Saturday, July 29, 2006
New York Times Endorses Ned Lamont
[The New York Times, in an editorial published on Sunday, endorsed Mr. Lamont over Mr. Lieberman, arguing that the senator had offered the nation a “warped version of bipartisanship” in his dealings with President Bush on national security.]
Quote of the Day
“I said, as painful as it is, the first words out of your mouth and the last words out of your mouth every time you speak have to be 'I'm a Democrat,'... You can say whatever you want after that.”
- Sen. Chris Dodd's advice for Sen. Lieberman, in Adam Nagourney's article from tomorrow's New York Times on the story behind Lieberman's struggling campaign.
Might be some other good news in the Times tomorrow too...
Ned's Schedule Today
1 PM: Visit Hartford barbershop
It’s a Gee Thang Barber Salon
2576 Main Street, Hartford
2:30 PM: Father Panik Public Housing Reunion
Waterview Avenue, Bridgeport
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM: Meet and Greet
American Clock & Watch factory
100 Maple St, Bristol
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Ned and Maxine Waters will visit the Temptations concert
The Green, New Haven
Joe Says Iraq is Not Important to Voters
In an interview yesterday, Mr. Lieberman suggested that he wanted to move the debate away from the war. “We’re going to try hard to focus this back on the issues that I think really are ultimately more important to the future of families in Connecticut: jobs, health care, education,’’ he said.
In matters of war, Joe misjudges the opinion of Connecticut Democrats at his own peril.
A third of Democrats - 31 percent - identified war, both the three-year-old Iraq war and conflicts in general, as the top problem for the country while 14 percent listed the economy, highlighting an issue at the forefront for Democrats, with less than four months to the midterm elections.
Update: The AP's David Espo, in an article with the headline "Struggling Lieberman faces political abyss," finds that some Connecticut families do in fact think Iraq is important:
"The last three times I voted for him, but I will never vote for him again," Cheryl Curtiss of West Hartford, Conn., said recently of Lieberman.... "The war is the big piece," said Curtiss, 52. "I don't think it can be minimized. All of our tax dollars are going there. It's killing Americans. It's killing Iraqis. We went there on lies."
And David Broder, in a WaPo column on the race out tomorrow, finds that Joe has a history of ignoring constituents who try to tell him Iraq is important to them:
Ignoring the issue won't work....
One [Lamont supporter], Karen Schuessler of Ridgefield, told me she had bought an expensive ticket to a Lieberman fundraiser last December so she could tell him directly how much she opposed the war. "He told me, 'Things are looking better over there. They're voting. They have a constitution.' I thought, 'What a moron!' The next month, I went to the first dump-Lieberman meeting."
Update 2: From the trail yesterday, another example. Ten-Million-Dollar Joe is more than happy to talk to senior citizens about his opponent's personal finances (while spending twice as much as him on this campaign). But if you're a constituent, don't mention the war!
"How are you going to get us out of this war, Senator?" I ask.
His eyes narrow. "We're working on that," he answers dismissively.
"What's your plan to get us out of Iraq, Senator?" I ask as he tries to move away, but the clutch of supporters and reporters has pressed in and there's nowhere to run.
"The war is costing us $250 million a day," I offer.
Joe noticeably relaxes as his goons have now identified the enemy. Two beefy goons force themselves between me and my Senator.
Joe mumbles "Yeah, it's tough."
Joe's True Supporters
In Ansonia, Dorothy Bivens held a Lieberman sign on the sidewalk. A Mobile, Ala., resident visiting her daughter, Bivens seemed overcome when Lieberman stopped, shook her hand and thanked her for helping him on her vacation.
"I love Joe Lieberman," she said.
Asked why, her answer did not come from the day's suggested talking points: "Because he supports the president, and I support the president."
and big money corporate donors:
"Lieberman has been taking in six-figure sums almost every day since July 20. On that day alone, Lieberman collected an estimated $139,300. Lamont reported $2,000. The contrasts continued: On July 24, the senator took in $127,600 to Lamont's $4,100. The next day, the gap closed a bit: Lieberman, $39,400 to Lamont's $12,200."
Among the donors:
the Bond Market Association
the Real Estate Roundtable
Credit Suisse and the National Society of Accountants.
Since the daily reports began July 20, he has received checks of $1,000 or more from the political arms of
the Mashantucket Pequots
the Chicago Board of Trade
the National Auto Dealers Association
Friday, July 28, 2006
CTKeith must be laughing even harder than Joe in that photo right now...
Update: From the comments:
Isn't it amazing that one guy with a really great idea, some buttons, and The Float could send the megabucks Lieberman campaign into paroxysms of fear?
Update 2: More on the Joementum 2006! bus tour from earlier today.
Update 3: A composite photo of the
According to Jane, 7 people showed up at Joe's events today. Total. And they were all at one event. This is what the senator calls "connecting with voters."
Friday Open Thread
So talk amongst yourselves.
Here's a topic: a mule is only half a donkey. And usually quite stubborn. (Hat tip CLP):
Family Friends and Neighbors (tell your friends) | Absentee Ballots | Contribute
New Radio Ad
Word is that the Lieberman campaign is handing out huge 3-inch buttons of their own to the sparse gathering of onlookers they're finding at stops on the trail today, featuring a photo of Joe with who else but Bill Clinton.
It's now obvious why Lieberman staff were reportedly hoping Bubba would plant a big kiss on Joe's lips in Waterbury on Monday - the "kiss" button was getting under their skin and they wanted to make one of their very own. All they ended up getting was a "hug," though. And Bill had nothing but kind words for Ned Lamont.
Unfortunately for Joe, all this does is remind Democratic voters of the fact that Bill Clinton does not support his abandonment of the Democratic party.
Bill Clinton would not sign a petition to create the "Connecticut for Lieberman" party.
Bill Clinton will endorse the primary winner on August 8th.
But Joe is "hugging" onto Clinton for dear life. In saturating robo-calls, TV ads, and now (apparently non-union-made) buttons. Connecticut has seen more of their former President this week than they have of their current senator.
Why won't Sen. Lieberman listen to Bill Clinton and support the winner of the primary? Sign the petition.
Friday Morning Round-Up
- Ned got a very positive reception from apx. 100-150 voters in Suffield last night who showed up to hear him speak, according to Genghis Conn:
But the most interesting part of the night was when Lamont wrapped up his stump speech and took questions from the audience. This is where Lamont seemed to be at his best.
- While Ned continues to travel to all corners of the state and answer any and all questions from voters, Sen. Lieberman continues his stealth campaign consisting entirely of unpublicized events with screened crowds and press-only photo-ops, All the while, he's trying trying as hard as he can to avoid talking about Iraq and foreign policy, as David Lightman of the Courant reports in today's must-read article. Read the whole thing.
Since January, when it became apparent that Lieberman was likely to face a primary challenge over his support for the war in Iraq, the senator has mentioned Iraq in 11 press releases, op-ed articles or other public statements archived by his office. About half of them expressed support for or confidence in the war effort or the troops.
In the same period of 2005, his office put out 26 statements mentioning Iraq; again, about half supported the war or the troops....
...other political veterans see a familiar trend: the incumbent in trouble who suddenly snuggles up to his party in a very public way.
"This isn't unique to Joe Lieberman," said Amy Isaacs, national director of Americans for Democratic Action, a liberal advocacy group. "But voters are smart, and usually what ends up happening when you play this game is you energize your enemies and alienate your friends."
- Michael Schiavo will be in Hartford with Ned today. Here's some damning video of Joe on Meet the Press in March 2005, agreeing with Tom DeLay, George Bush, James Dobson, and Bill Frist that the government - and congress in particular - has a right to intrude on the most private and painful of personal decisions.
- This really shouldn't be that hard a question to answer. Who is collecting petition signatures for Joe's independent "Connecticut for Lieberman" party? Brian Lockhart tries to find out for the Stamford Advocate, without much luck. The campaign refers all questions to the founding members of the party, said founders refer all questions to the campaign. What's going on here?
Asked repeatedly this week for information on the petition effort or for a contact who could provide details, Lieberman's campaign spokeswoman, Marion Steinfels, said there is nothing to report.
"Every single person on our campaign, from the candidate down to every last intern, is working on making sure Joe Lieberman gets elected in the primary," Steinfels said.
As of yesterday, it was unclear who was coordinating the petition drive. Earlier this month, Steinfels said it would be the Connecticut for Lieberman founders.
But some of them, including Bishop Theodore Brooks and John Courtmanche, both of New Haven, said they have not been involved. And one party founder referred questions about who is spearheading the effort back to the Lieberman campaign.
Seems like more digging is needed on this one. Who's been paying these workers to gather signatures? Have Bill Clinton or any other prominent Dems been telling Joe that their support is predicated on him reconsidering bolting the party on August 9th?
I haven't met Marion. But she has not been truthful in the past. I would be wary of things that she says. She has an agenda.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Joementum Tour 2006!
After an 18-year absence, he's back in the state for ten days only!
Six towns, six unpublicized events, all the Fleetwood Mac your ears can stand, followed by a few reporters on a campaign bus.
See the senator now... or wait another 18 years!
10:00AM: Pre-tour Press Conference
Lieberman Campaign Headquarters
1800 Silas Dean Highway, Rocky Hill, CT
11:00AM: Stop at Lieberman Headquarters
3 Colony Street, Meriden (Followed by walk down Main Street to the YMCA)
12:15 PM: Nardelli's Grinder Shop
87 Maple Street, Naugatuck
1:15 PM: Sweets and Eats
60 North Main Street, Seymour
2:00 PM: Massimino's Pizza
70 Main Street, Ansonia
4:00 PM: Stop and Shop
259 Bull Hill Lane, Orange
5:00 PM: "Bar"
254 Crown Street, New Haven
Foreign Policy Questions for Joe
1. Will he be opposing John Bolton on the floor of the senate this week?
2. Will he rule out accepting any cabinet appointment from Bush in the next 2+ years (which would incidentally likely mean a Republican replacement)?
The Elephant In The Room
Meanwhile, Iraq is by far the #1 issue on the minds of Democratic voters nationwide. It directly pertains to Sen. Lieberman's future judgment on problems such as Iran. It has destabilized the entire region. And according to a new New York Times poll, Americans from both parties overwhelmingly agree with Ned Lamont on Iraq:
Do you think the United States should or shouldn't set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq?
Should: 56 Should not: 40
Do you think it is worth the loss of life and other costs for the United States to remain in Iraq until there's a stable democracy there, or is it not worth the loss of life and other costs, or are you unsure?
Worth it: 25, Not worth it: 42, Unsure: 32
How do you think the war with Iraq is affecting the United States' image in the world? Is the war making the U.S. image in the world better, making it worse, or is the war having no effect on the U.S. image in the world?
Better: 10, Worse: 72, No effect: 12
Do you think the U.S. presence in Iraq is leading to greater stability in the Middle East, less stability, or won't it have any effect on the stability of the Middle East?
Greater: 25, Less: 41, No effect: 25
If the U.S. stays in Iraq for several more years, do you think that will eventuallly make the United States more safe from terrorism, less safe, or won't it make any difference?
More safe: 27, Less safe: 21, No effect: 50
Regardless of how you usually vote, do you think the Republican Party or the Democratic Party is more likely to make the right decisions about the war in Iraq?
Republican: 36, Democrat: 42
It's not accceptable for Sen. Lieberman to cry "principle" and let slip the dogs of diversion. It's not acceptable for Sen. Lieberman to say "no comment" to the prospect of six more long years of advocating a destructive neoconservative foreign policy.
Let's talk about what Bill Clinton himself called "the elephant in the room."
Michael Schiavo To Endorse Lamont Tomorrow
Sen. Lieberman stated his position on individual freedom and personal privacy very clearly in comments he made on the Terri Schiavo case to Tim Russert on Meet the Press, March 27, 2005:
MR. RUSSERT: Senator Lieberman, your Republican colleague from Connecticut in the House, Christopher Shays, had this to say. "This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy. ... There are going to be repercussions from this vote [on Schiavo's constitutional rights]. There are a number of people who feel that the government is getting involved in their personal lives in a way that scares them."
You agree with that?
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN, (D-CT): I don't. But that's a very credible and respectable opinion for Chris to take. See, I think--and Chris was there on the floor of the House, so maybe he heard in the debate some things that I didn't hear following it from a distance. The fact is that, though I know a lot of people's attitude toward the Schiavo case and other matters is affected by their faith and their sense of what religion tells them about morality, ultimately as members of Congress, as judges, as members of the Florida state Legislature, this is a matter of law. And the law exists to express our values.
I have been saying this in speeches to students about why getting involved in government is so important, I always say the law is where we define the beginning of life and the end of life, and that's exactly what was going on here. And I think as a matter of law, if you go--particularly to the 14th Amendment, can't be denied due process, have your life or liberty taken without due process of law, that though the Congress' involvement here was awkward, unconventional, it was justified to give this woman, more than her parents or husband, the opportunity for one more chance before her life was terminated by an act which was sanctioned by a court, by the state.
These are very difficult decisions, but--of course, if you ask me what I would do if I was the Florida Legislature or any state legislature, I'd say that if somebody doesn't have a living will and the next of kin disagree on whether the person should be kept alive or that is whether food and water should be taken away and her life ended that really the benefit of the doubt ought to be given to life. And the family member who wants to sustain her life ought to have that right because the judge really doesn't know, though he heard the facts, one judge, what Terri Schiavo wanted. He made a best guess based on the evidence before him. That's not enough when you're talking about aggressively removing food and water to end someone's life.
MR. RUSSERT: You would have kept the tube in?
SEN. LIEBERMAN: I would have kept the tube in.
5th Town Passes Anti-Lieberman Resoultion
The day following former President Bill Clinton’s visit to Connecticut in support of U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, the Democratic Town Committee in Willington called a special meeting to pass a resolution asking Lieberman to support the winner of the Democratic primary and withdraw his petition to run as an independent candidate should he lose the Aug. 8 primary to his challenger, Ned Lamont....
The DTC in Willington is moderate to conservative with no “wild-eyed liberal leanings” and is generally leery of anything controversial, so for them to pass a resolution is a pretty big deal, [Willington DTC co-chair Mark Palmer] said.
Palmer said even the Republicans in town want to know more about Lamont, so “Joe must have overstepped some invisible boundary,” that the polls just won’t pick up.
Also in this piece, more comedy from Steinfels:
She said she doesn’t even know which campaign volunteers, if any, are working on collecting signatures for an independent bid because “it’s just no ones focus.”
“As far as I know there’s no one in any of the offices doing that,” Steinfels said.
While Steinfels is now either unable or unwilling to clearly answer this question, she had previously stated that campaign volunteers would not be collecting signatures (from the Stamford Advocate, July 11th):
"Our campaign manager down to every last intern remains completely focused on winning Aug. 8. The folks collecting the signatures will be those 25 longtime friends and supporters of the senator," said Lieberman spokesperson Marion Steinfels in a phone interview.
So are Lieberman campaign workers collecting signatures to create the Connecticut for Lieberman party or not?
Are Democratic donors paying for Joe Lieberman to hire workers to collect signatures to help him leave the Demcoratic party? How much do they earn per signature? So many questions...
Full text of the resolution below the fold:
On July 25, 2006 at a special meeting, the Willington Democratic Town Committee passed the following resolution:
WHEREAS Connecticut Junior Senator Joseph Lieberman has announced his intention to run as a candidate of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party, should the Senator lose next month's Democratic primary and,
WHEREAS Senator Lieberman continues to ask for support from Willington members of the Democratic party,
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Willington Democratic Town Committee hereby deplores the intended action by Senator Lieberman to run against the Democratic nominee for United States Senate, if that nominee is not Joe Lieberman and,
FURTHERMORE, The Willington Democratic Town Committee urges each Willington Democrat to contact Senator Lieberman and ask him to either withdraw from the Democratic primary forthwith or pledge forthwith to support, without obstruction, the choice of the Democratic Party voters on August 8.
Willington Democratic Town Committee, July 25, 2006
Mark Palmer Co-Chair
Robert Jellen Co-Chair
Kathleen Pacholski Vice-Chair
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Lies and the Lying Senator
LIEBERMAN: I have been a Democrat all my life. And I must say I laugh at Ned Lamont holding party loyalty up as a test of my candidacy. He fails that test. When he was on the Greenwich boards, he voted 80 percent of the time with Republicans....
His claim that these figures prove Ned Lamont "fails the test" of party loyalty is a lie. MikeCT at MLN takes it apart:
How does his record compare to other Democratic selectmen in minority seats? And what the heck do those people vote on, anyway? I was determined to crack this case wide open....
The bottom line: among 84 Board decisions, Democratic Selectman Penny Monahan sided with the Republican majority at least 99% of the time! (It may well have been 100%, but the minutes did not indicate who parted ways on the only non-unanimous vote concerning a "no turn on red restriction.") Ned's mere 80% concordance would seem to place him on the liberal end of the Greenwich political spectrum, just as his Republican colleagues have insisted....
Having combed every corner of the state in search of examples of bitter, partisan, town hall discord, I came up short. By Connecticut standards, it seems that Ned's purported 80% agreement with his Republican colleagues would rank him as a bold Democratic maverick. Case closed.
But Clinton - unlike Lieberman - says he will support the primary winner. He knows the importance of Democrats uniting after the primary.
Has he urged Joe to do the same as a condition for the appearance, robo-calls, ads, massages, or any other perks the senator might be getting from him?
Update: A commenter at FDL has a transcript of the call. Apparently pretty poorly done, with amateurish editing.
Lieberman MIA For Our Troops
What follows is a first-hand depiction of Sen. Lieberman's idea of "constituent services" when the constituent in question is serving our country in a war zone without the proper equipment:
I am a registered Democrat and a soldier currently serving in Afghanistan with the 1-102 Infantry Battalion of the Connecticut National Guard. Last week I received some newspaper clippings in the mail that sparked my interest: Senator Joseph I. Lieberman has been successfully challenged and forced into a primary that will take place in August.
As some readers may have heard, in January my battalion was issued substandard equipment for our deployment to Afghanistan. Originally, we were issued M-16s rather than M-4 carbines, rifles with shorter barrels and collapsible butt stocks. As a politcally active member of the battalion, I began to get in touch with Representative DeLauro and Representative Simmons, who both responded quickly and enthusiastically. Senator Dodd also responded quickly and gave me prompts on how to further validate my request for weapons.
However, I did not receive a response from Senator Lieberman’s office. I continued to leave messages for both him and his military aide, now senior counselor, Fred Downey, who reprsented Sen. Lieberman at the Battalion’s send off ceremony on Jan. 4. After several messages, I finally received a return phone call. However, I was not met with the same enthusiams expressed by other legislators; I was immediately confronted with an inquisition that seemed to have the purpose of dispelling the belief that the battalion was ill equipped. Rather than listen to our specific concerns, the “benefits” of the M16 were highlighted and teh advantages of the M4 were downplayed.
Lieberman’s office left the impression that they believed we had the equipment we needed, despite the contrasting beliefs of soldiers in my battalion, some who have been on as many as five deployments. The others in Washington were not so quick to abandon us…
Lieberman has never hesitated to voice his support for the war, and recently voted against pulling troops out of Iraq, so where was he when over 500 of his own constituents were being sent overseas to fight on behalf of his great country? It appears the senator was so concerned with climbing the political ladder, he forget what his job is really about: the people…
When my absentee ballot returns to the States next month, Lamont’s name, not Lieberman’s, will bear the check. when August 8 arrives, will you stand for the hypocrisy?
Colin D. Halloran
The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of the 1-102 Infantry Battalion, CTARNG, the Department of the Army or the members thereof.
Lieberman Plans "Lieberman for Lieberman" Bid If "Connecticut For Lieberman" Primary Fails
HARTFORD, August 9th - Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut said yesterday that he would run as an independent "Lieberman for Lieberman" candidate if he loses the state "Connecticut For Lieberman" primary today. The announcement by Mr. Lieberman, the leader of the one-month-old Connecticut for Lieberman party, underscores the increasing vulnerability he feels in his own party.
Reacting to a primary challenge from Joey Lieberman, a college baseball player for the University of Memphis Tigers, Senator Lieberman said that he would begin gathering the 7,500 petition signatures necessary to put his name on the ballot should he lose the "Connecticut for Lieberman" primary on Aug. 9.
He said that even if elected as a "Lieberman for Lieberman" candidate, he would remain ''a proud member of Connecticut for Lieberman'' and would caucus with other Connecticut for Lieberman senators. Still, the prospect that Mr. Lieberman may challenge the Connecticut for Lieberman nominee is a startling turn for the senator, who has spent almost the entire last five weeks in the Connecticut for Lieberman party.
The senator's announcement signaled his growing concern over the Tennessee baseball player's candidacy. The first baseman/outfielder decided to run in the "Connecticut for Lieberman" primary after realizing that his name was getting a significant number of Google hits from political bloggers looking for news on the Connecticut senate race.
''While I believe that I will win the Aug. 9th Connecticut for Lieberman primary, I know that there are no guarantees in elections, even if the party is named after me.'' Sen. Lieberman said at a brief news conference at the State Capitol with his wife, Hadassah, beside him. The results, he said, could be skewed by a low turnout in a sultry August.
''My friends,'' the senator said, ''after 37 days of working for, fighting for and delivering for the Connecticut for Lieberman party, I want the opportunity to put my case before all the people of Connecticut in November.''
(Apologies to William Yardley and Jennifer Medina.)
Another Ex-Lieberman Staffer For Lamont
An organizer who worked on the Lieberman 2004 field campaign follows in the footsteps of former Lieberman supporters and staffers (such as George Jepsen, Irv Stolberg, and Carl Feen) in supporting Ned Lamont:
A year and a half ago, I would have imagined writing a defense of Joe Lieberman at MYDD, something akin to what Markos wrote during the presidential primaries on the front page of DailyKos, littered with personal analogies and a persuasive case for keeping the guy in the Senate. Unfortunately I find myself, much like Josh Marshall or Mark Schmidt, hoping for a Lamont win on August 8th.
Wednesday Morning Round-Up
- Just a "single issue"? According to a recent poll, 31% of Democrats nationwide think Iraq is the nation's most pressing problem, more than twice the number who answered the economy. Arthur H. House follows both local editorials and Chris Matthews yesterday in calling for a real debate about Iraq in this race, the elephant in the room that Lieberman has been avoiding since February:
Challenger Ned Lamont goes right to the point. For him, Iraq was a mistake; it has weakened American leadership and resulted in our missing other priorities. Lieberman has been consistent and passionate in his sustained defense of the war and even criticized those who do not defend President Bush.
What's a voter to do? Demand answers!...
Iraq deserves to be front and center in the elections. Today it is an American war, and it defines our ability to lead in an increasingly dangerous world. So, let the spotlight shine on Connecticut.
This is about the future. While Democrats like Sen. Clinton, Sen. Dodd, and Sen. Kerry have all grown more skeptical of the Bush administration's foreign policy, Sen. Lieberman has not, and will without question continue to cheerlead this administration into disastrous war after disastrous war if he stays in office. Shouldn't that be an issue in this race? Should Sen. Lieberman just be allowed to dodge it by claiming he is "principled"?
- New SUSA July poll numbers are out for Lieberman, and in general they don't show much movement. He goes from 55 approve/41 disapprove in June to 54/41 in July among all voters. Lieberman does gets a small bounce from Democrats, going from 46/50 to 50/46.
More concerning is the bigger bounce he gets from self-identified liberals, where he's also back in positive territory, going +10 from 40/56 to 50/43. This is outside the large margin of error of 9%. While he's down among moderates (from 58/39 to 54/43), this surge among liberals should concern Lamont supporters.
Yes, it's a tiny sample and an automated poll, and the trend from the beginning of the year is still anti-Joe. But this is a good wake-up call that Ned Lamont is almost definitely not up 10 points, as the Rasmussen poll (also with a tiny sample) claimed. An incumbent with a 50% approval rating in his party is in pretty good shape for the primary. And Joe will throw everything including the kitchen sink at Ned in the next two weeks, starting Friday when he will reportedly return to the state for the duration, missing senate votes if need be. Keep working. Neal at MLN tells you how.
- Joe Conason takes on Lieberman's "Connecticut Problem," which is becoming CW:
Contrary to the silly myth repeated by lazy journalists and anxious consultants, the Internet did not conjure up voter opposition to Mr. Lieberman. Yet that canard has generated its own virtual reality. Blathering on so relentlessly about the supposed centrality of bloggers in the Lamont campaign, the mainstream media provided priceless free publicity to the challenger, while simultaneously “branding” his campaign as cool and new....
Unfortunately for Mr. Lieberman, he understands none of those things. He doesn’t comprehend that a war costing thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars is not just a “single issue.” He doesn’t realize that repeating White House talking points about the war is not going to win him any votes this year. He has left the reality-based community for the never-land of neo-conservatism—and if he loses, that will be why.
- Today, Ned will speak at: A candidate forum at CCSU in New Britain at 11am, a senior center in New Haven at 1pm, and a meet-and-greet in Westport at 7pm.
- Update: Former New York gubernatorial candidate Howard Stern endorses Ned.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Lies and the Lying Senator Who Tells Them
1) About Halliburton (they had reportedly been peddling this particular lie in black churches):
U.S. Senate candidate Ned Lamont released a document Tuesday showing he does not control investments in a stock fund that once included shares of Halliburton Co.
The letter, signed by a Goldman, Sachs & Co. vice president, says the managed account is run by Goldman Sachs' Quantitative Equity Group, which makes all investment decisions.
Halliburton stock is no longer part of that fund, Lamont Campaign Manager Tom Swan said last week when Lamont released his 2005 tax returns....
U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman has repeatedly accused Lamont of having direct shares of Halliburton. The Connecticut Post reported last week that there is Halliburton stock in two mutual funds that Lieberman owns.
Lieberman spokeswoman Marion Steinfels would not comment on Lieberman's mutual funds.
2) About his campaign's Bush-style crowd control:
We're not going to call Steinfels a liar, but maybe she should do a little research of her own. It seems suspicious that the Lieberman campaign could know he wasn't on a list of 2,000 before he even got to the actual entrance.
Update: The above quote from TPMCafe has apparently now been edited to read "Clearly, there are still plenty of unanswered questions here." Same general idea. Anyway, it doesn't matter if they won't... I'll call Steinfels a liar.
Clinton has said he will support Ned Lamont if he wins. The real question I’d like Broder or somebody else to ask Clinton before August 8 is this: Did you, as a condition of agreeing to back Joe before the primary, tell him that you would ask him to respectfully abandon his independent candidacy if he lost the primary?
There have been many recent reports of both local and national party figures privately fuming at Joe's incompetent campaign and selfish decision to bolt the party. This week's excellent New York Magazine article even revealed a Lieberman inner circle that was split about that decision:
Lieberman fretted for weeks about the decision to go independent. One adviser tried to talk Lieberman out of it, worried that the ploy might alienate rank-and-file Democrats who would perceive him as dissing his party. But his son and confidant Matt... urged him to go for it....
As Lieberman headed off to make his announcement on July 3 in front of the State House in Hartford, an aide told him, “I don’t know if this will kill us or help us.” Lieberman just smiled in reply....
Both Clintons, Boxer, Schumer, Reid, Dodd - all know that a three-way race with Joe in November would be incredibly destructive to them individually as well as their party. They have a lot to lose with a Lieberman Party run. And they see, as Tim notes at the official blog, both how Joe is trying to hold the party hostage, and how uniting the party behind a Ned Lamont (D) candidacy could have extraordinarily positive consequences:
By contrast if we win, and Senator Lieberman respects the wishes of the people who have supported him for the last 18 years plus, we’ll turn our machine towards helping elect a Democratic nominees for congress, governor and statehouse. That’s an online army of statewide netizens, an email list many campaigns would kill for, and real support from within the grassroots of Connecticut. None of which Senator Lieberman has without the absence of a pay-stub.
Whether or not Bill "struck a deal" with Joe, it's obvious that Lieberman is under increasing pressure from all quarters to abadnon his plans for an independent run - pressure that will just continue to grow until August 9th, the Lieberman Party's deadline for filing petitions.
Schaller is asking the right questions here. It would be great to see them posed to Joe's inner circle and his national party backers alike.
Have any of them been privately urging Joe to reconsider his Independent run?
(Long) Quote Of The Day
If you vote for Lieberman, he's not going to change his position. He's going to be for the war, and the first phone call he gets will be from Bush saying, "Congratulations, Joe, for hanging in there." And that's Lieberman's problem. He's gotten connected to this president....
Well [his support of the war is] not a mistake. It's not a youthful indiscretion. Look, he's further right than the president, probably....
This is one of the few times you actually can go to a voting booth and vote for or against the war.... I think everybody should vote and say "wait a minute. This is the rare chance I get to say whether we should have gone into Iraq or not. Whether we should have these policies."...
It's a very important time to vote on something that matters more than all the other things Joe talks about. Was he right or wrong about this war? Because he's going to be for that position again. If we attack Iran, tomorrow morning Joe will be out there saluting. First up - he'll be the first guy to salute in the morning. It's his future policy you're voting for....
IMUS: "You're certainly not helping things here, Chris..."
"You know, I'm in a big fight here, and I understand that ... and as our mutual friend who's coming in later today, President Clinton, always reminds us, every campaign is about the future," he said.
Sen. Lieberman was right. And so was Matthews. Every campaign is about the future.
The People's Senator
(Photo by CTBlogger.)
With two weeks to go, Ned is meeting as many people across the state this week as he can: at senior centers in Bridgeport, Fairfield, and New Haven, a candidate forum in New Britain, meet-and-greets in Westport and Suffield, a NOW/Connecticut Choice Voice fundraiser in West Hartford, an outdoor concert in East Hartford, an Irish festival in Hartford, and events in Bristol, Bethel, and more. All open to the public, and all in the next few days.
Meanwhile, Sen. Lieberman isolates himself more and more from Connecticut voters, holding screened invite-only events and press-only photo-ops, still scared to address what President Clinton described as the "elephant in the room," but which are really twin elephants that been hounding him on the trail ever since February: (1) Iraq, and (2) his decision to bolt the Democratic party.
Spazeboy will be on Colin McEnroe's show today at 5:40pm today to talk about being shut out from the Lieberman-Clinton event in Waterbury yesterday, even though he had a ticket and was excited to hear the former President speak.
Update: Here's Spazeboy's take on yesterday's events, including a video re-enactment.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Five Things I Learned
1. Bill Clinton - even a two-hour-late Bill Clinton - is way more popular in Connecticut than a droning-on Joe Lieberman at what David Broder called a "rescue effort disguised as a rally":
Clinton was greeted with cheers louder than Lieberman received from the audience.
2. The popular Bill Clinton thinks Ned Lamont "seems like a perfectly nice man" and that "he's got every right to run and he's waged a vigorous campaign." The beseiged Joe Lieberman, in contrast, has consistantly treated his opponent with disdain, and acted as if Ned has no right to challenge him. Perhaps he could take some pointers in campaigning from the Big Dog.
3. While Joe could use some lessons in campaigning from the ex-president, he seems to have been taking lessons in crowd management from the current one:
Unfortunately, a few Lamont supporters were turned away at the door from the Lieberman event. One, a blogger, reported literally having his ticket ripped out of his hands by a Lieberman staffer. Sad. Earlier in the day, Senator Lieberman held an event a candy store otherwise closed on Mondays. One way to keep the public out, I suppse. Kind of reminds me a President Bush’s highly scripted, invite only events during the 2004 election.
4. The popular Bill Clinton has said he will support the winner of the primary, while the embattled Joe Lieberman says he will bolt the party. And many prominent Connecticut Democrats join Bill in being concerned about the severe damage a Lieberman independent run will do to the Democratic party, as well as privately delighting in what a Lamont win could mean:
Some Democrats, however, said privately Monday that a Lamont primary win could help the other Democrat candidates. They speculated that Lamont could help drive turnout and enthusiasm on Election Day should he defeat Lieberman on Aug. 8.
5. Joe Lieberman had Incumbent Power in Waterbury tonight. But tomorrow he'll be back by himself. Ned Lamont had People Power in Waterbury tonight (YouTube), and that enthusiasm isn't going anywhere. It's only growing.
Today, our campaign racked up two more impressive local endorsements, both former high-profile supporters of Senator Lieberman: Former Speaker of the House Irv Stolberg and the Finance Chair of Joe Lieberman’s first campaign, Carl Feen.
“I had the pleasure of being involved on a primary campaign with a young progressive who was not afraid to challenge the status quo and speak his mind. A challenger who was not afraid to run in a primary against an intrenched incumbent. A Challenger who was not afraid to speak out against a war that was wrong. I had the pleasure to work on the campaign with Bill Clinton. That challenger used to be Joe Lieberman, but he has lost his way and I am now supporting Ned Lamont who has the courage to proudly speak out about Democratic principles.”
Nancy Johnson: Lieberman is "Good For CT"
JOHNSON: I think the news that has come out about Mr. Schlesinger is extremely disappointing, and I think he should have revealed that going in, because whether people will vote for somebody who clearly has had a gambling problem, if they don't know, is a real issue. So I'm very disappointed about that. I also think, in terms of the Senate excitement that's going on right now, that, you know, Joe Lieberman has been good for Connecticut. We just don't realize - people in the state don't realize - what a powerful influence he is....
Q. I hadn't read that you've officially endorsed Mr. Lieberman. Are you endorsing him right now?
JOHNSON: I'm not endorsing Lieberman. I'm just saying that he has been good for Connecticut, because he's a senior member. He's a person with very great influence. And he's seen as a "thinker." You know, people who have the reputation of being a "thinker" do have more influence in the process. They sometimes don't come up as well on some of the thumbnails, bumper-sticker, judgment pads.
Q. Do you think Mr. Schlesinger should stay in the race?...
JOHNSON: I follow my governor on these issues, she's closer to it than I am. I agree with her that it's very disappointing to find this out at this point.... I think he needs to really search his soul as to whether he can be an effective senate candidate with this personal weakness.
This on the same day that John Rowland's Favorite Democrat, Waterbury mayor Michael Jarjura, welcomes Nancy Johnson's Favorite Democrat to town.
Hillary Set Up Bill Clinton Visit
Though Hillary won’t support Lieberman as an independent, she’s the one who arranged her husband’s visit after Lieberman cornered her on the Senate floor and asked for her help.
The article also sheds some light on Lieberman's original decision to jump ship, painting the familiar picture of an uncertain candidate, a disorganized campaign, and trusted aides and family members giving conflicting advice:
Lieberman fretted for weeks about the decision to go independent. One adviser tried to talk Lieberman out of it, worried that the ploy might alienate rank-and-file Democrats who would perceive him as dissing his party. But his son and confidant Matt, 36, the headmaster of a Jewish day school in Atlanta, urged him to go for it. “My father’s in a fight,” Matt said, “and he’ll do what he needs to do.”...
As Lieberman headed off to make his announcement on July 3 in front of the State House in Hartford, an aide told him, “I don’t know if this will kill us or help us.” Lieberman just smiled in reply....
A Democratic senator from another state said disapprovingly, “Look, you’re part of the Democratic Party or you’re not. Once you move away, you’re making yourself more important than what you’re supposedly doing. Is it more important for the individual to be in the Senate or the ideals and principles you represent?”
Again, it's great that Sen. Clinton and President Clinton will both be supporting the winner of the August 8th primary. It has been suggested elsewhere that Bill might sit down with Joe today and try to convince him to abide by the results of the primary. It's sounding more and more like that's part of how (and why) Hillary - one of the first senators to come out and say she would unconditionally support the Democratic candidate in November - convinced Bill to come campaign for Joe.
Meanwhile, a couple of hours after Sen. Lieberman and his D.C. politician friends leave town, Ned Lamont will come to a restaurant in Waterbury for what's sure to be a very enthusiastic meet-and-greet/small-dollar fundraiser. Incumbent power vs. people power. The difference will be on display.
Update: While New York Magazine gets the real story, Joe once again plays the local press for fools, this time Mark Pazniokas at the Courant:
Lieberman said that Clinton's appearance, which was arranged before a Quinnipiac University poll declaring the race a virtual dead heat, is the result of his direct invitation to the former president.
Which was it? A "direct invitation"? Or "cornering" Hillary on the Senate floor?
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Maxine Waters and Ned in Waterbury
A media throng follows Ned everywhere these days, as the excitement surrounding the campaign grows:
Rasmussen: Lamont 51%, Lieberman 40%; 3-Way Dead Heat
Rasmussen. 7/20. Likely voters. MoE 3% (6/12 results)
Lieberman (D) 40 (46)
Lamont (D) 51 (40)
Lieberman (Lieberman) 40 (44)
Lamont (D) 40 (29)
Schlesinger (R) 13 (15)
All these likely voter models are untested. But the trend is clear. The momentum is with Ned Lamont, as Connecticut voters across the political spectrum are coming to the conclusion that he should be their next senator. Keep it going:
Volunteer to Phone Bank | Family Friends and Neighbors | Absentee Ballot Info
Sunday Morning Round-Up
- More and more of Joe's friends in Connecticut are telling him politely that it's time to go. Irving Stolberg, former speaker of the state House and longtime friend and supporter of Lieberman, urges voters to elect Ned Lamont:
I have supported [Joe] in every election he has had - until now. This year I am supporting Ned Lamont to unseat Joe. Almost four decades of friendship with Joe has made this a wrenching decision for me.
...On the two biggest issues of our times, he is dead wrong.
His blind support of the Iraq war, begun illegally and a continuing catastrophe, is monstrous.
And his defense of an incompetent president, a vice president who fits the dictionary definition of fascism and an extremist administration that has perpetrated torture, illegal eavesdropping and a general shredding of the Constitution is insulting to the people who elected him in the first place.
- Mark Pazniokas reports on Maxine Waters campaigning for Ned in the North End of Hartford yesterday:
At the Rajun Cajun, an eatery where the Greater Hartford African American Alliance meets over breakfast every Saturday, it took no coaxing to elicit complaints about Lieberman.
Waters, a prominent member of the Congressional Black Caucus who has clashed with Lieberman over affirmative action and school vouchers, addressed the alliance with Lamont, who has visited at least twice before. "I don't live around Hartford, but I'm told the present senator doesn't come here," Waters said.
"That's true," replied Steve Harris, a former Hartford councilman, who sat with arms crossed.
"Is the senator someone who cares about you?" Waters asked.
"Doesn't seem that way," someone called out.
"Tell me, do you think Ned Lamont has a chance up here?" Waters asked.
"Oh, yeah," Harris answered.
- Andy Thibault in the Norwich Bulletin writes about Ned's qualifications:
Our modern-day version of Mr. Smith goes to Washington is a capable and genial fellow who holds his ground without stooping to the base level of the other guy. ...
The Senate was never meant to be a career. It's supposed to be public service. Public service is what Lamont will give us. The other guy, well, he'll continue to give us phony stories about the war in Iraq going well and being in the interest of the American people.
- Talking Points Memo fill-in DK writes about Joe's membership in the "Incumbent Party":
But off the top of my head I can’t think of anyone who has epitomized the Incumbent Party dynamic to quite the extent that Lieberman has. His decision to run as an independent in the general election if he loses the Democratic primary is the perfect microcosm of the Incumbent Party phenomenon. It’s one thing to abandon your party when you have lost election, like Buchanan did (twice). It’s quite another for an incumbent to lose his party primary and then try to mount a general election challenge. To announce it before the primary, well, there can’t be much precedent for that. Can anyone think of any?
- Time's "centrist" Joe Klein saw Lieberman's problems up close last weekend epitomized by a certain papier-mache float in the back of a pickup truck:
A giant papier-mache statue of George W. Bush kissing Lieberman on the cheek—the Senator's famed Britney-Madonna moment, which transpired after Bush finished his 2005 State of the Union address—sat on the back of a nearby pickup truck, thoughtfully provided by a group called Connecticut Bloggers. There was no mention from Lieberman of the elephant in the truck, no explanation of his alliance with the President over the war in Iraq...
...I could never imagine myself voting against him. But he was profoundly wrong about the most important issue of the past five years—and now, at the very least, he has to acknowledge that there's an elephant sitting in the pickup truck.
- Spazeboy has another comprehensive post breaking down the psychological basis behind Joe's dreadful campaign. It boils down to one word - projection (read the whole thing):
Senator Lieberman has a bit of a problem. He knows his weaknesses and he is projecting them onto his Democratic opponent, Ned Lamont. I am not a psychologist, but I have been dating one for over five years. As such, I certainly feel like an expert in the field of psychology–by proximity...
One of the Senator’s first lines of attack against Lamont and his supporters in the blogosphere was that we’re all just so angry. Take a listen to that interview Joe did with Colin McEnroe, and then head on over to the Ned Lamont Resource and listen to one of Ned Lamont’s interviews (I suggest March 29th) with Colin McEnroe. Who’s angry? It ain’t McEnroe and it ain’t Lamont. PROJECTION!
- The "19-Point Swing". Other new poll numbers are being reported too, although I've yet to see the MoE or sample size of the latter one, so I'm holding off on giving it much weight. Still, the trendlines in all these polls are undeniable. Both campaigns seem to realize that this race is going to go down to the wire on August 8th, and it will all come down to turnout.