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, May 13, 2006


In The Papers

Ned Lamont gets some surprisingly neutral-to-positive coverage (and an even more surprisingly decent caricature) in the Weekend Interview in the Wall St. Journal. Between a couple of weakly attempted hits on Lamont (he sounds like George McGovern, he is a purely blog-backed candidate), James Taranto actually ends up liking the guy and his "refreshing candor" - just like everyone else who meets him does:

I don't agree with Mr. Lamont about much, but I like him. He's not quite a political neophyte--he has run for office before, winning a seat as a Greenwich town selectman and losing a state Senate race--but he's more an enthusiast than a professional. A successful businessman who made his fortune setting up cable TV systems for college campuses, he has a job to return to if his election bid fails. With nothing to lose, he can afford a refreshing candor.

Also in the papers this weekend are two great letters to the editor from Lamont supporters. One challenges the Courant's decision to run Jon Chait's pro-Lamont but anti-voting-for-Lamont column this week (hat tip to MikeCT):

Is the writer's stated fear - "If you think Lieberman is sanctimonious now, wait until you see him in defeat" - a valid reason to keep Joe in the Senate? Would the author have us believe that Joe would launch a vindictive attack on Connecticut, and that such an attack would be successful? And if all that were true, would it actually be the overriding reason to vote for such a person?

And another letter, in the New Haven Register, challenges the paper's pro-Joe endorsement, and apparently got the notice of Lieberman's office in the process:

His role as an apologist for the Bush administration on foreign policy and the war has some of us questioning his political affiliation.

And his determination to run as an independent should he lose the primary is pure crybaby politics.

Your editorial is right about one thing: For too many years, Lieberman has treated the Senate seat as a baronial fiefdom--his by right. You only have to call his office ("sorry, all voice mailboxes are full") to get the picture: Lieberman is busy working--for Lieberman.

Friday, May 12, 2006


How To Help

One week from tonight we will know whether Ned Lamont has gathered enough votes at the state convention to qualify for the ballot. Right now, Lieberman is doing everything he can - from spreading distortions and lies to twisting as many delegates' arms as possible - to prevent this from happening. It would truly be a staggering and unexpected victory for a campaign not yet 3 months old to win over 15% of the party insiders largely beholden to Lieberman. Who would have even entertained this as a possibility back in January?

But regardless of the vote next week, this is and will remain a grassroots campaign. It is through building a determined, enthusiastic, widespread grassroots movement that Ned will get on the ballot, win in August, and win in November.

So how can you help right now? Here are two concrete ways:

1) It's at the top of this page, and I've said it before, but I'll repeat myself because it's that important: if you are a registered Democrat in Connecticut, sign up now to gather petition signatures. Already petitioning? Get a friend or two to join in.

There are group petitioning events tomorrow (Saturday) at 9am in Bristol and Wethersfield, and Torrington. On Sunday, there will be one in Danbury. As the official events page wisely notes, "it's raining so everyone will be home waiting for us to knock on their doors!" And on Tuesday, you can turn in your signed petitions and get them notarized at the grand opening of the 1st CD office in West Hartford.

2) If you hang around the blogs, and/or are from out of state, sign up for the brand-new online rapid response team that Tim Tagaris has just set up. Getting the campaign's message out in a timely fashion and responding to the inevitable misinformation and negative attacks coming Ned's way will be key in the weeks and months ahead. While Joe shuns the blogosphere, we will be a crucial ally for Ned's campaign.

Any way you can manage, get involved. Whether that means knocking on doors, donating to the campaign, volunteering your skills and/or time, or spreading the word to family and friends online and offline. We need everyone's help in this effort, which is really just beginning.

Obama Abandons Lieberman

Now this wasn't a very nice way to talk about your mentor in the senate who you endorsed just a few weeks ago...

Obama yesterday:

"This idea... that somehow if you say the words 'plan for victory' and 'stay the course' over and over and over and over again and you put these subliminal messages behind you that say 'victory' and 'victory' and 'victory,' that somehow people are not going to notice the 2,400 flag-draped coffins that have arrived at the Dover Air Force Base."

..."People, have we flipped? It's time to say we notice it. It is time to say that we care, and we are not going to settle anymore."

Lieberman, November 2005:

"Our Troops Must Stay"

..."Does America have a good plan for doing this, a strategy for victory in Iraq? Yes we do."


Friday Morning Round-Up

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Joe on "Technically Accurate" Attacks

Via a great catch by OrangeTownBlueDem, we find that Joe had a different view on "technically accurate" political attacks as recently as 2000. From his book In Praise of Public Life (available for $0.01 at Amazon.com!) comes this condemnation on p. 88 of misleading attacks that are based on votes dug up from decades ago (sound familiar?):

At that point, Weicker stopped ignoring me. He hit back with a barrage of attack commercials, portraying me the same way Larry DeNardis had back in 1980 - as a big-taxing big spender. One of those ads was technically accurate but didn't mention that the tax votes cited were cast seventeen years earlier, in 1971.

The Hotline apparently mentioned the controversy surrounding Joe's Rovian tactics this morning. Also mentioned was Ari Melber's Huffington Post post on Joe's refusal to interview with bloggers and how it reflects his cynical and patronizing definition of "dialogue" with constituents:

No one denies the progressive bloggers' impact on the Lieberman race. The press reports it, the campaign acknowledges it, and Lieberman's rhetorical olive branches are popping up on television and computer screens across Connecticut. But empty references to dialogue won't cut it. Lieberman is in a Democratic primary, and he must make his case to Democrats.

Politics is about representation. Who votes for us in Congress, who represents us in policy decisions and who speaks on our behalf - be it on behalf of our state, our party, or our country. The netroots have added voices to this debate, and its time for our political leaders to catch up.


Round One?

Lamont and Lieberman are scheduled to make a joint appearance tonight at 6:30pm at an NAACP forum at CCSU in New Britain. Update: Now I'm hearing Joe's attendance is iffy.

Update 2: Joe was a no-show (he was in D.C. for a Senate vote), but he sent Sean Smith. More from spazeboy, who was on the scene:

It was actually kind of funny. Ned spoke first, so there was no "direct" response to any of [Sean] Smith's B.S. When Smith took the podium to speak on Lieberman's behalf, he spent a significant amount time talking about things that Joe has done for Connecticut and then basically said that Joe wants this campaign to be about the things he will do in the future. Is Joe not interested in running on his record?

The future with Ned is brighter than the future with Joe. Out with the old, in with the new!



Arriving now in delegates' mailboxes across Connecticut:

That's some chutzpah coming from an 18-year incumbent who refuses to rule out leaving the Democratic party this year.

(Huge hat tip to Neal at MLN, who has bigger scans posted there so you can read all the scummy fine print.)

Update: The Lamont campaign responds:

A mailing sent by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman to Democratic Town Committee members is a weak attempt to misrepresent Ned Lamont, Lamont’s campaign said today—and shows Lamont is posing a serious threat to the three-term incumbent Senator.

“Evidently Senator Lieberman is Karl Rove’s favorite Democrat, too, because these tactics are the worst kind of smear campaign, not becoming for a former candidate for the Presidency,” said Liz Dupont-Diehl, Lamont’s communications director.

“This is pathetic attempt to divert attention from Senator Lieberman’s record of support for President Bush and avoid the major issues of war, universal health care, and energy independence and the environment,” she added. ”These are the issues we will run on.”

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Wednesday News Round-Up


Shays Hides Behind Joe on Iraq... Again

Chris Shays is once again entirely basing his cowardly refusal to even debate the merits of his support for Bush's disasterous Iraq policy by hiding behind Joe Lieberman (who, by saying "we won't change each others' minds," is refusing the same debate):

On April 30, during a visit to a meeting sponsored by the Westport Democratic Town Committee and the Democratic Women of Westport (DWW), Farrell had made another plea for a debate with Shays on the war.

Shays rejected the request just as he did the earlier one. Last Saturday, the congressman suggested again that Farrell should debate U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) instead of him because the senator's views on Iraq are similar to the Shays' positions.

For any Connecticut Republican looking to run away from the most unpopular president since Nixon, Joe is their best friend.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Joe Channels Rove

So word is Lieberman is sending an attack mailer out on Lamont, claiming some minor votes he made back as an official in Greenwich many years ago prove he "isn't the kind of Democrat he wants you to think he is."

Does Lieberman, best friend to Republicans everywhere, who ran to the right of Lowell Weicker in 1988 and refuses to rule out running as an independent in 2006, really expect Democrats in his state to fall for this garbage?

It's pure Rove, when you think about it. Got a candidate who went AWOL during Vietnam running against a decorated war hero? Attack him on his military service. Got a candidate who has sided with right-wingers and refuses to rule out leaving the Democratic party running against a real Democrat? Attack him on his party loyalty.

Joe's lack of respect for the intelligence of Connecticut Democrats knows no depths.

DTC Meetings

Tonight, Ned will be at North Haven's and Middlebury's. Tomorrow, he will speak to the town committees in Meriden and Oxford.

All told, Lamont has personally talked to (or is scheduled to visit) over 40 official DTC meetings, including the following towns: Bristol, Brookfield, Canton, Chesire, Chester, Deep River, East Haddam, Ellington, Essex, Fairfield , Glastonbury, Greenwich , Groton, Guilford, Haddam, Harwinton, Hebron, Mansfield, Meriden, Middlebury, Middlefield, Monroe, Montville, New Britain, New Canaan, Newtown, North Haven, Old Saybrook, Oxford, Shelton, Southbury, Southington, Stonington, Vernon, Waterbury, Waterford, Watertown, Weston, Wilton, and Windsor. And this doesn't count the many informal gatherings across the state. (Thanks to Kim from the campaign for the list).

No matter how many of these attendees Lamont has won over, I'm sure each one of them left the meeting with the feeling that they had taken part in a substantive discussion of what's driving his campaign.

Meanwhile, Lieberman continues to base his entire campaign around the platform of "we're not going to change each other's minds," one that inhibits any substantive discussion, frightened to appear in public and face real questions from the same Democrats who have supported him for years.

The Foxhole of Denial

Remember Lieberman's December 2003 comment about Howard Dean living in a "spider-hole of denial" if he believed America was not safer thanks to the Iraq war?

Sen. Feingold seems to have finally articulated the proper rejoinder:

"We must get out of our political foxholes and be willing to clearly and specifically point out what a strategic error the Iraq invasion has been," Feingold, D-Wis., told a National Press Club audience.

He said some Democrats in Congress gave in to "intimidation" by the Bush administration when they voted to authorize the war in 2002, and warned: "If we do not show both a practical and emotional readiness to lead in the fight against terrorism, we will lose in '06 and we will lose in '08, just like we did in '02 and '04."

There's no hope for Joe on this. Some of his best friends are neo-cons, after all. But the more he is isolated within his own party and within his own caucus, the better for our party and our nation.

Monday, May 08, 2006


Joe Accosted by Former Supporter on CNN

CNN finally ran the piece today that they had taped last Friday (YouTube up at Ned Lamont Resource).

The interview with Ned turned out to be the sideshow, as Joe ran into some trouble immediately. Apparently he can't even make his usual useless "diner stops" anymore without a pesky constituent wanting to ask him a real question:

Joe on CNNJoe on CNN

LIEBERMAN [singing to kid in diner]: Happy Birthday to you...

MARY SNOW: It looked like a typical campaign stop for Senator Joseph Lieberman in his hometown of New Haven, CT. But moments later, a dramatic change in mood when a woman claiming to be a former supporter confronted the senator as we finished an interview.

WOMAN: Why are you betraying your voters?

LIEBERMAN [whining]: I'm not! [Points at her.]

WOMAN: Yes you are!

LIEBERMAN: Look at my record!...

I love the first still: it's pure "talk to the hand" Joe. The same attitude he's shown his constituents for years.

You can see why the man is scared to appear in public in his own state.

Joe Supports Hayden at CIA

George Bush's Favorite Democrat strikes again, in support of Mr. 31%'s hobbled and horrible nominee for CIA Director:

“On the inner workings of what we should do to reorganize America’s intelligence system, I found him to be very independent, willing to criticize people in the military intelligence apparatus and generally a straight talker,” Lieberman said of Bush’s appointee. “So, my mind is open to slightly favorably inclined to Mike Hayden as we begin this review of his nomination.”

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) and other Republicans have already voiced strong concerns about Hayden, who has strongly defended warrantless wiretapping, has been linked to the Cunningham corrpution scandal, and may have already OKed the shift of all CIA covert ops to the Pentagon.

There are serious questions about this nominee that have nothing to do with politics. Why is Joe "inclined" to support such a questionable candidate?


Lieberman supports the policies of a president who is now in a photo finish with Nixon in the race for Most Unpopular President Ever. (graph via tinyrevolution.com):

Bush Disapproval

Bush's disapproval rating now exceeds or equals that of Nixon's in every poll except one— the final poll in July, 1974 just before Nixon left office, when Nixon's disapproval rating was one point higher at 66%.


Monday Morning Round-Up


Have You Heard About "Weblogs?"

The Courant runs yet another article on something called "blogs" and what they're doing in the Lamont-Lieberman race. Nothing really new here, although it was interesting to see the two campaigns' respective responses to the question of their relationship to the blogs:

"[Lieberman] thinks the emergence of blogs is an exciting development for citizens to engage in the political discourse," said Smith. "But it does feel a little strange. We're not used to this kind of opposition in our own party."

He said there are no plans for a pro-Lieberman blog.

"The campaign doesn't endorse the websites. The blogs are the blogs, and our effort are our efforts," said Liz Dupont Diehl, Lamont's campaign spokeswoman. "They are, however, an amazing outpouring of creative expression and talent - that's one way to look at the blogs. They are an outlet for people who have something very clear to say."

Seems like - for opposite but similarly misguided reasons - both campaigns want to keep the blogs as far away from them as possible.

This is 2006, and voters are online. The fact that one campaign in this race is shunning the blogs entirely and the other is so far woefully underperforming in their official online efforts is perplexing, to say the least. Hopefully this will change soon.

By the way, contrary to his current position, Joe did have a campaign blog for his presidential race in 2004: the wonderfully named (and thankfully archived) BlogForJoe.com.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Chait: Fox News Democrats Forever

Lots of bloggers have weighed in on Jon Chait's inane LA Times column this weekend excoriating Lieberman for being a "self-righteous suck up," wrong on the war and countless other policies, but warning that letting "the left" (or "the sorts of fanatics who tore the party apart in the late 1960s and early 1970s") beat him would do far greater damage to America than, say, thousands more coffins coming home from Iraq.

The links above do a good job taking apart various elements of his flawed argument like a tinkertoy - I'd like to merely focus on his conclusion:

Moreover, since their anti-Lieberman jihad is seen as stemming from his pro-war stance, the practical effect of toppling Lieberman would be to intimidate other hawkish Democrats and encourage more primary challengers against them.

If Lieberman loses, he'll play the same role as before, only this time with the power of martyrdom behind him: the virtuous anti-Democrat, too good and honest for his party. If you think Lieberman is sanctimonious now, wait until you see him in defeat.

Yeah, but you know, a key part of this campaign is the hope that, if Joe loses, he won't be a senator anymore. He could go on Hannity and Fox News as much as he wants... and who will care? (Besides Sean, of course, who I'm sure will be happy to see more of his "pal.") He won't be our party's problem aymore. And that's the whole point.