Bush’s Favorite Democrat: Hating It
And the hits just keep on coming.
The inattentiveness — as well as the scattered boos amid the supportive calls of "Joe" that welcomed Mr. Lieberman to the podium — convinced some that the three-term senator, criticized for months because of his continued support for the war in Iraq, may be vulnerable in the primary challenge he faces.
"What I was struck by was that not many people were paying attention to him," said Leo Canty, chairman of the Democratic town committee in Windsor, which passed a resolution in February opposing Senator Lieberman’s support for the war. "It used to be that he would be more of a presence when he came in."
Tom Swan, Mr. Lamont’s campaign manager, said he had been wary of attending the dinner, given his campaign’s outsider status. "I thought I was going to feel like I was on a hunting trip with Dick Cheney but when we went into that room it was anything but," he said. "There is no doubt in anybody’s mind who follows politics in Connecticut that Ned Lamont can win the Democratic primary after last night."
One sign of his maturity as a candidate is that Lamont does not sound desperate for votes. When one caller, proclaiming the virtue of her own candor, started what sounded like an anti-Semitic rant against Lieberman, Lamont quickly dissociated himself from his ugly-minded supporter and launched into a paean to Lieberman’s patriotism. In this era of brutal political combat, it was a rare moment. It sounded like the sort of exchange that, if repeated in enough forums, will transform the race for the nomination from interesting to close, maybe even stunning.
It hasn’t taken Lamont long to unnerve the Democratic establishment. Dodd, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and ultimate party loyalist, refuses to give an unqualified answer to whether he will support the Democratic nominee, no matter who it is.
They must be worried. They should be.
Lamont is fast becoming the local fair-haired boy, and for good reason: he’s smart, personable and comes across as extremely ethical while Lieberman looks like Scrooge scurrying away from his own ugly conscience. Nobody’s saying it won’t be a long haul for Ned to defeat an incumbent (who won’t commit to supporting the Democratic candidate in November as Lamont would — nice commitment to the party there Joe) but if ever a dark horse candidate proved himself worthy of backing it’s Ned Lamont.
Not only is he a great candidate, everything seems to be breaking his way.