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, November 11, 2006


Last Call

I really don't know whether this will be the final post on this blog or not, but I'm taking a break from all things online next week, and afterwards, who knows. It seems incongruous to keep posting on a single-race blog now that that race is over, even though there's still much to be said about what this race ultimately meant. I am sure I will re-engage in blogging somewhere soon. If you would like to be informed about it, you can send me an email at the address on the left.

In the meantime, thank you so much for reading this blog and being a part of what really became a social movement both online and offline, in state and out of state. Thank you to the daily visitors and regular commenters here. Thank you to CTKeith, DeanFan, and the others who were on top of this race online from the very beginning. Thanks to BranfordBoy, CTBlogger, Spazeboy, and CTBob who were on the ground providing the energy for this race from early on. Thanks to Scarce for being omniscient and omnipresent. Thanks to everyone else at My Left Nutmeg for providing an indispensable community forum - something that really should be nurtured and expanded in the weeks and months ahead. Thanks to the national bloggers at Atrios, Daily Kos, MyDD, Crooks and Liars, Firedoglake, and everywhere else who were so helpful on a daily basis encouraging the type of broad nationwide support that was so crucial in making this into more than just a local race with local impact.

Thanks especially to Tim Tagaris, who came in and showed us all how this is done (notwithstanding his poor judgment in hiring me after the primary), and the rest of the campaign team, who were so inspiring, first to work with, and then to work for.

And of course, thanks to Ned, who inspired so many and who, I have little doubt, will continue to do so.

This was never about one person, though. It was always about ordinary citizens finding strength in each other. That type of shift in power is incredibly threatening to the existing power centers in both government and in the corporate world, which explains the $12,000 checks that flew into the Lieberman coffers as much as it explains the inaction by most Republicans and betrayal by some Democrats during the general election.

We took on one major party in the primary, and we won an historic victory. But, in so many ways, we had to take on the combined efforts of two major parties in the general - an even more herculean task that, amazingly, we almost pulled off too.

In the meantime, we made Joe Lieberman a vestigial senator. He is no longer a Democrat. He chose to leave the party in July. In August, 52% of Democrats rendered their clear verdict. In November, the margin was even greater (about two-thirds of Democrats voting against him, according to one exit poll). Joe has long derived his power from claiming to speak for a largely mythical "center" in the Democratic party while constantly advocating positions that place him to the right of many Republicans. No more.

To place a (D) after his name at this point would be to say to Connecticut Democrats that they don't ultimately get to decide who represents their party - that the Tim Russerts of the world get to do so. It would be insulting, disrespectful, and wrong. Joe can vote however he wants or caucus with whichever party he wants, but he is not a Democrat. Having re-stated multiple times that his vote for organizing the senate is not up for grabs, he is now just one of 100 senators. And - on the war especially - there will be many Republicans who will be more likely than Sen. Lieberman to be the 51st vote (and 52nd, and 53rd) for meaningful legislation. Those votes should be welcomed. There are also many new Democrats - like Jim Webb (D-VA) and Jon Tester (D-MT) - who will more truly represent the center in American politics.

Going forwards, Sen. Lieberman has a choice. He can either face this reality, or ignore it at his own peril. He can either become responsive to his constituents, or become even less relevant. He can either continue to be beholden to the lobbyists and D.C. "bipartisan" power centers that bailed him out post-primary, or he can start being beholden to the people of Connecticut again. The choice is his. Those who have worked for the last year to hold their senator accountable - from Ned on down - aren't going anywhere.


Thursday, November 09, 2006


More Post-Game

Good pieces today in the Norwich Bulletin:

But Lamont may have gotten more bang for his bucks than any other candidate in a political season in which more than $2 billion was spent. And in the end, his losing candidacy was a winner for many Americans.

From his surprise showing at the Democratic convention in May to his stunning victory in the party primary in August -- and right up to Election Day -- Lamont caught and kept the national spotlight as a lightning rod of opposition to the war in Iraq. He was among the first to speak out loudly and clearly about the obvious failed war policy of the Bush administration, and he was emblematic of a freshness of perspective that caught the attention of voters nationally.

It is not unreasonable to think Lamont's candidacy triggered a national firestorm of anger and introspection about a war that shows no end. If Lamont was a one-issue candidate, it was a doozy of an issue.

Connecticut and America responded. For months, there was more dialogue and constructive criticism about the war and other issues -- including the corruption of absolute power, as shown in recent years by some Republicans. In defeating Lieberman in the primary, Lamont made clear no office holder was safe.

And by Greg Sargent:

Early on, anyone who suggested that Dems shouldn't be afraid to call for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq or to oppose President Bush on wiretapping or torture was subjected to a steady stream of withering scorn from allegedly in-the-know pundits. Those who backed Ned Lamont's antiwar candidacy were dismissed by David Broder and others in the D.C. opinionmakers guild as crazy, extreme, beneath contempt. In one typical example last February, Marshall Wittman charged that opposition to Bush's warrantless wiretapping program showed that "the Democratic Party is increasingly under the influence of modern day McGovernites," warning: "Let's get serious."

It's a good thing indeed that Dems didn't heed the advice from Wittman and others that they get "serious," now isn't it....

What of Lieberman? The Wittmanites, predictably, are trying to spin Lieberman's victory as a sign that the mainstream prevailed over the extremes. But this isn't what happened at all. A key reason Lieberman won was because he successfully confused the electorate about his actual foreign positions, which are well to the right of majority opinion, while successfully mischaracterizing Lamont's as extreme, when it fact Lamont's were the ones genuinely in tune with those of the majority. Lieberman's victory was actually the opposite of what the Wittmanites claim: It as really a victory of the extreme over the mainstream.

Recalling all this is much more than I-told-you-so post-election handicapping. It's critical to the battles ahead, because at the center of them will be a fight over what actually constitues majority opinion on Iraq and the war on terror. At yesterday's press conference, Bush fired the opening shot in these coming wars, saying that Americans won't "accept defeat" in Iraq -- an effort to position himself, incredibly, as still representing mainstream opinion. But Dems should never again let the likes of Wittman, Broder, Lieberman, Bush or anyone else dictate what majority opionion is. Rather, they should listen to what the majority has to say about it. That's what Dems did in the last election, and they were rewarded rather handsomely for it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006



The text on Huffington Post front page just now is a good indication of just how much of an impact this race had on elections across the country:


NEW DEMS ON IRAQ: Kristin Gillibrand: “We Need A New Direction"……..Joe Sestak: "We're In The Midst Of A Civil War"……………Gabrielle Giffords: "My Priority Is To Bring Our Troops Home Safe And Soon"…………Claire McCaskill: "We Need To Set A Framework…To Completely Redeploy"…………Patrick Murphy: "We Need To Start Bringing Our Men And Women Home Now”……………RUMSFELD FORCED OUT…………


Not One of Us

I just randomly tuned to Sean Hannity on the radio in the car and heard that Lieberman was going to be on as a guest - again - today.

All Democrats should welcome the vote of Sen. Lieberman (Lieberman) to organize the senate with Democrats, the same way we should welcome any such vote from the right side of the aisle.

But let me be as clear in my words as Connecticut Democrats were in their votes both in August and - even more emphatically - yesterday:

Joe Lieberman is no longer a Democrat.

He has no more right to call himself one, or to speak for Democrats in our new majorities, than any of Sean Hannity's other best friends do.

And for this, we can thank Ned too.

Sec. of Defense Joe Lieberman?

Wouldn't that be hilarious...

...well, guess not. Maybe he'll be the new UN Ambassador or something.


I'm not being at all disingenuous in writing that I was happy when I woke up this morning. Sincerely content. Proud.

The results of the election were not what any of us had hoped for. But the results of this campaign far exceeded the hopes almost everyone had going in. And it changed the country.

We defeated a three-term incumbent in a primary with a grassroots-fueled online and offline effort. We emboldened Democrats across the country to speak clearly about Iraq, and provided the summer spark that lit last night's autumn wildfire.

And most importantly, we inspired thousands of people who would have normally stayed on the sidelines to get involved in politics. This is already being reflected in the makeup of town committees. And does anyone doubt that in the coming years it will be reflected in the state legislature, and even higher offices?

There is also a lot of disillusionment. Especially with the way - after voters issued such clear verdict in August - the national and local party alike decided personal friendships, gargantuan egos, and placating the most powerful of interests trumped our apparently quaint and outdated notion of "democracy" within the party system.

The establishment - of both parties - was forced to fight tooth and nail to defend power for power's sake. It wasn't pretty. What we saw last night was how immovable real entrenched power centers are in this country. And, also, how a Democratic majority alone - in one or both houses - won't solve these problems.

So yes, we lost the election. But even before first vote was counted, we had already won a whole lot more than that.

And all because one guy stood up when no one else would, and so many stood up to join him.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


It's All Over But The Counting

And, who knows, maybe the recounting...

Nine Hours Until Polls Close


Remind your friends to vote.

Get out the vote.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Calm Before the Storm

I started this blog back in February when I heard a guy named Ned Lamont was considering challenging Joe Lieberman in a Senate primary. After hearing him speak and reading his positions, I had no doubt he could win, but, just like anyone else, I had quite a few doubts that he actually would. But as I wrote almost nine months ago now, this challenge was always going to be as much about the journey as it was about the destination:

Opportunities such as this, both to change the party and to change the national conversation, do not arise often in politics. I hope to explain in detail in later posts why I believe Ned Lamont's candidacy presents just such a golden opportunity: why he should run, why he can win, and why the race itself will - win or lose - be a greatly positive exercise for both Connecticut and the nation.

No one would say that the race itself hasn't had a dramatic effect on the national discussion. This midterm election has become a referendum on Iraq. Senate candidates in places like Missouri are now using language that Ned was considered "out there" for using last winter and early spring.

I'm sitting here at HQ in Meriden, where things seem to have quieted down for the night. Tomorrow will come the storm: boots on the ground, lawn signs and literature in hand, umbrellas overhead if necessary, contacting our voters, reminding people to vote the entire Democratic line.

And again, I'm reminded of how opportunities such as this do not arise often.

Tomorrow is the opportunity we've been waiting for.

Let's do it.

In The Field

I've spent most of the day in the New Haven field office helping get volunteers ready to go out tomorrow... it's been bustling all day. People are energized and excited to get up in the pre-dawn tomorrow and spend hours at a polling place. There's no doubt among anyone here that this is going to be close. Every vote will count. And if the results are any reflection of the intensity of support that we've all seen on the ground this entire campaign, it will be a good night.

Ned stood up for what he believed in when no one else would, and countless thousands of people have been returning the favor throughout this campaign. And it just keeps going. It's been a great experience both to witness and be a part of.

24 Hours

86,000 newly registered voters, mainly Democrats. A volatile electorate. A possible national Democratic wave. A major party candidate with less than ten percent in the polls. A candidate leading in the polls with a name harder to find on the ballot than Kazakhstan on a map, but with 80% Republican support.

Most importantly, a candidate who has inspired countless citizens to work hard for the enitre Democratic slate in Connecticut vs. one who is forced to buy his soft support with envelopes of petty cash.

This was worth fighting for when people said it was impossible in February. It's worth fighting for even more now.

24 hours untill polls open to get out the vote. Then 14 hours to work. It's what I'll be doing for the next two days.

Eye of the Tiger

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Joe and Nancy Today

Working against a Democratic congress, together:

David Sirota has a lot more. Joe tried to get Ned - who had been invited by Rep. Larson (D) - thrown out of the Hartford Veterans Day Parade today.

No One Wants the War in Iraq to End More Than Dick Cheney Does


Sunday Morning Round-Up

48 Hours. GOTV.

Here's what's in the news this morning, as the Democratic wave builds and the midterms seem to be crystallizing nationally as a referendum on the Bush-Lieberman policy on the war in Iraq:


New Haven Tonight

Stand Up for Change Rally