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, October 30, 2006


Furious Joe's Campaign Writes a Letter

When most candidates lose a newspaper endorsement - even one as potentially influential as the New York Times' - they let it go. They might go so far as to mutter something under their breath about newspaper endorsements being meaningless. About how the voters are the things that matter.

Not Joe Lieberman.

And not Dan Gerstein, who, upon reading the New York Times' reasoned, articulate editorial absolutely dismantling his candidate's carefully constructed post-primary PR, sat down to furiously bang out an official letter of protest (impressively enough, at the same time his head was apparently exploding) to the "liberal media" heavyweight.

The blog post introducing the letter opens with this gem, echoing Lieberman supporters across the right-wing by accusing the Times of being biased and having a "clear partisan agenda":

We fully expected that the New York Times, given its strong anti-war stance and clear partisan agenda, would repeat their misguided primary endorsement of Ned Lamont for the general election. But we never imagined the Times of all papers would produce such an intellectually dishonest and shoddy editorial as they published Sunday.

The Gerstein letter itself goes on to accuse the Times of being:

all in the first five paragraphs.

And there are twenty-nine petulantly vitriolic paragraphs that follow:

All of this goes to show that if anyone is guilty of not facing reality, it is the Times editors. You clearly overlooked all the signs that Senator Lieberman was listening and that his views could and did evolve. Instead, you repackaged the distorted caricature the Lamont campaign has been peddling for several months to serve your own ideological agenda.

The truth is, the only way Joe Lieberman could have won with the Times editors was to compromise his principles and recant his support for the war. And in much the same way, the only acceptable definition of changing course for the Times was a politically-determined timetable for troop withdrawal -– a path that has been rejected as a threat to our national security interests by many critics of the Bush Administration, including the overwhelming majority of Senate Democrats, and our military leadership.

The most blatant evidence that the fix was in was your assertion that Mr. Lamont is “the far better candidate” to serve in the U.S. Senate. That is simply incomprehensible – and frankly an insult to your readers’ intelligence....

It is quite telling that the Times, much like the bloggers who have been trying to purge Joe Lieberman from the Democratic Party, failed to acknowledge any of these accomplishments and stands – or to explain why they were not relevant to your endorsement process....

Or, not least of all, the Times editors did not acknowledge the consequences of losing Senator Lieberman’s seniority for the people of Connecticut and for many of the progressive causes the Times has long championed.

That is probably because you long ago convicted him of not being ideologically pure enough and of not being reflexively hostile enough to his Republican colleagues. You clearly wanted another finger-pointer in the Senate, and Ned Lamont wins that contest hands down.

It's really perplexing. What good can come of this letter? Other than to direct people to the decidedly sane and civil - and convincing - endorsement from the Times that made Gerstein fly into such a rage.

What it shows is how Joe's is and always has been a campaign based entirely on entitlement, indignation, and anger. He was angry at having to face a primary challenge. He was insulted that anyone would ask him to defend his record. And he's been in furious rage at the Connecticut voters who rebuked him in a record turnout in August.

And guess who he'll take that anger out on if he wins.
Didn't the NY Times run a LTE from Lieberman or someone connected with Lieberman after the Times endorsed Lamont in the primary? I seem to recall that the Times did run one and it was very odd that they did.

If my memory is correct, thats the reason for this letter: they think the Times will give them the space. Free ad.
Senator Joe, the Democrat who cut and ran as an independent...Senator Joe is about as well-versed in the Sith arts as Darth Cheney. But he's pretty interesting to hang out with:
Charles -- I would be a more (or less) informed voter if I actually read the entire Gerstein rant, but I have to admit -- it made my head hurt after the 3rd paragraph. What on earth did he expect to gain? I'm not fond of MSM endorsements because I vote on the issues I research on my own. I must say, however, the NYT's endorsement was well written and hit all the important points except those related to dirty campaign tricks.
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