Friday, February 24, 2006

Framing Lamont

Joe Lieberman is lining up institutional support in Connecticut in order to head off the surging candidacy of Ned Lamont. This was to be expected. Lamont is an outsider and Lieberman has a lot of friends within the party. I don't object to this.

What I do object to, however, is the early pigeonholing of Lamont as "the anti-war" candidate. In the linked story, Sen. Christopher Dodd, the other Connecticut Senator, adds weight to this:

"You need to have more of a case to make than a disagreement on one issue to justify the kind of effort, expense and cost to divide a candidacy and party," Dodd said. "I don't think that makes a lot off sense."

The purpose here is clear: paint Lamont as a one-issue candidate who is just another anti-war crank. It's possible that this is just conventional wisdom rearing its ugly head again. But I doubt it.

In either case, Lamont needs to make a concerted effort to show that Iraq is just one line item in the argument against Lieberman. If he doesn't address this soon then his campaign will be doomed to failure.


Blogger Aldon Hynes said...

Full disclosure: I'm doing Internet Outreach for the Lamont campaign.

I think your on the mark with your comments here. Ned's opponents will try to paint Ned as the millionaire anti-war activist from Greenwich. End of discussion.

We will have to work hard to get people to understand that while Ned is a successful businessman he is getting great support from people in all economic classes.

We will have to work hard to get people to see that the war is not the issue. It is a symptom. The war is just one example of how the Bush administration, and its supporters, like Joe Lieberman have damaged democracy by discouraging debate.

They have damaged our country by not having sensible energy policies, by spending too much money on the war while cutting taxes for the wealthy and cutting benefits for the poor. They have damaged the country by using earmarks to build a bridge to nowhere and policies to nowhere.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Chris Andersen said...

Glad to hear that you guys are aware of the obvious attack point. It sounds like you are aware of what you need to do. I just wonder if you know how you are going to do it.

It will be tought, because the institutional weight of both the party and the media will feed into the "anti-war crank" talking point. What you need is not just statements from Lamont but testimonials from several Connecticut residents explaining why they prefer Lamont over Lieberman for reasons above and beyond Lieberman's support of the war.

Get out there on the issue of bankruptcy reform. Get out there on the issue of the Supreme Court (an endorsement from Connecticut NOW, NARAL and/or Planned Parenthood would be excellent on that mark).

Start attacking Lieberman for his eagerness to rush to Republican forums to back up Republicans in their fights against Democrats. Get video of Bush kissing Lieberman and use it in a campaign commercial. This worked in the Ciro/Cueller race. It should work in the Lamont/Lieberman race as well.

Define Lieberman now before he gets a chance to define you.

1:29 PM  
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10:59 PM  

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