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Ned Lamont: Breaking Out

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(Update:  Ned will be over at Kos taking questions at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT, stop by and say hello.) 

The NYT has some very encouraging words on Ned:

Ned Lamont has already shown that his candidacy should be taken seriously. On May 19, a third of the delegates to the Democratic state convention voted to endorse him instead of Senator Joseph I. Lieberman.

Now, with just over two months until he faces the senator in the Aug. 8 primary, Mr. Lamont hopes to defy polls, political experts and the calendar and win the nomination. To do so, he must greatly expand on the support he has won for voicing opposition to Senator Lieberman’s support for President Bush on key aspects of the war in Iraq.

Mr. Lamont’s skills as a campaigner, some political observers say, are critical to accomplishing his goal. They cite his high energy, his sharp wit and his knowledge of issues, and his ability to convince voters that he is a legitimate challenger. His great wealth and his willingness to use it also cannot hurt.

"Once you scratch and sniff, you realize he would be a very credible senator, and that makes him a very credible candidate," said George Jepsen, the immediate past chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee. "If he was a nut, Joe wouldn’t have a problem. But he’s intelligent. He’s accomplished. There are no personal warts. He teaches in the Bridgeport public schools. How many people of his pedigree and background go do that?"

Mr. Jepsen, who supported Senator Lieberman in past races, has not taken a public position in the primary. He is among many Democrats, however, who predict that voters who are angry with Mr. Lieberman are likely to turn out in great numbers in the primary. The senator, he said, is "genuinely threatened on Aug. 8."

My favorite part?  How Lieberman’s defenders try to come to his rescue:

Some political experts and some supporters of Senator Lieberman point to polls showing that he remains popular in the state, even if he is more popular among Republicans than he is among Democrats. They also note his high ratings from liberal interest groups and his support among prominent elected Democrats.

I think I get it — his own party hates him, his support among "prominent elected Democrats" comes from people he’s threatened to withhold campaign funds from, the grassroots "interest groups" in Connectict have largely turned their backs on Holy Joe and the only support he’s been able to get comes from DC cocktail weenie fiends totally out of touch with what’s happening in the state.  If this is "support," I’d hate to see how they’d trash him.

Meanwhile, Ned’s campaign manager Tom Swan sends this today:

This past weekend, as we reflected on the sacrifices made by American service members and their families during wars past and present, Senator Lieberman launched a full-run of television attack ads against Ned Lamont. Just like President Bush did to John Kerry in 2004, the ads are so devoid of context they would make Karl Rove blush. And while their content is highly suspect, the money paying for them is undeniable. This election cycle, Senator Lieberman is the U.S. Senate’s top recipient of campaign contributions from the defense industry, second largest recipient of pharmaceutical manufacturer donations, and has collected over $1 million from political action committees. From now until the end of the campaign, every time you see a Joe Lieberman advertisement, flier, bumper sticker or button, you know who’s paying for it.

Our campaign will never match Senator Lieberman’s special interest money, and we don’t want to. This campaign is a struggle for the heart and soul of our party, and we have relied on a growing army of grassroots Democrats who share the common goals of bringing our troops home from Iraq, healthcare for all Americans, and energy independence. That’s why over 8,000 individuals have contributed and signed up to volunteer in three short months. But we need your help again. It’s not about the amount you can give, it’s about adding your voice to the thousands more who share our vision of progress.  

You can donate here

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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