January 03, 2007

"Blog Wars" And The Improbable Candidacy Of Ned Lamont

A week or so ago, I made reference to a one-hour documentary called “Blog Wars” that was to be featured on the Sundance Channel. I had DVR’d it and finally got around to watching it.

HereÂ’s my review.

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October 26, 2006

CT-2 - Simmons Ad

I haven't really commented much on the CT Congressional races because I've been so focused on Joe Lieberman. But this ad for Simmons really hits home:

"How does a mother put that into words?"

And will Democrat Joe Courtney do all he can to keep our soldiers safe? Or will he vote to cut funding for our troops? I have no doubt that voters who can answer these questions honestly will pull the lever for Simmons on Nov. 7th. Plain and simple.

Earlier this year I would have thought CT-2 to be the most vulnerable of the three Senate races. Now I'd have to say its more likely CT-4. CT-5 is safe at this point.

h/t: The RCP Blog

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September 20, 2006

Lamont's Newest Ad Won't Attract Unaffiliated Voters

The Ned Lamont For Senate campaign has released a curious ad in which it attempts to paint Senator Joe Lieberman as a "turncoat".

Lamont's campaign is spending $93,000 this week on a series of statewide television ads that call Lieberman a "turncoat." One ad suggests that Connecticut residents should wear their coats inside-out to protest Lieberman's general election campaign.

Lamont predicted the ads will appeal to his base and undecided voters. "It was a humorous look at a guy that's been a lifelong Democrat who overnight changed his stripes," he said.

Ken Dautrich, public policy professor at the University of Connecticut, said it's important for both candidates to campaign for Democratic votes, but added that unaffiliated voters will likely decide the race. Lamont won 52 percent of the Democratic vote in last month's primary.

So how does an ad criticizing Lieberman for breaking with his party appeal to those critical unaffiliated voters?

Here's a newsflash: it doesn't. Consider why unaffiliated voters are not registered with a party. It's not because they can't decide which one they like. It's because they have no use for either of them. The idea of a Senator who's not in lock-step with his party on every issue actually appeals to them. And while some unaffiliated voters have always been so, many changed to being unaffiliated when they became disgusted with the party to which they originally belonged - feeling that they no longer did. For Democrats, Joe Lieberman doesn't belong. Does that mean that any Democrat who votes for him is a "turncoat" as well? And exactly how many non-Democrats will be up for the idea of making themselves look ridiculous by wearing their coats inside out? Stooooopid!

This strategy tells me one of two things: either the Lamont campaign is so myopic in their approach that they can't move beyond their crusade to punish him for his heresy on Iraq or their internal polling is showing that support for Lamont among registered Democrats is slipping and the percentage of "undecided voters" is growing.

Why spend so much time focusing on "the base" with seven weeks to go? If you don't have the base shored up by this point, then your campaign is in serious jeopardy.

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September 08, 2006

The Campaign Begins

Sixty days from now, I and millions of other Americans will go to the polls. We here in CT have a very high-profile Senate race.

I am an ex-Democrat and have been for at least eight years. As such, I (along with about two thirds of registered - and living - voters in CT) did not cast a ballot last month in the Democrat primary. Nor should I have been able to. I strongly disagree with the "open primary" concept.

But the results of that primary election (the rejection of Joe Lieberman by some 10,000 votes) do not reflect the "will of the voters" as Ned Lamont's supporters like to claim. They reflect the vote of registered Democrats (living and dead). Lieberman now runs as an independent. Last time I checked the U.S. Constitution I wasn't able to find any references to political parties.

Joe Lieberman has a right to run as an independent. And he will win or lose based on the will of ALL or CT's registered voters on November 7th. Ned Lamont's supporters should welcome this opportunity if they are so confident in their candidate.

Personally, I believe that Joe will prevail in sixty days. Polls indicate that his approval rating in excess of 60% will translate to a fourth term in the Senate. That being said, you can't take anything for granted in politics. The opposition is determined and relentless. They will do or say anything to win. Their efforts are fueled by organizations like MoveOn.org and the resources that pour into the State on Lamont's behalf come by and large from outside the State.

I could easily just hang back and watch with amusement as the Democrat party engages in intra-party bickering and tears itself to shreds. No matter what, Republicans will NOT pick up this seat. When your opponents fight amongst themselves, it's always best not to interfere.

But I live in CT and this race does mean something to me. I already have to live with the fact that I have one major asshat representing me in the U.S. Senate.

I disagree with Joe Lieberman on most of the votes he casts and almost all of the positions he supports. But I have always voted for Joe regardless of my party affiliation. And I support him this time around for two important reasons: his unyielding integrity and his ardent support for this country's efforts to fight the Islamofascist threat that we now face.

The stakes are just too high.

So I'm signing on as an unofficial - and vocal - supporter of Joe Lieberman for the U.S. Senate. I have absolutely no connection to Connecticut for Lieberman, Friends of Joe Lieberman or any other campaign organization associated with the Senator. But I will be doing whatever I can over the next sixty days to promote his candidacy.

Joe Lieberman.jpg
On to victory, baby!

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September 07, 2006

Veterans Group Backing Lieberman

Lefties are all up in arms about Vets For Freedom. They're deriding them as the 2006 version of the Swift Boat Veterans who exposed John Kerry for the back-stabbing, lying creep that he was back in 2004.

Of course, as in the past, Democrats want to silence them. Why should they support the First Amendment rights of people who risked their lives to defend those very rights for them, anyway? Vets For Freedom's stated mission is "to support policymakers from both sides of the aisle who have stood behind our great generation of American warriors on the battlefield, and who have put long-term national security before short-term partisan political gain."

In other words, other than Joe Lieberman that would leave out just about every nationally-elected Democrat. No wonder the moonbats are pissed off.

The website for Vets For Truth is here. Thanks to our veterans all over the world who keep America free.

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August 09, 2006

Joe And Me

I'd like to step back a bit with some personal reflections about Joe Lieberman. Joe and I go way back. No, we've never actually met. But my own political history is very much tied to his career as CT's Senator over the last 18 years. more...

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August 08, 2006

How "Blue" Is CT?

There's a quick analysis of CT's election history over at the "Sixers" blog at NRO that asks the question.

Notwithstanding data that indicates that it's not that strong a "Blue State", trust me when I say that it is very Blue - in the sense that Liberals feel quite at home here and are more than comfortable piping up about their politics. But that's the group that are more or less politically active. There are plenty of Conservatives in CT. We're just more likely to be low-key about it. There's little point in getting into arguments with friends, family and co-workers when the other side is so hostile to what you have to say and will never - ever - change their minds.

That being said, I do agree with the assessment that the majority of CT voters gravitate to the candidate that is perceived to be the most "middle-of-the-road". I say "perceived" because the candidates actual voting record matters less than how they seem. If a candidate comes across as being even-tempered and independent (not beholden to either extreme), that candidate tends to do well here. It wasn't so long ago that CT had an independent Governor, Lowell Wiecker (formerly a Liberal Republican).

All this indicates that an independent Joe Lieberman might very well be just as, if not more, successful than the Joe Lieberman with the party affiliation.

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July 25, 2006

CT Congressional Dems All Backing Joe

I had already known that Sen. Chris Dodd has endorsed Lieberman but the State's two Congressional Dems - Rep. John Larson (CT-1) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) are also backing the incumbent Senator.

The nutroots will say "yeah, sure but wait until after Lamont wins the nomination, then they'll go with the party!".

Wishful thinking on their part.

The Dem leadership - Reid, Pelosi and their ilk - might. They have a lot to lose by pissing off the Left. But Dodd, DeLauro and Larson understand that - one way or another - Joe will be serving his fourth term starting next year. He may not be in their party anymore but they know who they're going to be working closely with for the next six years.

And Dodd, DeLauro and Larson don't have to worry about a backlash from the anti-war Left. Their seats will be safe - especially after Lieberman shows he can win without them.

Hat Tip: CT-CIA

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July 24, 2006

Weird Karma In CT Politics

In all the hullaballo with Joe Lieberman and the Democrats, there are some interesting historical parallels that many have overlooked. Peter Brown of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute (the polling organization in CT) looks back at the last time the anti-war faction of the Democrat party ate one of their own:

Connecticut Democrats have been down this road before. In 1970, anti-Vietnam War candidate Joseph Duffy knocked off incumbent Thomas Dodd, who had been a supporter of Democratic President Lyndon Johnson's policy. Dodd's son Chris Dodd is now Connecticut's other U.S. senator.

But the anti-war wing, although powerful within Democratic primaries, did not represent the political mainstream in 1970. Duffy lost the November election to Republican Lowell Weicker, who is backing Lamont against Lieberman, who defeated him in 1988.

So in 1970, you had a Democrat Senator from CT who was driven off the ticket by the Left for supporting his own party's President. The result was a net loss of one Senate seat for the Dems. The winner of that race becomes a "maverick" and a thorn in the GOP's side for eighteen years and is eventually beaten out by Joe Lieberman for the seat.

Flash forward thirty-six years. Joe Lieberman is being driven off the Dem ticket by the Left for supporting the opposing party's President. The result will likely be a net loss of one Senate seat for the Dems. Lieberman, as an independent, has the capacity to be a "maverick" and a thorn in the Dems' side for the foreseeable future.

Thomas Dodd's son, Chris Dodd, is now CT's senior Senator. Lowell Weicker, who defeated Dodd now supports Lamont. And in both 1970 and 2006, the big loser as a result of the Left's actions is...the Democrat Party.

You just can't make this stuff up.

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July 20, 2006

Joe-Mentum Seems To Have Lost It's Steam

According to a new Quinnipiac poll, Ned Lamont has actually pulled ahead of Lieberman for the Aug. 8 primary race (which is within the margin of error). While I am a bit surprised, it does seem like timing is everything. Lamont has been filling the TV and radio airwaves with ads and - among Democrats - they seem to be having the desired effect.

There are less than three weeks remaining until the primary and , unless Lamont is peaking too early, he very likely may end up with the nomination. This would push Lieberman into an Independent candidacy. While the nutroots are all a-twitter with the news, such a scenario doesn't help the Democrats in the Senate as Lieberman would certainly attract enough independents and Republicans to carry him to victory in November anyway. The only difference is that he wouldn't have a (D) after his name.

"The poll shows [Lieberman] leading a three way race with the support of 51 percent of likely voters, compared to 27 percent for Lamont and 9 percent for Republican Alan Schlesinger."
If Democrats think the three-term Senator is a thorn in their sides now, wait until they get a load of Joe v.2.0 - the one who doesn't need support from the continually marginalized Left.

Capt. Ed weighes in:

A Lieberman primary victory would be the best outcome for the Democrats; it would keep the state's party from fracturing in the general election. It doesn't look good for that result at the moment. Lamont may well top Lieberman in the first round, but an eventual Lieberman victory looks all but assured. That means that the national party leaders will have to be very careful in how they support Lamont, if they decide to do so at all. If they antagonize Lieberman enough, he may give Democrats a few more headaches in the next session of Congress.
And if they antagonize the Kos-sacks, they have to deal with a different set of headaches.

John Hawkins makes this observation:

So, if Joe loses as a Democrat, but wins as an independent with lots of Republican and Independent support, what does that mean?

Well hopefully, it'll mean that the "Harry Truman Democrats" will realize that if they're serious about defending America, they're in the wrong party. Could it mean that some Jews, who vote Democrat 2 to 1, might get the message that they're in the wrong party? Sure. Could we see Joe Lieberman become a true centrist in the Senate in order to better represent his much more Republican and independent base? Sure.

And all the while, Kos and Company would be crowing about the huge "victory" they've won. It sounds like a real Pyrrhic victory to me.

In other words, the GOP - who had no shot to pick up this seat - will end up with the next best scenario: one less Senate Democrat in their minority caucus.

Lieberman still has one big weapon left in his arsenal. According to his campaign, Bill Clinton will be coming to Connecticut to campaign for him and, these days, the former President is probably the most popular and influential Democrat alive. But time is running out.

Be careful what you wish for, guys...

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July 11, 2006

Joe Hedges His Bets

With less than a month to go until primary day, Sen. Joseph Lieberman has bitten the bullet and registered to run as an independent should he be defeated by Ned Lamont for the Democratic nomination.

Actually, he's gone that route one better by registering a new party: Connecticut For Lieberman. This way as long as he secures the necessary petition signatures, his "party" will appear higher up on the list in that voting machine than if he just ran as an individual.

Cynical, perhaps. Why does a guy with so much name recognition need to be higher up than, say, Waldo Whats-his-name or some other nitwit who gets on the ballot? He really doesn't. I think the key here is that if he has to pursue this avenue he can craft his campaign in a way that enhances the name recognition and attracts more independents and Republicans his way. I don't know just how many more, but hey every advantage helps.

Lamont's campaign tipped its hand a little too early when it tried to force Lieberman into a corner by looking for a pledge to back Lamont should he win the nomination. Had they kept their powder dry and waited for this exact moment, they could have pounced on the three-term Senator as being disloyal to his party and hammered that home for three plus weeks.

Even though Lamont and the LoseOn.org crowd will adopt that strategy anyway, it will probably be less effective since they've already tried it. Lieberman's internal polls must show that this tactic has done all the damage that it's going to do already. And published polls show that Lieberman would win bigger as an independent than as a Democrat anyway. If you're a registered Democrat (not affiliated with the nutroots) who has paid very little attention to this whole brouhaha, who are you more likely to be motivated to come out on election day for? A known quantity like Lieberman or some guy you've never heard of like Ned Lamont, who happens to have a (D) next to his name?

I still think Lieberman will win on August 8th. But there are so many variables here - summer vacations, low turnout, apathy - that this move is the smart one. Whether or not it will be necessary remains to be seen.

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May 31, 2006

More "Culture Of Corruption"...From The Democrats, That Is

Just when they think they have a club to beat Republicans over the head with, Democrats can't seem to wipe the taint of scandal off of themselves.

Here in CT, our own Rep. John Larson (D-CT01) seems to have gotten his pecker caught in the William Jefferson ringer:

"Last December, Larson was running for vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, the No.4 leadership spot. The voters were his fellow House Democrats, including Jefferson. So what a convenient time it was for Larson to give Jefferson's legal defense fund $2,000 from his political action committee on Dec. 12. Happy holidays!

Mind you, there are rules governing these tricky transactions. Federal lobbyists, for example, can't give to a congressman's legal defense fund. They can, however, give to a PAC that gives to the defense fund. Larson's Synergy PAC took contributions from both state and federal lobbyists. "If you want to look at them that way, that is an indirect way for them to do it," says Larson spokesman Brian Mahar.

Larson won that Feb. 1 race. His office won't say whether Jefferson was one of his supporters. And his office can't confirm how Jefferson voted because it was a secret ballot.

But it looks bad. After all, there are many more worthy causes to give to in New Orleans than a congressman who would not, even then, cooperate with a subpoena for documents."

Of the Congressional races in CT this year, only one could credibly be called competitive - the 2nd district held by Republican Rob Simmons. If they're not careful though, Democrats are going to end up having to spend valuable campaign funds trying to save Larson's seat.

H/T: H-Bomb at Ankle-Biting Pundits

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May 19, 2006

CT Senate Ad Just A Tad On The "Creepy" Side

Joe Lieberman, the Senator from my home State of CT, has a challenge from the Left for his seat this year - from the far Left. His opponent Ned Lamont has about as much hope of defeating him as Howard Stern does of being invited to Buckingham Palace. But the Kos Kids have made Lamont their number one poster boy for this interim election.

There are two new ads up at Lamont's webite. One is a thirty-second spot that has a dog barking at a "Lieberman For Senate" sign. The voice-over refers to Lieberman in terms that are familiar on the Left such as "George Bush's lapdog" (and you just know the moonbats would have preferred to use the phrase "George Bush's bitch"). Pretty amateurish, pretty lame.

But the creepy one is the sixty-second ad. Lamont starts off as a normal looking guy who believes that the President is wrong (on pretty much everything) and he comes across as a typical credible Senate candidate. He's sitting in his living room, talking to the audience with tempered enthusiasm about his campaign.

Then, all of a sudden you see this weird stalker-looking guy come up to the bay window behind him and peer inside. Your first impression is "WTF?". Turns out it's none other than the Grand Poobah Moonbat himself, Markos "Screw Them" Moulitsas Zuniga (aka Kos). He then bursts into Lamont's living room with a handful of people wearing "Ned Lamont For Senate" t-shirts and they're all cheering. Come to think of it, it's probably the first time that these people have smiled since before the 2004 Presidential election.

It's probably meant to be irreverent and funny but anyone familiar with Kos and his boisterous band of bitter Bush-haters gets the message: Lamont is Kos's lap-dog and his only base of support comes from this fringe MoveOn.org group of Left-wing kooks. Anyone not familiar with Kos will look at this ad and think "Who the freak are these people? They look like some kind of cult."

Actually, that would be a pretty apt observation.

Check out AllahPundit's "remix" version of the ad at HotAir.com. Hysterical!

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January 13, 2006

Common Ground

This post at The Nutmeg Grater has some nice sunset shots of the Hartford area, which is my old stomping grounds - a really nice city as far as cities go. Every once in a while, something comes along that reminds me why I still live in CT. Thanks to A Rose Is A Rose, with whom I probably disagree on just about everything else. :wink:

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December 06, 2005

Oh Good God, No!

Former CT Governor Lowell Weicker is actually considering a run for the Senate seat currently held by Joseph Lieberman in 2006. Weicker, currently 74 years old, was interviewed over the phone by the NY Times and asked if he would run. His response was basically that if Lieberman goes unopposed, he is thinking about giving it a go.

"If he's out there scot-free and nobody will do it, I'd have to give serious thought to doing it myself, and I don't want to do it," added Mr. Weicker, an independent, who said he had been opposed to the war from the beginning.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Weicker, he was the original "maverick" Republican. He was really an ultra-Liberal Senator posing as a Republican. Even for Connecticut, he was out there. Now it looks as though Weicker has joined the anti-victory moonbat parade.

In 1988, Weicker was challenged for his Senate seat by one Joe Lieberman, who won. Two years later, having been rejected by his own party, Weicker ran as an "Independent" for Governor. Oh, did the media just love that one. And the asshole won!

What was the first thing he did? After campaigning on a pledge to pull the state out of its financial woes without raising taxes, he instituted the first State Income Tax in Connecticut's history. And we've been stuck with it ever since. When the people of Connecticut lost their shit over it, the General Assembly passed a measure to repeal it. And guess what? Weicker freaking vetoed it!!

Needless to say, the state would have thrown him out on his ass had he decided to run for reelection. I guess he was satisfied that he'd done enough damage. Now every time the state hits a surplus, the schmucks in Hartford find more stupid crap to spend it on. So the bottom line is the State Income Tax ain't going away - ever. It drove away so many people from the state to points south and west that we lost a congressional seat after the last census.

Could he win? I'm inclined to think not. Lieberman is still very popular in this state and Weicker is generally considered to be somewhat of wing-nut has-been. But consider this:

Mr. Weicker said on Monday that "a large bloc within the Democratic Party" in Connecticut opposes his position on the war and wants to see him challenged from within the party.
He's not kidding. There is a grass-roots effort in the state Democrat party to challenge Lieberman for the nomination. It's quite possible he could be beaten as the Democrat candidate. And the screwballs on the Left would have no problem running Weicker to challenge Lieberman as a Democrat. Why the hell not, he's been everything else.

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