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, October 18, 2006


Early Reaction

(Update: Kirby at CTBob was at the debate and has a great round-up of the substance. More posts here.)

Emerging consensus this time: Lieberman was alone onstage in defending Bush's war, Ned took Joe to task on Social Security and energy as well, Schlesinger was a big story again:

The AP:

HARTFORD, Conn. Oct 18, 2006 (AP)— The Iraq war touched off a war of words Wednesday as Sen. Joe Lieberman debated four candidates trying to succeed him in the Senate.

Two minor party candidates joined Democrat Ned Lamont in assailing Lieberman's support for the war. Republican Alan Schlesinger reminded the group that the Senate lacks the authority to withdraw troops.

"Three-and-a-half years ago, President Bush rushed our country into war," said Lamont, a wealthy businessman who rode a wave of anti-war sentiment to an August primary victory over Lieberman. "Senator Lieberman cheered him on every step of the way."

Lieberman, who is running as an independent, said, "No one wants to end the war in Iraq more than I do." But he warned against pulling out troops before the job is done....

Schlesinger delivered an energetic debate performance similar to the one he gave Monday, but the long-shot candidate had a harder time Wednesday because of two minor party candidates.


The candidates talked about Iraq and they also talked about oil prices. Both Democrat Ned Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger took Lieberman to task for supporting an energy bill that opens up Long Island Sound to that big gas barge. And they also sparred about Social Security again....

But as was the case in the first debate it was Schlesinger who seemed to have the best lines, like when he talked about Social Security.

"I say we repeal Congressional pensions and put the Congress into Social Security like the rest of us," he said, which was met by sustained applause. "There is no money in the Social Security Trust Fund, it's a cruel hoax. We have to start putting money away."

Lamont continued his attack on the issue, saying, "Sen. Lieberman has been on both sides of Social Security. He was for privatization, then he was against. I think we need to be clear with the American people. We're going to be here to fight for Social Security. It's a guaranteed benefit."

Lieberman again reiterated that he no longer supports privatization.

"Social Security is probably the best thing the federal government has ever done. I disagree over whether it's real money in the Social Security Trust Fund. There is. Are there IOU's? There are because the federal government is in deficit, that's why I support pay-as-you-go government."

New Haven Independent:

U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman again got it from both sides in a campaign debate Wednesday -- but this time the subject was social security....

As Lieberman, Schlesinger and Democratic candidate Ned Lamont debated for the second time Wednesday, a clear dynamic emerged: Lieberman, the one-time vice presidential candidate who's now a petitioning third-party candidate, did not dominate, and often got cut off abruptly by moderators as he overran time limits. Lamont appeared nervous, spoke quickly, and held back from addressing Lieberman directly. Schlesinger provided the fire, a bit more sedate than in their first debate but still prone to gesture wildly, and often turning to Lieberman with direct and comical jousts....

In another a classic Schlesinger performance, the Republican again joined forces with Lamont to attack the man they aim to topple.

Schlesinger turned to the senator: "If you had someone doing a job for 18 years, and after 18 years, their record was one of complete failure, what would you do? What do you think should happen with that person?"

He turned to Lamont to make his point: "Ned, you're a businessman: what would you say about someone like that?"

"I'd say, "It's time to go, Joe!" said Lamont.

Be prepared for Schlesinger to turn on Lamont in the last debate.
Leneveu- quite possible. Alan went after Ned pretty hard both on Monday and today.

But my take is while Alan is happy going after all candidates, he's happiest going after Joe and playing the spoiler. His motive? The GOP threw him under the bus. He'd like nothing better than to upset their plans to get Joe elected.
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