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).
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Wednesday Morning Round-Up
("Single Issue" Edition.)
- Ken Cain's article about the race in GQ is now available online. He does the best job of any reporter so far of capturing what was really happening on the campaign trail during the primary. Here's a roundup of some of the best parts, but buy the October issue at a newsstand if you want to leaf through it at your leisure:
- On Sen. Lieberman's traveling Potemkin Village, also known as the "Tomorrow Tour":
A small gaggle of cameramen wait in the shade. Kids in bright Lieberman T-shirts, some paid to be there, array themselves around the perimeter, at the unsubtle directions of Joe’s advance staff, and wait for the signal to simulate spontaneous enthusiasm. The bus arrives with police escort and disgorges a phalanx of press and staff. Joe’s driver, Joe Derosier, a man with big hands, belly, tattoos, and smile, steps off the bus and rubs his eyes. The cameramen come out into the light and get in the ready position, and then everyone waits for an uncomfortably long time in the sun until Joe finally bounds out of the bus, trying in vain to fake the look of recently arrived exuberance.
The first human within reach is Derosier. Joe grabs his hand and embraces him in a full-on man-clench for the cameras, as though Derosier were a faithful supporter who drove out to the mouth of the Norwalk River just because he’s eager to hear more about Joe’s support for bike trails. I turn to the young staffer next to me and say, “Wait, that’s his driver he just embraced!” She shrugs like, No shit, you idiot, that’s how this works. And she’s right. This event might as well be taking place on a soundstage. All that matters is that the manufactured support looks real on the evening news tonight and in the paper tomorrow.
- On Sen. Lieberman's hemming and hawing on Iraq in the back of the (mostly empty) bus:
“...I say all the time, to just remind people, that I was very critical of Bush and Rumsfeld, post-Saddam. History will judge them, and I think it will judge them very harshly on that. It’s part of the reason why we’re in such difficulty today. Not the only reason. Those forces—well, anyway—”
“I haven’t heard you say that. As one nonvoting constituent, it gives me faith to hear that.”
“You mean about the Bush screwups?”
“Yeah, and that history will judge them harshly. That sounds new.”
“Yeah, you know, I do say it, but, I don’t know, it’s interesting. I—we may look back at this—” He stops again and laughs bitterly....
The most fascinating thing in politics is the intersection between a grave policy question and an individual leader’s personality. In my opinion, there’s a major psychodrama playing out in Joe’s head about Iraq. He aborts every sentence that implies a concession that he made a mistake. It’s like his conscience starts to get just a bit ahead of his pride, and then the hubris races to catch up and tackles the concession midsentence....
- On an adult Lieberman supporter supervising a bunch of kids protesting, of all things, Ned's endorsement by the machinists' union:
I ask him if he’s a volunteer for the Lieberman campaign. “I don’t know,” he says. “I don’t think I’m supposed to say.”
“Wait, you don’t know who you work for?”
“The less I know the better,” he says.
“What are you guys up to, exactly? Are these kids supposed to be protesting the machinists’ endorsement of Ned?”
“I just brought them out here,” he says. “That’s all I do. That’s all I know.”
- On D.C. lobbyist Richard Goodstein supervising a bunch of Lieberman kids at "Cheeseburger-gate":
The big bald guy is right in my face now. I ask him where he’s from, what his role is here, and he shouts and wags his finger and demands my credentials, yelling to the crowd that I’m not a legitimate reporter and I must be with Ned. Suddenly, I realize the goal here is to provoke Ned into overreacting on-camera. And if not him, then someone on his staff. And it’s working; I want badly to take a swing at this lunatic, and I’m not even on the campaign. I flash back to yesterday and the Banana Man and the thug yelling at Tom Swan, “Hit me! Do it!”
Today’s poll shows that Ned has surged ahead by thirteen points, and it dawns on me that this is their Hail Mary tactic....
- Read the whole thing. (And tell me if I violated any copyright law by quoting too extensively above). Ken was also on Colin McEnroe's show a couple of days ago (mp3).
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It should be:
-A Lamont fan from Seattle
It should be:
-A Lamont fan from Seattle