


Anonymous said...


I would have included a single entry of Tom Swan and John Murphy. Since the poll is for "political person" and not simply "politician" those two deserve to be included. Their mark on CT politics this election cycle have been widely acknowledged here.

Anonymous said...

Not Lamont. He spent $15 million trying to to buy a senate seat and lost. Hardly man of the year material. It might have been different if the Long Noses hadn't run Alan Gold. But they did. So end of story.

Anonymous said...

I know that the questions presupposes the nominee to be a "positive" force in CT politics this year, but I would still have to put Lieberman top of the list. Without his bull-headed insistence on running after losing the Democratic primary, Ned Lamont and Tom Swan would not have garnered the attention, voter turnout would not have been as high as it was, Courtney would have lost those 83 votes....

Anonymous said...

If the winner of this poll gets TV time, I'm sure Bloomie will be very upset with you GC! Oh wait, he can just stand in the background.

cgg said...

CT Bob isn't an option?

I'd go with Lamont too. His entry into CT politics really did change everything here, and to a certain degree around the country.

Anonymous said...

How about the creators of MLN & CTLP?

Anonymous said...

I think people on this and other CT blogs are overestimating the impact Ned Lamont had on US politics. Certainly, other US Democrats would have run on anti-war platforms with or without Lamont doing so in CT. The sitting President is highly unpopular due in large part to a widely unpopular war. You don't have to be a political genius to come up with an anti-war strategy, yet many folks here are seemingly crediting Lamont with helping to win Senate and House majorities. At little perspective people.

Genghis Conn said...

There's no question in my mind that Joe Courtney wouldn't have won the 2nd without Ned Lamont. It was the student vote at UCONN that put Joe over the top, and those students were coming out to vote for Ned.

The 5th is different. Murphy would have won no matter what. But Joe Courtney should be sending Ned Lamont a very, very nice Christmas card.

ctkeith said...

Hey Anon 10:30,

Do a little google search for Lamont in the 8 weeks leading up to the CT. primary and then go look at thenational polls for that same time.
The national effect of the Lamont primary campaign and win CANNOT be overestimated.

Anonymous said...

Tom Swan for serving an enormously popular incumbent democrat United States Senator defeat in a primary with a one trick pony.

...then allowing his pony to go on vacation...

disgruntled_republican said...

Anon 10:30 -

I think people on this and other CT blogs are overestimating the impact Ned Lamont had on US politics.

Some may be but the questions was Connecticut Political Person of the Year. Even as a Republican I recognized the impact Ned Lamont had on the political landscape in Connecticut, particularly in CD2 where he in effect caused Simmons the race. He is hands down the Political Person of the Year in Connecticut.

disgruntled_republican said...

Holy cow, maybe its the time of year or something but ctkeith and I actually AGREE on something...I'm not sure how to feel right now. J/K

Anonymous said...

Lamont wins the national award, MJR wins the connecticut award.

MJR won two generals: Governor & US Senate

Anonymous said...

The problem, though, is that outside of Connecticut, no one is going to remember who Ned Lamont is 1 year from now.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1103 -

Without a google search do you know who all of the following people are?

* Willy Brandt, Time person of the year in 1970
* Deng Xiaoping , Time person of the year in 1978 & 1985
* Lech Wałęsa, Time person of the year in 1981
* Dr. Andrew Stephen Grove, Time person of the year in 1997
* Cynthia Cooper, Sherron Watkins or Coleen Rowley, Time persons of the year in 2002

And be honest....

Anonymous said...

CTKeith, (and his DumpJoe effort), is clearly Connecticut's Person of the Year!

In 2004 Keith sparked Ed Meyer's take-down of Bill Aniskovich. This cycle he started the biggest snowball Connecticut has ever seen. I mean back in early 2005, who but Keith would have dreamed Lieberman could be vulnerable to a challenge?

I wonder who he'll take on next? Personally, I hope it's Amann, the dimmest bulb to ever light our Statehouse.

Anonymous said...

Amann retires this term. Right?

Anonymous said...

My vote is for John Rowland. The guy made theFIC Blog's good guy list!!!!

cgg said...

The FIC's person of the year should be Genghis Conn. CTLP put their blog on the map!

Anonymous said...

And CJ Tacco Sullivan gets second place. As Ken Dixon said yesterday:Tocco leaves state in Wonderland and a tie for third goes to Blumenthal, CSP Col. Boyle ad Len Boyle with Dixon's take:here

Anonymous said...

being honest...

no not all of them

but, Lech Walesa is a hero, possibly thee catalyst for the toppling of communism in eastern europe, more worthy than the front cover of some pathetic tabloid

red ned lamont and these other goons should not be mentioned in the same breath or even blog post as Lech Walesa

Anonymous said...

John Rowland is a convicted felon he like Ned Lamont deserves No Praise!!!!!! he was a crook and got caught Enough said.

Anonymous said...

Just sayings..

Willy Brandt-- no idea
Deng Xiaoping-- President of China, led the path towards more capitalism
Lech Walesa-- Leader of Solidarity in Poland
Andy Grove-- Chairman of Intel
Cooper/Watkins/Rowley-- were these the anti-landmine folks?

Your point is taken though.... these things tend to be context specific.

Anonymous said...

Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West germany and Nobel Peace Prize winner

ALittleBitDramatic said...

I say Murph. Went out an a limb, ran a great campaign and actually won.

Plus, his race is representative of what transpired in the nation as a whole.

Anonymous said...

My first reaction was that it is Ned Lamont hands down. But on more consideration, I think Connecticut's Political Person of the Year is a tie between Lamont and Lieberman.

Lamont for the obvious reasons pretty much mentioned already. Lieberman for among other things, running both the worst, and the best, election campaigns of the year. (Primary and General, respectively.)

And yes, Time got it wrong with their lame punt. Without question, Person of the Year should have gone to President Bush. This was a dramatically transformative year for American politics and he was the catalyst for that transformation.

Anonymous said...

Has to be Rell, based on her huge win.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that there's this idea out there that Lamont was the difference for Courtney, largely since he brought some extra UConn students out. But if Lamont hadn't run, Courtney would likely have won by a very comfortable margin. Lieberman would have been running virtually unopposed, getting somewhere around 75 or 80 percent of the vote, just before the Congressional races on the ballot. His money, as in past campaigns, would have helped the overall Democratic effort, instead of being part of an independent campaign, and he wouldn't have been pulling people off the Democratic line right before they vote for Congress. Meanwhile, many of the CT volunteers for Lamont would have been working hard on Courtney, Farrell and Murphy. No one can really know, but my guess is that Farrell would have come much much closer to winning (and possibly pulled it out) and Courtney would have won by at least 5%, if not for Lamont. Murphy would have won regardless. That's not to say Lamont shouldn't have run -- he ran based on very important reasons having little to do with his impact on the Congressionals. But people should really be careful of basing an opinion on just one variable, like an increase in vote by students, in a complicated situation, where the reality is probably very different from what they're speculating.

ctkeith said...

Anon 7:26,

In what reaity do you live?

Courtney lost to Simmons a mere 4 years ago and Sullivan lost to Simmons even though Kerry took the 2nd pretty comfortably in 04.

"Liebermans money" in CT in 2000 was a lousy 1 million to the party and he NEVER had any coattails.

I'm not suprised you or many others continue to post here anonymously because if you had to own your opinions you'd be laughed off any blog.

Now that the election is over isn't about time you made people own their stupidity? said...

What I don't think people get is that in the end there are not any moral victories in politics. You either win or you lose. For all the good Lamont did bringing new people to the table. In the end, he still lost. In the end, 15 million later and Lamont gets credit for winning a primary. Jerry Brown won a primary in Connecticut too, almost 15 years later...few remember that. I don't think he is the clear winner.

I think its a little early to know how much effect Lamont had. I do think he turned out a lot of new people, but there were also a lot of R's who came out to vote against him. That said, something big happened but the Lamont effect really won't be understood until the next these folks come back to work/vote? Do they disappear? What happens to all of the split DTC's? Or the new D's that registered?

Lamont and Lieberman became a entity all to their own. I'd nominate the both of them...mirror images...dopplegangers of the political men of the year.

Lieberman went from a Senator with 60% approval rating to being booted by his own party to come back as the most powerfull man in the Senate. Lamont went from an unknown millionaire to taking out the former vice presidential nominee to barely being heard from again.

In 2006, neither one of them would haveended up without the other. They are an inseperatable as men of the year.

(and boy am I glad its over!)

CT Bob said...

Can I change my vote? I voted for Lamont, but really, Amann just made my year so...wonderful...that I owe him a vote.

It'll be the last time I vote for him, too.

fuzzyturtle said...

Chris Shays.
that's my vote. He said WEIRD stuff, had a breakdown.. showed his kinky side and STILL GOT ELECTED.

I'm still in shock.

thank G-D I live in Murphy country.

Matt said...

anon 10:01 - if Joe didn't go after the post-primary indie run, Courtney would have blown Simmons out of the water, and Diane Farrell would be setting up her DC office this week.

You don't think all the GOP congressionals heaped priase on Joe because they thought he's be good for the Democrats, do you?

Anonymous said...

It has to be Ned Lamont. He championed, what became, a national movement.

Lieberman continues to embarrass the state with his postures and positions. When did CT become so dumb?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said on 12/18: "I think people on this and other CT blogs are overestimating the impact Ned Lamont had on US politics. Certainly, other US Democrats would have run on anti-war platforms with or without Lamont doing so in CT. The sitting President is highly unpopular due in large part to a widely unpopular war. You don't have to be a political genius to come up with an anti-war strategy, yet many folks here are seemingly crediting Lamont with helping to win Senate and House majorities. At little perspective people."


I am reminded of Thomas Ricks's description in FIASCO of the dismissiveness that the Bush administration evidenced toward the highly educated and battle experienced generals who told them that this war was not likely to work, and that many more troops were needed to meet the objectives they had, and the result could well be chaos anyhow. It can be a huge and fundamental tactical error to fail to respect those with whom you don't agree.

Perhaps it is a commentary on the general lack of political leadership of our times, and on the underappreciated influence of money in politics, (rather than saying anything about Lamont's political acumen) that an issue that should be so obvious to run on had not yet generated much open debate among candidates at the time when Lamont stood up and decided to run. No one from the Lamont campaign claimed this was an act of political genius. But many voters saw it as an act of political courage. I do not accept it as a given that just because the war was unpopular, the Dems were going to stand up and raise the issue effectively, and could do so with uncompromised voices. Lamont decided to run LATE (which put him behind the eightball in fundraising and campaign organization purposes) - and there were a good number of Dems and their candidates who were busy triangulating and rationalizing and compromising and trying to eke out some reason not to rock the boat or to rock it gently, in synch with the latest polls --while fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, and sisters and brothers were dying in Iraq and the country was spending itself into oblivion (still is, every day that this war continues). The Democratic party was not excited about a challenge to the incumbent on any principle, as far as I can tell. We're not talking about someone getting up one day and deciding to run for office - we're talking about someone bucking the conventional wisdom of people with a lot more political experience than he had, and much more power in this country, and running anyway. On top of that, he risked a vicious response in the media, and had to evaluate whether he -- and his family -- would or could withstand tremendous scrutiny, personal attacks, and loss of privacy. For a man for whom loving and protecting his family is a very big deal, this is not a small compromise to make. He became a rock the boat guy, and he lives in Greenwich, CT - a "don't rock the boat" world. He took huge personal and financial risks,compelled by his conscience. Seems to me that politics draws too much blood these days to be called a vanity run unless you're a total masochist. Lamont decided to run at a time when standing up to the GOP in a largely wealthy, powerful, GOP community could be perceived IMHO as taking giant steps toward occupational and political and social suicide. What he decided to do no doubt cost him social connections, friendships (of a sort), at the least. Then in the general election, he continued not to take PAC money. Think about What it involves to say no to PAC money. Can you imagine on a regular basis saying NO to fundraisers which would amass hundreds of thousands of dollars because the money was all coming from PACS? People who say Lamont was trying to buy himself a Senate seat are conveniently leaving out the fact that there were plenty who were willing to help him with the "purchase price" and he said no, over and over and over again. No, this was not about buying a Senate seat. Take a good look - you may not see a person of this much principle cross the political stage again any time soon. Candidates' voices may be compromised by PAC money, a fact that anonymous leaves out of his "anyone can figure out to run on the war" equation. A candidate has to PAY for that race, too.

In the end, Lamont ran his race -- a race about integrity - WITH integrity to the end, refusing to indulge in many apparently business as usual political practices, including refusing to attack Lieberman's family, focusing the race on the issues, refusing to accept PAC money or to engage in several forms of what is essentially vote buying. As far as I know, still unanswered about Lieberman are questions on Ms. Holloway and her absentee ballot vote gathering involvement for the Lieberman campaign (in violation of court order that she not be involved until 2007 after being found guilty and fined for forging a signature on an absentee ballotin a previous, unrelated race). Questions about the Lieberman campaign's use of petty cash in huge amounts during the last 10 days of the primary by the Lieberman campaign don't shake out as "meticulously and proactively demonstrating integrity" and "aggressive transparency" to me. I cannot say that the Lieberman campaign's acceptance of huge amounts of PAC money and Republican neocon donations while positioning itself as a D/I/R/CFL candidate represented bold, new and independent leadership, either, although it was touted as such. To blur the facts and make claims counter to them is not worthy of celebration when ANYONE does it, because it is a huge disservice to voters and to democracy.

If we continue to ignore the niggling little problems with Lieberman's race and victory, shove them under the rug and celebrate politics as usual as something new and different, we deserve what we get. For that reason, I say, "It's not just where you end up, but how you got there". And that's why I say Ned Lamont gets my vote as man of the year. He reminds us what integrity in politics can look like and should look like. How sad that we too often are given reasons to forget.

Finally, from a couple of personal experiences, I tend to think it's a mistake to dismiss blogs and the effect of the ability to essentially create your own internet news report, and with that dismissal conclude that Lamont is only a local figure fading into oblivion. On two occasions this year, once on a visit to friends in Delaware and once when a visitor came to CT from western Pennsylvania, I was shocked to discover the detail and level of interest on the race that people had. One was a friend who refuses to engage in politics at all and another was a professor who watches politics. In the professor's case, it was probably about the second thing out of his mouth when I saw him for the first time in 20 years or more. It's what he wanted to know about Connecticut, above all else. In the Delaware case, a young person who is angry about politics and has not voted in awhile nevertheless knew many details about the race. The level of detail most likely came from the blogs and internet, as it was not contained in the general media coverage. The takehome message is that people outside the state with no reason to follow CT politics were tuned into this race. Could it be that it transcended geography and got to the heart of some issues on the minds of many voters? Voters who don't care about insider comments on level of political genius?

Anonymous said...

I know 4 people who are not Politician of The Year.

1.Ned Lamont
2.Keith Crane
3. Petey Crane
4.Tom Swan

these 4 did absolutely nothing But split The Democratic Party in two.

They shouldnt be thanked at all.

Anonymous said...

cj sullivan could be honest man of the year. the man never, ever lied once and actually if he did, none of this would have ever transpired. i give him a ton of credit for handling this fictional scandal with class and dignity.

ctcitizen said...

cj sullivan is unquestionably the "honest man of the year". the man never, ever lied once during this fictional scandal. he handled this whole mess with class and dignity. i feel horrible for the man who was unmercifully pummeled by many, many people over a judicial act that has been done before.

Printer's Devil said...

why is andy fleischmann not on that ballot?
i demand to know.

Anonymous said...

how laughable about ctcitizen and sullivan. sullivan committed a disgraceful act. nobody ever said he lied. his legacy will be a closed court system run as a good ole boy network.