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).

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Lamont Springs Forward

In an article about the race in tomorrow's Times, "Joenertia" is the lede:

The inattentiveness - as well as the scattered boos amid the supportive calls of "Joe" that welcomed Mr. Lieberman to the podium - convinced some that the three-term senator, criticized for months because of his continued support for the war in Iraq, may be vulnerable in the primary challenge he faces.

"What I was struck by was that not many people were paying attention to him," said Leo Canty, chairman of the Democratic town committee in Windsor, which passed a resolution in February opposing Senator Lieberman's support for the war. "It used to be that he would be more of a presence when he came in."

While Lamont's support bubbles an inch below the surface:

...on Thursday night, while Mr. Lieberman said he was pleased with how he was received, Mr. Lamont and his aides said they were pleased, too. Mr. Lamont described people discreetly flashing Lamont buttons from their pockets and whispering to him, "I'm with you quietly."


Buckley Again: Iraq a "Failure"

Joe's political godfather and conservative founding father William F. Buckley speaks out again on the utter failure of the Bush-Lieberman Iraq policy in an interview with Bloomberg TV to be aired this weekend:

William F. Buckley Jr., the longtime conservative writer and leader, said George W. Bush's presidency will be judged entirely by the outcome of a war in Iraq that is now a failure.

"Mr. Bush is in the hands of a fortune that will be unremitting on the point of Iraq,'' Buckley said in an interview that will air on Bloomberg Television this weekend. "If he'd invented the Bill of Rights it wouldn't get him out of his jam.''

Buckley said he doesn't have a formula for getting out of Iraq, though he said "it's important that we acknowledge in the inner councils of state that it (the war) has failed, so that we should look for opportunities to cope with that failure."

Until and unless he begins to speak out against it forcefully, Mr. Lieberman is in the hands of this same fortune.

He, just as much as Bush, is tied to the sinking ship of this failed and unnecessary war of choice.

Bush to Visit Bridgeport on Wednesday

Chris Shays will be there (Farrell's campaign had better get some really good video). But Bush's favorite Democrat seems to be avoiding him like the plague:

Casey Aden-Wansbury, a spokeswoman for Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said meetings are scheduled that day for the Environment, Government Affairs and Armed Services committees.

To be fair, even Republicans are perplexed at the visit of a president they're afraid to touch with a ten-foot pole:

Rick Torres, chairman of the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee, said he hasn't been invited to the speech.

"I don't know why he's coming. People are generally running from him," said Torres, who owns a market in Black Rock and is a former GOP candidate for mayor. "This was not organized by a political organization in the state."

Update: Colin McEnroe has an interesting take:

President Bush is going to Bridgeport on Wednesday, but the original White house plan was to go to Stamford, and U.S. Rep Chris Shays begged them not to. I got this from a good source.

Shays doesn't have a lot of votes in Bridgeport, so he has less to lose this way. He might even pick up a few from people impressed that he (seemed to have) brought the president to their benighted city. Stamford is different. And he's facing all kinds of heat from Diane Farrell, who's running at least partly as an anti-war candidate, despite having endorsed Lieberman.

Friday, March 31, 2006


End of Quarter

(Update: Graph from Scarce at MLN. Numbers as of this morning: 3,478 donations for over $175,000!)

It's about 40 minutes until the end of the first quarter, and Ned Lamont is up to 3,422 donors on ActBlue for an impresive total of $174,020.99 (don't forget those 99 cents).

That's over 500 donations for over $16,500 today through ActBlue alone.

Here's a couple of photos from Ned's DFNYC appearance tonight, in front of an inquisitive and decently-sized out-of-state crowd:


A Question

Would Joe Lieberman have heard a single "boo" if he had spoken to a Republican party dinner?

Talk amongst yourselves.


3,005 3,132 donors for $159,839.56 $163,695.19.

Edit: had to get rid of the cowbell animated gif for my own sanity.

Friday Morning Round-Up


"The Elephant In The Room"


Barack Obama's words (via Fox 61's video report on the JJB dinner):

"I know that some in the party have differences with Joe. I'm gonna go ahead and say it. It's the elephant in the room."

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Maybe They Were Saying...


Update: A report from an attendee over at Kos doesn't mention the booing, but does confirm apathy (Joe-nertia?) in the crowd:

Dodd gave a typically excellent speech, but when he asked us to stand for Joe, only maybe half of the crowd did - the rest sat on our hands. Joe gave a rousing and funny speech (at least for him), but could barely be heard over the clink of silverware on plates. (which I swear was louder when he spoke then when Dodd did). The crowd barely paid attention to him....

All in all, a very good night for Ned. His supporters were well represented in the room. I actually saw as many of his buttons as Lieberman's. And the lack of enthusiasm for Joe from the party elite was simply stunning.

Update 2: AP confirms some booing, suggests some apathy/Joe-nertia:

Despite the camaraderie between the two, the crowd was clearly more receptive to Obama's remarks than Lieberman's speech about party unity and the potential for Democratic victories at the ballot box this fall.

In fact, scattered boos greeted Lieberman when he took the podium, and he had to stop three times during his remarks to shush the crowd so he could deliver key points.

Ned Lamont, a Democratic activist and anti-war candidate from Greenwich, is challenging Lieberman for the party's nomination this year. Legions of supporters of Lieberman and Lamont both attended the dinner.


Lieberman Now DENIES Ruling Out Independent Run

Lieberman's camp is now claiming Salon's Walter Shapiro was wrong in claiming he had ruled out a run as an independent, according to the Journal Inquirer:

U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, facing a challenge for the state Democratic Party's endorsement and the potential of a primary election in August, reportedly has ruled out running for re-election as an independent.

But a Connecticut political consultant working for Lieberman said today that the writer for the Internet newsmagazine that published that report may have read too much into the senator's response.

"We don't even talk about that because he has no intention of losing the primary," the consultant, Roy Occhiogrosso, said.

... A transcript of the Salon interview provided by Occhiogrosso indicates that Lieberman was responding to a question about whether he ever has days "where you think if you can't be senator you've been, with the kind of style you've approached, you don't want to be a senator?"

"Some people have said to me, 'Why don't you run as an independent? You have broad support across all parties.' Lieberman responded, before adding his comments about belief in the Democratic Party.

Asked if Lieberman was indeed ruling out an independent run should he lose the primary, Occhiogrosso said, "He's been very clear that he is a committed, sensible Democrat."

It's now 100% clear that Lieberman wants to keep open the possibility of running as an Independent. He feels entitled to "his" seat, and intends to keep it, even if that means leaving the party.

The senator owes all Connecticut Democrats a clear answer to this question. It's not that hard.

Are you considering leaving the party and running as an Independent or Republican in November?

Yes or no, Joe?

"Calm Down, Senator"

Helen Ubiñas writes an absolutely blistering column in today's Courant, busting Lieberman campaign manager Sean Smith on his characterization on Lamont as "angry." After hearing Smith's description and reading Lamont's actual words, which amounted to tame criticisms, Ubiñas called Smith to get specifics on the "angry" charges of Lamont. Here's what followed:

Curious about these misrepresentations, I called Lieberman's campaign manager and asked for specifics.

How much time do you have? Sean Smith asked.

All the time he needed, which turned out not to be much.

After two conversations and a night to think about it, Smith sent me a seven-page document titled "What Ned Said."

"A" for effort, but it was pretty unconvincing. I'll spare you the details; here's the digest: Ned Lamont is doing what every challenger going after an incumbent does. He's highlighting the votes, quotes, news items and other tidbits that support his contention that the guy's gotta go. It's called politics.

Ubiñas then analyzes Smith's quandary, which she argues is due entirely to a strategic choice to complain:

Smith says Lieberman's campaign has been put in a corner: If they ignore Lamont's digs, Lieberman gets accused of being out of touch. If they engage, Smith said, he's accused of overreacting.

But the Lieberman campaign isn't engaging, it's whining. And there's another way to counter Lamont.

What strikes me about Lieberman's thin skin is how unnecessary it all is. He's a decent guy with a good record in many areas - someone who can hold his own in any debate about Democratic goals and values.

But unless his campaign strategy is to position himself as a coddled incumbent with an overgrown sense of entitlement, he ought to do just that.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Lieberman Rules Out Independent Run

So says Walter Shapiro in an article on the race at Salon:

For his part, Lieberman insisted, as he ruled out an independent campaign for the Senate, "I am a Democrat. I believe in the Democratic Party. I believe in the vision of JFK and, I must say, the vision of Bill Clinton."

Note, he didn't say anything about ruling out a GOP run.

Other news from the article:


Wednesday Round-Up


Where's Joe

Just wondering... has anyone seen him at a public forum in Connecticut lately?

Where's Joe?

Update: I think I figured out where Joe will be tonight:


Joe Lieberman is a "Big Oil Republican"

Here's the content of Lieberman's radio ad via the Courant:

Facing a challenge from the Democratic left, the first commercial of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's re-election campaign casts him as a fighter of "big-oil Republicans."

Lieberman began airing a radio commercial Tuesday addressed to environmentalists, an important voting bloc in a Democratic primary.

Patty Pendergast, an environmentalist, talks in the commercial about Lieberman's opposition to drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

"The Republicans, all they want to do is drill oil and they don't see the ecosystem consequences," Pendergast said. "Joe Lieberman had no problem standing up to the big-oil Republicans. He was the leader on the arctic refuge."

Joe Lieberman voted for George Bush's energy bill, which provided huge tax cuts to the same oil companies now reaping obscene billions in profits on the backs of consumers.

Joe Lieberman's ninth largest campaign contributor this cycle is an energy company that California's attorney general has called "Enron's twin brother" and is being sued for $2 billion for ripping off California's consumers.

Joe Lieberman came out against the Broadwater LNG proposal months after almost every other politician in the region from either party, and convieniently, right after Lamont's challenge began to look like it was for real.

He votes for a damaging Republican energy policy that benefits Big Oil.

He takes over $40,000 and a private flight from a company that makes their profits ripping off energy consumers.

He's wishy-washy on preserving Connecticut's envirnonment when other politicans from both parties aren't.

Joe is the "Big Oil Republican."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Lieberman Buys Radio Ads in March

Yep, this is certainly a sign of a confident three-term incumbent:

U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman is taking his re-election campaign to the radio airwaves, unveiling his first advertisement in this year's election.

The spot touts the veteran Democrat's environmental record and his efforts to protect Long Island Sound and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

"We have a great story and we're going to tell it," said Lieberman's campaign manager, Sean Smith. "This is just the beginning of reminding people of a guy who has fought and delivered for the people of Connecticut."...

Smith would not say how much money the campaign spent on the spot. He said the ad will run statewide for a couple weeks.

He's really releasing an ad in March? And touting his questionable stance on envirnomental issues is the best he could come up with? Wow.

Sounds like Joe is worrying about his 1Q financial showing, too:

Also Tuesday, Lieberman sent out an e-mail to supporters asking them to contribute to his campaign about a week before the next campaign finance filings are due. Lieberman predicted in the e-mail that he will face a tough re-election.

Joe's nervousness is understandable. The blogosphere is buzzing, he's pissed off local media and insulted Democratic voters, and delegates across the state (including, just tonight, apparently at least half of Branford's delegates) are turning in droves to Ned Lamont.

I can't wait to hear Sean Smith's "great story" hit the airwaves. Is it going to be about how Joe "hasn't really had a dialogue with Connecticut voters about Connecticut issues in a while?"

Ned on WPKN

Ned will be on Between the Lines on WPKN 89.5 FM at 5:30pm today. More info here.

Tuesday Morning Round-Up

Monday, March 27, 2006


"Foolish and Irresponsible"

Two pieces today on Joe Lieberman's increasingly breathtaking sense of entitlement and elitism.

First, from Matt Stoller at MyDD:

I've been following the Lieberman-Lamont campaign, of course, and one thing is very striking. Lieberman believes that this is his Senate seat. He is angry that Lamont is in the race and being taken seriously. My sense is that he can't even understand why someone is allowed to challenge him, since he's been in the Senate since 1988 without a serious challenge. He believes, sincerely, that he's been fighting for Connecticut and to do the right thing for so long that the state and its people literally owe him the job of Senator.

Second, from the Connecticut Post (via My Left Nutmeg):

Lieberman danced around the question of Iraq - simply saying it is the right thing to do. "This notion that I stop every night on the way home to tuck the president into bed in Washington is just laughable," Lieberman said.

And, countered that it would be "foolish and irresponsible" to replace him, Lieberman, with a neophyte.

"You would be replacing somebody who has worked hard and fought for this state and delivered for this state in a lot of ways in 17 years as the United States senator," he said.

It's "foolish and irresponsible" to continue to mindlessly defend a failed Iraq policy while even Republicans abandon it in droves.

It's "foolish and irresponsible" to defend Republican attempts to privatize social security when every other one of your Democratic colleagues was steadfast in their support of social security.

It's "foolish and irresponsible" to vote to allow Sam Alito to sit on the Supreme Court, and to tell rape victims in Connecticut they can just take "a short ride to get to another hospital" for emergency contraception.

And Joe Lieberman has the audacity to call Connecticut Democrats "foolish and irresponsible" for considering Ned Lamont's candidacy as an alternative?

Foolish and Irresponsible

George Allen Hearts Lieberman

The GOP's favorite Democrat gets another love letter from a hardcore right-winger:

Allen sang the praises of "common-sense conservative principles" like low taxes, limited government and a strong military. He criticized Democrats generally - though he singled out Sen. Joe Lieberman for praise, thanking him for supporting the president on the Iraq war - and called for limits to be placed on the power of federal judges.

Sorry to break your heart, George, but there's a whole line of suitors you'll have to get in back of.

Update: Allen, running for president while in trouble in his own race in Virginia, says the Senate is "too slow for him." The DSCC has a suggestion that might cure his ennui, recommending him as a replacement for outgoing NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

Ridgefield Goes For Lamont

More delegates for Ned Lamont:

Thursday night the Ridgefield Democrats held their caucus to elect delegates to the three conventions that will be held around the state in May to nominate candidates for this fall's elections.

Eight supporters of U.S. Senate candidate Ned Lamont were elected out of a total 11 delegates from Ridgefield elected.

Update: A report from an attendee in Ridgefield:

We began with a party in a private home to introduce Ned Lamont to Ridgefield. His comments about Iraq, healthcare, energy, education electrified the crowd. The First Selectman (mayor) attended along with a lot of instant supporters. The next step was to get 15% of the State delegates to vote for Lamont so he could appear on the ballot. The delegates are voted on by the Democratic Town Committee, which in Ridgefield was chaired by a Lieberman supporter. She offered only 2 out of 11 places for Lamont. We created a challenger slate, even conceding 3 spaces for elected officials and 8 DTC members all committed to Lamont. Then, we just had to do was make sure we had the right people in the room--about 65 turned out, when normally a quorum is questionable--and Ned's victory was assured in one small but loud town in CT!

Awesome job. This is real democracy in action, folks!

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Joe on WFSB: Censure "Unproductive"

Joe on WFSB

Accountability via censure. It's a concept Joe Lieberman supported in 1999, with a Democratic president:

"With that understood, I do believe the Constitution allows for one recourse that would provide a means for us as the people's representatives to register our and their disapproval, and would, I believe, help us to bring appropriate closure to this terrible chapter in our nation's history. It is well within the Senate's constitutional prerogatives to adopt a resolution of censure expressing our contempt for the President's misconduct, both that which is charged in the articles and that which is not. Such a censure would not amount to a punishment, nor would it be intended to do so. What it would do, particularly if it united Senators across party lines and positions on removal, is fulfill our responsibility to our children and our posterity to speak to the common values the President has violated, and make clear what our expectations are for future holders of that highest office."

Lieberman, doubtless feeling the heat from Ned Lamont, admitted today on WFSB that Bush's domestic warrantless wiretapping program was "wrong," and "outside the law." (Video soon).

But for flip-flopping Joe, the concept of accountability via censure - "appropriate" in 1999 - is "unproductive" in 2006:

"My own opinion, and it seems to be shared by most Democratic senators, is that it would be an unproductive use of our time," Lieberman said. "Again, it's looking backward. It would be divisive. The best thing we could do about this program is to bring it under the law and I'd prefer to spend my time and the Senate's time figuring out how we can adopt a law that allows the administration to continue this program but force them to go to court to get a warrant before they do."

In 1999, Joe thought censure would help if it "united Senators across party lines."

In 2006, Joe thinks censure is inherently "divisive."

In 1999, Joe thought it was his responsibility to "speak to the common values the President has violated."

In 2006, Joe thinks it is his responsibility to "bring [the illegal program] under the law."

Will the real Joe Lieberman please stand up?