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).

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Money Can't Buy Me Love

In a very well-reasoned article in the Courant this morning, Mark Pazniokas writes about the influence of wealth and money on the senate race.

People are throwing around terms like "self-financed" and names like Corzine (who spent $60 million+ to win his senate seat) and Bloomberg (who spent $70 million+ to get into NYC City Hall). But I think we're looking at a new paradigm with Lamont. Here's a candidate who, while he probably couldn't self-fund to those obscene levels, could put in a lot more of his money than he already has. Yet instead he's relying on asking for small donations from the netroots - and what's amazing is that he's getting them in huge numbers. People have been excited to donate $25 or $50 a person to a millionaire. That's something new. They know this campaign is about them as much as it is about Ned.

And both Ned and his supporters know what political scientist and author Jennifer Steen points out in the article:

Steen writes that the self-financed candidates typically lose because they market themselves with expensive television campaigns while neglecting to develop the foundation of a campaign field organization.

"Perhaps because of their inexperience, self-financers tend to wage strategically imbalanced campaigns," Steen writes. "They often fail to provide strong ground support for the air war."

In so many ways, this campaign takes the typical self-financed campaign and turns it on its head. From the beginning, they've been the ones focusing on the ground game (Lieberman started his campaign by running radio and TV ads). They've been the ones who have offered to cap spending at Lieberman's current fundraising total of $7 million (Lieberman has declined that offer). They've been the ones who have successfully painted their opponent as an out-of-touch elitist (Lieberman has been incredibly helpful with his actions).

So, no, this isn't a typical self-funded campaign. Ned is getting the kinds of things that money just can't buy.
The Beatles said it best:

"Money can't buy me love"

By that standard Ned Lamont is a rich man indeed.

Joe Lieberman? Eh...not so much.
Also see the Register on Lieberman's attack ad, and Paul Bass on Lieberman's record.
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