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, October 21, 2006


The Courant Says What Lieberman Couldn't

That Connecticut - and the nation - would be better off with Democrats in control of congress, in their endorsement tomorrow of all 5 Democratic House candidates:

The nation is mired in an unpopular war. Congress exercises no spending restraint. Lobbyist influence is at high tide.

Little has been done to protect the long-term financial stability of Social Security and Medicare or to promote energy independence. There has been insufficient oversight of the Republican-controlled executive branch. Scandal taints Congress, with members being sent to prison, forced to resign or under indictment or investigation.

It's time for a change to Democratic control to see if they can do any better. Divided government has worked well in the past. Three Republican-held seats in Connecticut are key to whether there will be change or more of the same. Voters must ask themselves if these GOP incumbents can be part of the solution or are part of the problem.

"An unpopular war."
"Insufficient oversight."
"Lobbyist influence."
"Part of the problem."
"Change or more of the same."

What's hilarious is that the Courant will endorse Lieberman at some point, as they did in the primary. After this, though, it will be fun to see what type of tortured rhetoric they will be forced to employ in order to find even the most slightly coherent way of doing so.

Joe's Dirty Tricks Fund

Here's the documentation (all in Joe's FEC report, available for download):

July 25: ($5,000)

July 26: ($34,000)

July 26: ($23,000)

July 27: ($32,500)

July 31: ($1,056)

August 2: ($67,500)

August 2: ($6,000)

August 4: ($135,000)

August 7: ($5,005)

August 7: ($75,000)

Including an additional $3,500 that was also itemized as "Petty Cash" (but marked for gas/water/food), that's a grand total of $387,561.

In a comment at MyDD, Adam B notes the relevant FEC law:

A political committee may maintain a petty cash fund out of which it may make expenditures not in excess of $100 to any person per purchase or transaction. If a petty cash fund is maintained, it shall be the duty of the treasurer of the political committee to keep and maintain a written journal of all disbursements. This written journal shall include the name and address of every person to whom any disbursement is made, as well as the date, amount, and purpose of such disbursement. In addition, if any disbursement is made for a candidate, the journal shall include the name of that candidate and the office (including State and Congressional district) sought by such candidate.


Saturday Morning Round-Up

Friday, October 20, 2006


Ned, Dean, Murphy, and DeStefano Today

Spazeboy has video clips from this afternoon:


Joe Goes After MoveOn

From Joe's latest campaign email, in which a $15-million candidate (with a $380,000 slush fund) claims poverty:

If we don't have the resources to counter Ned's last minute blitz of attacks and distortions, he could quite easily drive up our negatives and eat into our support.

Ned will also be pouring huge amounts of money to run an extensive get out the vote operation, which will be aided by Moveon.org and other interest groups, and his voters are clearly energized.

Update: Just like with every individual or group who dared to support another candidate, it turns out Joe asked for MoveOn's support before he decided to participate in demonizing them (h/t drowsy):

Dear MoveOn.org Members,

I’m running for President to make America stronger at home, stronger abroad, and to put America back on the great march of social progress from which George W. Bush has led us astray....

You can learn more about my plans at www.joe2004.com. If you agree with me that America needs new leadership to move us forward, I’d ask you to take action today:

1. Cast your vote for me in the MoveOn Primary
2. Sign up with my campaign
3. Email 3 of your friends that you’re supporting me

I know that I can defeat George W. Bush. Why? Because Al Gore and I already did it in 2000. With your support and active involvement in my campaign, I’ll do it again.

Best regards,

Joe Lieberman
June 17, 2003


Joe's "Petty" Cash Fund

In his 3Q FEC Report, the following expenditures appear:

7/27 - Petty Cash / Stipend Volunteers - $32,500
8/02 - Petty Cash / Stipend Volunteer Payment - $67,500
8/04 - Petty Cash / Stipend Volunteers - $135,000

August 3rd was the day Joe's hired goons tried to start physical violence with Ned at Ted's in Meriden. Looks like they were paid quite well.

And there's more listed under "Petty Cash" in the report in addition to the above amounts. That's at least $300,000 that Joe spent that isn't itemized on his statement.

Over 1,800 pages of this kind of stuff... help go through it.

Here's Your Civil War, Joe

Iraq, today:

A Shiite militia that has been accused of a wave of sectarian attacks on Iraq’s Sunni minority has seized control of the city of Amara in southeastern Iraq, attacking police stations and erecting checkpoints, witnesses in the city said today. At least 15 people have been killed, health officials said.

The takeover of Amara by the militia, the Mahdi Army, was a broad act of defiance against the authority of the central government, which has been trying to impose order and curb sectarian violence. The incident also raised questions about whether Iraq’s militias can be reined in.


Ned, Mayor DeStefano, and Gov. Dean in Hartford

This afternoon.

And a bunch of volunteer opportunities this weekend.

No Democrat, Republican, or minor party candidate in the state can even come close to matching this campaign's grassroots efforts. Show 'em how it's done.

New Ad

The Future CT Senate Delegation:

Get involved this weekend.

On Polls

This is and remains a very volitile race. The margins of the two major polls released in the last couple of days have differed by 10 points. One candidate is very hard to find on the ballot. Another is right next to an (inexplicably) popular governor on the ballot, yet pulls in only single digits.

Politicians and candidates - whether they're ahead or behind - will inevitably tell you that polls don't matter. They're generally correct. The horse race is the last thing that should matter to voters, but the first thing to catch their attention when it appears in newsprint or on TV. But even in a race like this that's proven impossible to poll (Quinnipiac was off by double digits in the days before the primary), polls do have an effect. Especially when some figures and voters in the party decide to hedge their bets in order to blow with the prevailing polling wind. That's why it's so great to see the new ad today, stressing party unity and reminding voters of the reasons behind this campaign from the day Ned announced back in March. More above.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Bush Hearts Joe

He kisses... and tells:

This summer, we saw what happens when a Democrat rejects his party's doctrine of cut and run. Senator Joe Lieberman, a three-term Democrat from Connecticut, supports completing the mission in Iraq, supports victory in Iraq. And for taking this stand, he was purged from his party. Think about what that means. Six years ago, the Democrats thought Joe Lieberman was good enough to run for Vice President of the United States.

Now, because he supports victory in Iraq, they don't think he's fit to be in their party. There's only position in the Democrat Party that everybody seems to agree on: If you want to be a Democrat these days, you can be for almost anything, but victory in Iraq is not an option.

They even both like referring to the "Democrat" Party. It's like they're finishing each others sentences nowadays. So cute!

Whines and the Whining Whiners

"I Love the 80's Edition":


1,882 Pages

Start digging... Lieberman's October FEC report is online.

He's even holding a press conference today to try to distract from it.

Go to it - right-click and download the PDF.

Pick Up Today's Courant

Great coverage of the debate by Pazniokas on the front page (extensive, giving even the three minor party candidates some attention), a good sidebar on the highlights and lowlights of the debate on p. A2 (Ferrucci won for "Most Strained Historical Metaphor"), other articles linked below, one letter to the editor on the GOP dumping on Schlesinger, one on Joe's "Myth of Bipartisanship," a hilarious one on Joe as a baseball player (talk about strained metaphors), and this cartoon from Englehart:


Clemons on Lieberman-Bolton

Some good analysis on Joe's transparently political flip-flop on Bolton:

...Senator Lieberman decided to play "fluffer" for the Republican leadership and Bush with his statement today in the New York Daily News that he has flip-flopped on Bolton and would now support his confirmation as US Ambassador to the UN.

Lieberman knows that after the next election, when there is a lame duck session of Congress called, all of the controls on party discipline come off.

Some Senators will be on their way out -- some will be planning to move in. While Lieberman might vote for Bolton in a new game plan, several Republican Senators are so irritated by the confirmation that has been kicked to near death twice that they won't save it and may even kick it to definitive death to help reach out to progressives they may need to "kiss and make up to" after the election.

Lieberman just used a false stilt to prop himself up before some of Connecticut's pugnacious isolationist Republicans....

I have hesitated pounding too hard on Senator Lieberman who has been a great advocate of advanced technology development in this country and has been (until the Iraq war) a generally sensible voice on national security issues -- particularly at home. But to quote George Soros, "Lieberman has gone off the rails."


Thursday Morning Round-Up

Much more debate round-up below this post, but here's some more.

All of the write-ups seem to agree on the major storylines emerging: Lieberman got hit from all sides on Iraq and was left in the impossible position of having to attack the same Washington D.C. culture he's enabled and defended for 18 years.


More Debate Reaction

Four against one on Iraq, Lieberman's experience used against him:

NY Times:

HARTFORD, Oct 18 — Facing criticism from all sides of the political spectrum, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman was forced to defend himself in a five-way debate on Wednesday, at times appearing frustrated and repeatedly invoking his experience to fend off the group of opponents who are trying to unseat him.

Unlike the situation in the first debate on Monday, which included only the three major candidates and largely steered away from the war in Iraq, Mr. Leiberman’s four opponents spent much of their time this time assailing his support of the war....

Beyond the war, each of the challengers repeatedly turned Mr. Lieberman’s experience in Washington against him and argued that his 18 years in the Senate and candidacy for national office undermined his contention that he could change the culture in Washington....

Indeed, Mr. Lieberman was cut off several times by the moderator, Bob Schieffer, the chief Washington correspondent of CBS news and the host of the program “Face the Nation,” when he ran over his allotted time for answers.

Also read Matt Stoller's magnum opus post on the day.

On Monday, Lieberman was shocked that his feisty Republican opponent criticized him for voting with the Democrats 90% of the time. To understand this debate, you have to understand that Joe is a very self-centered man, and honestly believes that this election should be renamed 'Joe Lieberman Tribute Season'. He thinks that voters think about things like Committee seniority and how awesome his parking place is outside of the Dirksen Senate office building (to be fair to Joe, it is a really good parking spot).

This means that he also buys into the ridiculous idea that Democrats are mean, and Republicans are nice. Thus, a Republican attacking him from the right was not only shocking, it was problematic, since his strategy hinges on getting votes from conservatives and moderates to hold off dirty fucking hippies like businessman Ned Lamont and his venture capitalist wife, Annie. Lieberman didn't quite know what to do about getting attacked from the right and the left, so he bragged about everything he had done for Connecticut, the pork and funding he had brought home, and the work he had put in on all the little micro-issues. At one point, he said something particularly revealing, saying that he couldn't have delivered all the pork he had if he didn't work across the aisle, since the Republicans have been in the majority for so long. It was interesting to hear a politician so succinctly make the crass argument for political appeasement, but that's all that's left for Joe.

...Some friends here think that Joe is scared to face reporters, but I don't think that's what's going on. I think Joe actually and honestly doesn't like people and doesn't want to deal with them if he doesn't have to. That's why he doesn't like or care about doing good visibility events - his ego isn't fed by large crowds since he doesn't think much of people he doesn't know.

Word is a new Q-Poll is coming out soon that was taken before the debate on Monday. Take it with a huge grain of rock salt.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Early Reaction

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

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

The AP:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Lieberman again reiterated that he no longer supports privatization.

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

New Haven Independent:

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

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

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

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

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

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



Ned and Annie and supporters after debate

More photos from the day at the campaign Flickr page.

Debate Report

Ned was at his best yet. Joe again looked like wanted to be anywhere but on a stage defending his record. Schlesinger continued to hit Joe hard. Schieffer kept on having to cut Joe's mic, because he was running over time. The pro-Ned crowd outside was huge and boisterous. The media ran to Ned and Alan afterwards, but Joe was nowhere to be seen.

And the float was back.

Pictures and more coming soon. A great day.

Wednesday Morning Round-Up

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Submit Your Debate Question

For tomorrow, here.

Joe: "Nobody Asked Me That Question Before"

Paul Bass was in New Haven today, and got some great video of the press pressing Lieberman... hard.

First on why it took him days to decide whether Democrats - like himself - should win back Congress: "Nobody asked me that question before":

The exchanges began when the Register's Mary O'Leary asked Lieberman about widely quoted remarks in Sunday's Courant. In that article, Lieberman was asked which party he'd like to see win control of the House of Representatives in November. He didn't have an answer. By Tuesday, Lieberman was saying he does indeed want the Democrats to gain control, but to govern in a bipartisan way. Click the arrow below this pictured screen to hear his response about why he took a few days to arrive at that answer.

He also basically told Republicans not to waste their vote on the Republican candidate:

Much more video at the New Haven Independent.

Joe Continues to Waffle on Simple Question

Well, he had the weekend to mull it over. And he's come to a conclusion. Sort of. Democrats (as he claims to be) might be better for America, after all, but only if they "change their ways."

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Sen. Joe Lieberman, running as an independent after losing the Democratic primary, said Tuesday he hoped Democrats seize control of Congress - with one caveat: a Democratic-led Congress, he said, must change its ways.

"It won't represent progress that's real," Lieberman told reporters while stopping at a transportation forum in New Haven. "It's not going to be much of a step forward if there's a new Democratic leadership that doesn't change the tone in Washington."

Because, you know, it's the Democrats that have caused all the problems in Washington these past six years.


And they're not worth endorsing or doing anything crazy like that:

Lieberman has said he will not endorse Democratic candidates because he understands that his candidacy has put Democratic candidates in an awkward position, and has said he would stay out of their races.


Lieberman Flip-Flops on Bolton

He voted against him - twice - before he said he was going to vote for him.

Oozing Republican Gravy

Colin McEnroe on the shock Lieberman received at the debate:

So Lieberman's words once again reveal his underlying psychology: He fully expected to be handed his Senate seat with the unalloyed thanks of a grateful Connecticut and he remains astounded to find himself in anything resembling a real political campaign.

More intriguingly, Lieberman unintentionally disclosed another thing he believes: that the fix is in and that he doesn't have to worry about Republican opposition. He actually said it! He said he wasn't expecting an attack from the Republican side! Remember, he got a phone call from Karl Rove right after the primary. From that day until this, his campaign has been oozing Republican gravy. He gets their money, and he gets their tactical support. The only thing they have not been able to do for Joe Lieberman is find the "off" switch on Alan Schlesinger.


Tuesday Morning Round-Up

3 weeks to go. Get involved. Lots of debate round-up below.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Pro-Joe Ad Encourages Harassment of Ned's Business

Sen. Lieberman, this is way out of bounds.

The new attack ad from Joe's friends at the Club for Growth Swift Boat Vets Free Enterprise Fund flashes the phone number for Campus Televideo (Ned Lamont's business) at the end of the ad, encouraging viewers of the ad to call and harass them. View the ad here:

FEF ad

This is a business they're telling people to call and harass. Not the campaign. The campaign has a phone number. It's easy to find. But they put up the phone number for Ned's business.

It's like posting someone's home phone number.

But what do you expect from a group with ties to the Swift Boat Vets? This is positively high-road compared to most of their tactics.

This is the same ad that Lieberman Spokes-Tron-3000 Tammy Sun said she had no problem with in a newspaper report today.

I can't imagine that Sen. Lieberman won't loudly demand that this ad be pulled.

Oh wait, I can imagine.


(Major hat tip to reader "drowsy.")

Video: Lieberman Mum on Whether He'll Remain a Dem if Stripped of Seniority

Joe left the debate room before bloggers or any of the other regular folks in attendance could ask him a question, while both Lamont and Schlesinger hung around chatting with both media and attendees.

But try as he might, he couldn't evade the omnipresent Spazeboy:

For the record, Lieberman did not say he would remain in the Democratic caucus if stripped of his seniority. He evaded the question.

For months, he would not say whether he would bolt the party if he lost the primary. He evaded that question, too.

More Debate Reaction

More reaction from others:

Update: NYTimes:

Ned Lamont, who defeated the senator in the Democratic primary earlier this year, criticized Mr. Lieberman as a “career politician” who has no plan for withdrawing American troops from Iraq.

For the first time, the Republican nominee, a little-known lawyer named Alan Schlesinger, had a prominent pulpit to attack the frontrunner as well: he accused Mr. Lieberman of ignoring problems with the Social Security system and failing to work to keep the deficit in check....

“This is not a race about Republican or Democrat; it’s not a race about left and right,” Mr. Lamont said. “It’s a race about right and wrong. And I think right now we have a government in Washington, D.C., that is making a lot of bad decisions right now.”

Mr. Lieberman accused Mr. Lamont, in particular, of running a negative race. He challenged viewers at the outset of the debate to keep track of the number of times Mr. Lamont attacked him, saying the wealthy businessman from Greenwich would owe “free pizza and beer for everybody” if the number of attacks exceeded 10.


When Lieberman tried to nail down the critical senior vote by lying about the fact that he had supported social security privatization, Lamont set the record straight. All Joe could do was whine that Ned was being mean to him, and when he thought he was scoring a master stroke by keeping score of how many times his thin skin got bruised, the audience openly booed him.

Alan Schlessinger kicked Lieberman's ass for the GOP vote he so critically needs to win, and Lamont gave him no quarter on the Democratic side (and looked very senatorial in the process). While there are many good things to say about both Lamont and Schlessinger in the debate today, the loser was clearly — Joe Loserman.

TPMCafe Election Central:

Both Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont scored heavy blows in today's debate. Lamont persuasively invoked the same attack line Lieberman used 18 years ago against then-Senator Lowell Weicker — that the incumbent had served too long with too few results. A key Lamont goal was to broaden the case against Lieberman beyond Iraq, and he successfully did that today, saying Lieberman had failed Connecticut on various fronts.

Spazeboy, liveblogging:

Joe seems to think it’s fair to go after someone’s experience, when it’s cited as an asset…but it’s NOT OK to question Senator Lieberman’s experience. The difference being, of course, that Lieberman’s charge is questionable at best.

Kirby at CTBob, liveblogging Spazeboy a few hours ago (confused yet?):

Joe just came down the stairs with Spazeboy in hot pursuit. Let's hope Spaze nails him. We're doing our best here.

Having watched it on closed circuit here in the press room, I think Alan helped himself the most. He was a little over the top, but if you're a Republican, I think Alan gave you a lot to think about. He shot from the hip, and did a great job nailing Joe on his false Republican credentials. Ned didn't take any chances -- there was no need to. Ned is what he is -- an honest, ethical guy who wants to help make a difference in the world. He's not going to change that between now and November 7 or November 7, 2010.

And Joe is Joe. Had trouble dodging and weaving with Alan on his right and Joe on his left -- literally, on the stage. Initially, we thought he got the good seat being in the middle, but no -- he had no where to look or hide.

More reaction from me:

Think of the questions Joe didn't have to answer today. Not one question about Iraq, the same day the 3,000th coalition soldier was killed over there. Not one question about his commitment to caucus with the Democrats, one day after he was reported as saying he "hadn't thought enough" about whether a Democratic congress would be better for America. Not one question about accepting support from Mel Sembler, Bob J. Perry, Karl Rove, Tom Kuhn, or any of the countless other pro-Bush forces out there feverishly working to build the Lieberman party.

Seems like Joe should have to answer these questions. At some point.

In the meantime, "Schlesinger" has become the new buzz word in CT politics.

Non-Debate Stories

Two important ones in the local press today:

1. Today's Journal-Inquirer explores the new pro-Lieberman ads being paid for by Robert J. Perry, a major financier of the Swift Boaters in 2004 (to the tune of over $2 million) who so viciously attacked John Kerry's military service to his country. Now he's attacking Ned. And Joe Lieberman and Tammy Sun are A-OK with it:

"Here is proof positive that Lieberman is more likely to side with George Bush and Dick Cheney than people of Connecticut," she said. "And these are the very same people behind the swift boat campaign, one of the most disgraceful incidents in American political campaigning, which defined new lows, and they are choosing to focus on Connecticut and to focus on Joe Lieberman."

Swift Boat Vets and POWs for Truth, which collected more than $2 million from Perry in 2004, criticized Kerry's service in Vietnam and questioned his wartime commendations.

Lieberman's spokeswoman, Tammy Sun, adamantly denied any connection between the incumbent's campaign and the Free Enterprise Fund ad, noting that would be illegal.

2. Today's Connecticut Post explores at length Joe Lieberman's relationship to big drug companies:

Alex Knott, political editor at the Center for Public Integrity, says there is no doubt Lieberman has cultivated ties to the brand-name pharmaceutical industry.

"He has accepted campaign contributions from biotech lobbyists and even hired Charles Ludlam, a former lobbyist for the Biotechnology Industry Organization, to write legislation that appears to have the objective of helping out the industry," Knott said.

Moreover, Knott said, industry campaign contributions help open doors.

"You tend to call back the people who have made contributions to you," he said. "While this access doesn't necessarily buy you an end result, it does allow you to make your case."...

"It is outrageous that under the guise of homeland security, the brand pharmaceutical industry is seeking patent extensions for everyday medicines at the expense of consumers, especially seniors and the uninsured — individuals who need affordable, life-saving generic medicines the most," said GPA President and CEO Kathleen Jaeger.

As for Lieberman's proposal, Jaeger said at the time it was introduced that it was "little more than a giveaway to the brand pharmaceutical industry."


Some Initial Reaction

General emerging consensus... Ned hit Joe on the issues, Ned looked the most Senatorial of the three, Schlesinger will rise in the polls after this performance:


HARTFORD, Conn. Oct 16, 2006 (AP)— Democrat Ned Lamont criticized rival Sen. Joe Lieberman's support for the invasion of Iraq on Monday in a debate in which the incumbent also faced jabs from the long-shot Republican candidate.

"I'm running against a career politician who says, 'Stay the course,'" said Lamont, echoing the anti-war mantra that propelled him to victory in the August primary. "It's time for us now to redeploy our forces."...

"It's not negative to say we've got to change course in Iraq," Lamont said....

"You need new people in Washington, a fresh perspective," he said. "Right now, we have a situation in Washington that's out of control."

New Haven Independent:

Schlesinger's emergence would work in Lamont's favor. If he can rise to 15 percent of the vote from his current 4 percent standing in the polls, he'd probably swing the election to Lamont (pictured talking to reporters after the debate). Even if his performance Monday was a bit over the top to make him a serious contender to win the race, it still worked to Lamont's benefit in two ways.

One way: It enabled Lamont to have someone else take the harshest shots at Lieberman while allowing Lamont to look more restrained and senatorial.

Matt Stoller:

There is just no question that Alan Schlesinger won this debate, Lamont pretty much held his own, and Lieberman lost. Alan Schlesinger was funny, interesting, and passionate. He made compelling conservative arguments, and punctured the myth that Lieberman was a principled independent. Lamont held his own as a credible candidate, standing up to Joe's attacks. Lieberman was somewhat funny, but he couldn't defend his middle of the road mantra when Alan Schlesinger and Ned Lamont were pointing out that his record doesn't match his rhetoric.



First take: Not one question on Iraq... but Ned did very well. Lieberman came off as the angry, sanctimonious, bitter career politician he is. Ned focused completely on the issues.

Monday Morning Round-Up

22 days to go. And three debates, starting today. Here we go.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


On Credibility

Paul Krugman in tomorrow's Times:

In a recent interview with The Hartford Courant, Senator Joseph Lieberman said something that wasn’t credible. When the newspaper asked him whether America would be better off if the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives next month, he replied, “Uh, I haven’t thought about that enough to give an answer.”

Why wasn’t this a credible answer? Because anyone with the slightest interest in American politics — a group that obviously includes Mr. Lieberman — is waiting with bated breath to see how this election goes, and thinking a lot about the implications. If the Democrats gain control of either house, no matter how narrowly, the American political landscape will be transformed. If they fail, no matter how narrowly, it will be seen, correctly, as a great victory for the hard right....

O.K., what about the Senate race in Connecticut, where Ned Lamont is the Democratic nominee, and Mr. Lieberman, who lost the Democratic primary, is running as an independent but promising to caucus with the Democrats if he wins? Is this a case where the man, not the party, is what matters? Only if you believe that Mr. Lieberman’s promise not to switch parties is 100 percent credible.

Other than this, Krugman forgets one overriding fact: Joe Lieberman is not just a political observer or pundit. He claims to be a part of the Democratic Congress. He promises to remain a Democrat if he wins. But he won't stand up and say a Democratic Congress would be better for America?

One of two explanations is logically possible (and they're not mutually exclusive): (1) Lieberman is feeding Connecticut voters a line of B.S. because he doesn't want to offend the Republican votes he desperately needs to win, or (2) He is planning on caucusing with Republicans, and is feeding voters B.S. when he tells them he isn't.

His credibility is shot, either way. He can't stand up and say "I'll always be a Democrat" and in the next breath say "I haven't thought enough about" whether Democrats in control of Congress would be better for America.

This is more than a slip of the tongue, it's a crack in the armor, revealing the inner machinations of a man whose only concern is holding onto power.

And the crack is growing larger every time he opens his mouth.

To Recap

Joe will caucus with the Republicans if it benefits him. Not convinced? Let's size up the evidence:

Or does he?

The evidence is clear, regardless of any pledges he makes. He's already bolted the party and told the voters in the primary they don't matter. He's broken promise after promise he made in 1988 - from promising not to miss 300 votes, to promising to run for only three terms. His word is worth nothing. The evidence above is worth a lot.

Will he unequivocally rule out caucusing with the Republicans if he returns to the Senate, whether he maintains his seniority or not, and whether the Republicans are in the majority or not?

Whether he answers the above question or not, it's clear a vote for Joe is a vote for the Republican congress. It's a vote to keep Dennis Hastert, George Bush, and Dick Cheney in power with as little oversight as possible.

The Forgotten Republican

Kirby and CTBob (from http://ctbob.blogspot.com) interviewed Alan Schlesinger in depth yesterday, and the video is up on their blog:


Courant: Joe "Blanks" On Who Should Win House

Unreal. Sen. Lieberman tells Mark Pazniokas - with an assumedly straight face - that he "hasn't thought enough" about whether he thinks Democrats should win back the house, or about who he's endorsing for Governor:

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, a lifelong Democrat and student of politics, blanked when asked if America would be better off with his party regaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

A Democratic victory would immeasurably boost the influence of two Connecticut friends, U.S. Reps. Rosa L. DeLauro and John B. Larson, and provide a counterbalance to the Republican Senate and White House.

"Uh, I haven't thought about that enough to give an answer," Lieberman said, as though Democrats' strong prospects for recapturing the House hadn't been the fall's top political story.

He was similarly elusive about the race for governor. Is he voting for John DeStefano Jr., a Democrat and mayor of the city where Lieberman has lived since the 1960s?

"I'm, uh, I'm having," he stammered, then laughed and said his decision would remain private.

These are not hard questions. Or they weren't until the night of Aug. 8, when Lieberman conceded losing the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont and in the next breath launched an independent candidacy.

It will be a very fun debate if Lieberman can't come up with an answer to these questions before tomorrow afternoon.

He hasn't "thought about that enough to give an answer"? Even Jodi Rell's answer was better.

Update: While Joe Lieberman freezes like a politician stuck in the headlights, 83% Connecticut voters are quite clear on this - who controls the House matters. A lot:

With Connecticut a battleground state, voters strongly believe it is important which party wins control of Congress next month, a Courant/University of Connecticut poll finds.

Eighty-three percent of likely voters say it is important whether Democrats or Republicans prevail, with 56 percent saying it is "very important."


Another Broken Promise

In the debates in 1988, Joe promised Connecticut voters he would not serve more than 18 years.

He lied.

Now he's promising he'll caucus with the Democrats in the Senate. Promising he won't accept a post in the Bush cabinet.

He lied then. What reason is there to believe him now?

Watch the new ad: