Disclosure: I worked for the Lamont campaign doing web design and production and some writing for the official blog (from 9/5/06 to 11/07/06).

Monday, March 13, 2006


Live Announcement Open Thread

Original post:

Aldon writes in the comments:

It is 2:15 and I am up at the Old State House. Rose, our volunteer coordinator is briefing a volunteer on a project. Tina, who is doing ops for us is directing people where to put balloons and banners.

The pre-announcement soundtrack is playing over the speakers. I've been doing minor tweaks to the website and volunteers are working on an assortment of tasks.

It has been amazing to watch the empty room with stacks of folded chairs and a helium tank transformed into a setting for a great political rally.

I'm sure there is some important parallel there to how Ned's campaign is helping transform the political climate, but I'll leave that for others to write about.

Hopefully, I'll get a chance to add a few more comments today during the event.

Consider this an open thread for the purposes of live-blogging the announcement! I'll update this post with relevant comments.

Some other great news: Tom D'Amore, ex-Weicker chief of staff who was in discussions about helping Lamont, today officially signed up with the Lamont campaign as a paid consultant.

Prepared Text of Ned Lamont's Announcement Speech

Good Afternoon. Thank you for being here.

I understand that some of the political brass do not like the idea of a primary: I see it more as a kitchen table debate within our Democratic family: what do Democrats stand for, what type of country do we want, how do we get there?

I did a little research on announcement speeches and to paraphrase from a Democrat who stood before the people of our state, about eighteen years ago. He said: "Connecticut needs a Senator who will bring new energy to Washington and new help back here in Connecticut...Connecticut needs a Senator who will put Connecticut first."

Senator Lieberman, those words are true today. I wish you did not need to be challenged, I wish there was nothing to challenge.

Here we are eighteen years later, it is time for us to elect a Senator who will stand up for Connecticut, stand up for our Democratic values, and stand up to the Bush administration whose policies are so harmful to our state and our country, and that is why I am announcing my candidacy to the United States Senate.

Let me tell you who I am, and what I am for.

My first job out of college was editor of a small town weekly newspaper. The biggest employer had pulled out of town leaving a community that felt like it was knocked on its back. The neighbors invited me into their homes and their hearts, and together with the local selectmen and civic leaders, this small town got back on its feet.

I have never forgotten what a difference good government can make in people's lives; today it seems that Washington has stopped trying to make a difference, they're pulling back the helping hand, and they're telling Connecticut's families: Good Night and Good Luck.

But that's not America: Democrats are not going to let that happen.

Senator, stop by Bridgeport on your way back from Baghdad and listen to your constituents:

"I have earned my social security, not a private savings account."

"We deserve universal, affordable healthcare, not a health savings account."

"I want a great community school for my kids, not a voucher."

I taught a course last year, "How to start your own business" at Harding High in Bridgeport.

It is an old school with great teachers, but we are long on security guards in the hallways and short on coaches and the arts. I tried to get the community involved, give these students some role models, local entrepreneurs who could tell their story and remind the students- you can do it, too.

I met Joshua Grant, the founder of Soul to Soul Restaurant. He inspired the class to put together a power point marketing plan which just maybe will take Soul to Soul from coast to coast. Joshua, please stand up, you are a friend and I appreciate your being here.

I started a company from scratch; we build advanced video systems for college campuses. We compete with the largest cable operators in the country, and I am proud as a small businessman that we give college campuses a choice.

I am jumping into this Senate primary because voters deserve a choice.

Let's have the debate:

Three years ago politicians with years of political experience rushed our troops off to war; they told us the war would be easy; we'd be greeted as liberators.

Now three years later, America is no safer, Israel is no safer, the Middle East is even less stable, Iran is on the prowl, Osama Bid Laden is on the prowl, and we have 130,000 valiant troops stuck in the middle of a violent civil war in the heart of Iraq.

Those who got us into this mess should be held accountable.

In Washington they give you a medal; in my world they say: "You're fired."

I say it is time for the Iraqis to take control of their own destiny and we're just getting in the way.

Let's have the debate.

The $250 million a day we are spending in Iraq is better spent on pre-school and healthcare, public transit and veterans benefits.

Let's have the debate.

I would have lead the opposition to the nomination of Judge Alito? Next year the Supreme Court will hear the South Dakota law which outlaws a woman's right to choose, even in the case of rape and incest.

Let's have the debate.

I believe that President George Bush's illegal wiretaps, his reckless fiscal and environmental policies are weakening America and leaving too many hardworking citizens behind.

I doubt that anybody will call me "George Bush's favorite Democrat."

Do you remember that Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska? Part of the 6,371 earmarks, which are multi million dollar pork ridden special favors for special congressmen, added to a bill at the last moment, under the cloak of darkness. And it's all legal, the big easy for career politicians.

If you are not shouting from the rafters that this is wrong, then you are complicit and part of the problem.

I am not a shouter, but I come to this race as someone who is obviously not afraid of a challenge. I am ready challenge business as usual, I am ready to fight for our Democratic values and I will tell the Bush administration to put their haughty arrogance in their back pocket and deal with the rest of the world with respect. That's how America will start winning again in a post 9-11 world.

As I travel the state I have heard from thousands of you - students and elderly, veterans and teachers, small business and labor, even a few courageous political leaders: let's have a primary, let's have the debate: how did we get into this mess and how do we get out?

Sure, there are some that have not been quite so encouraging: Ned, don't jeopardize a safe seat.

I tell them, Connecticut is a progressive state. You're not losing a Senator, you're gaining a Democrat.

They tell me, Ned, don't rock the boat.

And I tell them, baby, it's high time we "rock the boat."

We are running for the heart and soul of the Democratic party; we're showing the country that we can win as proud Democrats fueled by your grassroots support and energy and passion; and on August 9 the pundits will be shaking their heads and noting: here come the Democrats.

The D'Amore signup is significant and welcome. Do you have any more info on Sean Smith who was recently hired to run the Lieberman campaign. Is this the same person who was a Kerry spokesperson in Nevada in 2004?
Checking in from the Old State House. The energy here is incredible. People ahve printed up their own signs and are distributing them. The seats are pretty full and there are lots of people standing around the edges. The folks who are going to appear on the stage with Ned are standing by. Volunteers have been handing in projects. Politics TV is here and is recording interviews with various supporters.
Blow by Blow:

Lyn May is opening the announcement.
"I have been looking forward to this day since Tom Swan called me and asked me to get involved."

She says that here reason to be here is because of civil liberties.
Now up, Max from the Bridgeport Board of Ed. He is talking about how Ned has volunteered at Harding High School in Bridgeport where he's taught.

Max goes on to talk about the importance of universal affordable healthcare. He talks about making medicare simpler, not more complex.

All our families deserve the opportunity to send students to clean and safe public schools, and that is based on funding public education, and not simply coming up with slogans.

Our U.S. Senator should spend more time in Bridgeport than in Baghdad.
Max is still speaking. He makes comments about how Ned is not a pacifict. Ned understands that there is evil in this world, and someone yells out 'LIEBERMAN'. Everyone laughs, and then Max goes back to talk about how we need to make sure that if we do have to call up our sons and daughters, we need to make sure we do it right, only when needed and providing them with proper armor.
Now, Ned's mom is getting up to speak now. "I am Ned's mom and I urge you to vote for him" She talks about growing up in Puerto Rico and still trying to teach Ned Spanish.

She introduces Emily, Ned's daughter.

"Imagine all the people living life in peace" she starts off with.

She talks about talking politics with her dad when she was six.

The crowd goes wild as Ned comes in.
Ned is delivering a GREAT speech. Constantly interrupted with applause.

He is embellishing his prepared speech considerably.
"And we are going to show people on a hot day in August that we can win, not by being Republican lite but by being proud Democrats."
When asked about Chris Shays endorsing Lieberman, Ned said, Diane is a great candidate and I hope that everyone who came up here from Fairfield county remembers that.
Okay. The speech is over and the crowd is breaking up. You can read the prepared text of Ned's speech online at http://www.nedlamont.com/speech031306.html. As I noted before, Ned embellished the speech a lot and I would encourage you to check out any online recordings. I know that Politics TV is supposed to post a video of the whole announcement sometime soon.

More soon.
Video from WTNH of Ned's announcement is now available at the Ned Lamont Resource!

Thanks for the link. Also, I am currently live blogging over at My Vote is My Voice if anyone cares to come join the discussion.
Thanks guys, for keeping us desk bound folks up to date. It seems like we will get some fresh air this spring. (May we all combat Lieberman's hot air.)
Thanks for posting this. Your blog made me feel like I was there, and the speech was terrific. I'm supporting Ned Lamont because he believes in choice. Firedoglake linked me to his campaign, and I'll contribute again on their ActBlue page.

Thank you for your efforts today to bring your world, and Ned's, closer for those of us all over the USA who support him and hope Ned wins.
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