The Meriden Record-Journal (my hometown paper and the temporary hometown paper of Lamont HQ) endorsed Ned for Senate this AM in an editorial that nails Joe oh, so well. Since it is behind their #@&% subscription firewall, here it is for your enjoyment
For U.S. Senator: Lamont’s the choice
For U.S. Senator: Lamont’s the choice
As the vice presidential candidate in 2000, Joseph I. Lieberman had a choice. He could either seek re-election to the Senate at the same time, or leave the field open to another Democratic candidate. He chose to run for both. Had he won the vice presidency, his Senate seat would have been vacated, and filled at the discretion of Connecticut’s Republican governor, John Rowland, who very likely would have inserted a Republican. By insisting on having it both ways, therefore, Lieberman cost Democrats an opportunity. He chose his own interests over those of the Democratic
Once again. ..
This year, Lieberman has done it again. The senator who sought his party’s presidential nomination in 2004 made preparations to abandon his party even before the outcome of the August primary, by lining up enough signatures to run as an independent. In his strange concession speech on primary night, Lieberman compared the loss to a football game, saying he was only down after the first half. By refusing to cede his interests to the decision of Connecticut Democrats, Lieberman also prolonged a headline-grabbing race that continues to draw attention away from other Democratic efforts in this election. Once again, his self-interest has cost Democrats opportunities. The three-term incumbent has since campaigned on experience and on a message of bipartisanship, saying his focus is on representing the people of Connecticut. But his track record on the loyalty front makes such pronouncements suspect, at least.
During his successful bid to unseat Lowell P. Weicker Jr. in 1988, Lieberman pledged to limit himself to three Senate terms. He was asked recently by the editorial board of this newspaper what had changed his mind. He said that when he’d made that pronouncement he wasn’t sure he would get to serve even six years. He also said he felt Weicker had stopped producing and didn’t feel that was true in his own case. In any event, it was another example of a senator willing to rewrite the rules, even his own, to suit himself. Dissatisfaction with Lieberman’s performance is precisely what led to Ned Lamont’s victory in the primary. Lieberman’s stubborn support for an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq and his perceived too-cozy relationship with the Bush administration was a vulnerability the senator either failed to recognize or refused to take seriously until it was too late. During the primary he appeared surprised, even miffed, that his re-election was not going unchallenged. Now the senator wants a do-over. Ned Lamont’s campaign has never had the seasoned slickness the senator’s has displayed since the primary. On occasion, he still comes off as a neophyte. But his earnestness and commitment have never been in doubt.
Lamont may not have political experience, but he has successfully stared down a Juggernaut. Until his primary victory, there was little encouragement for his campaign outside the grass-roots convictions from which it was born. In fact, there was considerable pressure on him not to pursue his challenge to Lieberman. But during an otherwise slow summer, Lamont’s unlikely campaign drew the national spotlight and the newcomer performed admirably under the pressure. Lamont’s lack of political polish has also been a charm. His attack on insider Washington has never appeared to come from a less-than-genuine conviction and he has maintained his poise as he refined his message. The U.S. Congress is indeed in need of a change. For the past six years, bipartisanship notwithstanding, Lieberman has been part of the problem, not a sign of its solution. Lamont brings a fresh perspective, not the result of naivete, but a concern that the future and health of the nation requires a challenged status quo.
Lamont wants to establish universal health care. He wants to use funds now being misspent in Iraq to bolster educational and employment opportunities at home. Experienced in running a business, he does not want to see children inherit the misfortunes of profligate and irresponsible budget practices. Significantly, the Democratic candidate sees Meriden as the focal point for manufacturing and distribution in the state, a perspective he’ll be urged to remember should he arrive in Washington. Lamont, whose only elected experience was as a Greenwich selectman, has a genuine claim to being a Washington outsider, a claim too many others try to make for political expediency. He can be counted on to help re-establish the checks and balances the country desperately needs right now. We endorse Ned Lamont for the U.S. Senate.