CT-Sen: Good news from the staffs
by blogswarm, Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 12:14:51 PM EST
Some good news from the Constitution State. First off, Tom D'Amore appears to be on board with Ned Lamont. There was a big discussion after Lamont met with D'Amore and Lamont remarked, "I don't know if I'm feisty enough for this guy." According to the Courant, Lamont is feisty enough:
Thomas D'Amore Jr., a former Republican who managed Lowell P. Weicker Jr.'s successful third-party campaign for governor, stood in the back.
He will act as an adviser to Lamont, who also has consulted with Weicker, the man Lieberman unseated in 1988.
But that wasn't the best news from today's story:
Lieberman's campaign monitored the announcement and quickly accused Lamont of negative campaigning, signaling that the senator views Lamont as a serious threat in a Democratic primary, where the voters tend to be liberal.
"Attacking Sen. Lieberman's character and integrity was a predictable but dishonorable way to begin this campaign," said Sean Smith, Lieberman's campaign manager. "Mr. Lamont is clearly going to run a very negative and angry campaign where the truth doesn't get in the way."
Smith said Lieberman has solid progressive credentials and gets high marks for his voting record from organized labor, the abortion rights movement, environmentalists and civil rights activists.
Wow. As the paper noted, this does signal that Lieberman views Lamont as a serious threat.
Sean Smith is going to do all he can to give voters the impression that Lamont is angry, based on the assumption that low-information voters only make broad impressions of candidates. Good stuff, except for the fact that this is a primary instead of a general election, the battlefield is a state full of smart if not over-educated voters, and a united progressive blogosphere is ready to conduct the entire communication campaign in real-time.
One of the other things this signals is that this campaign is also going to involve a serious discussion of interest groups and their scorecards. The scorecards work great for single-issue groups trying to gain more power within a Party, but a compilation of scorecards from progressive groups does not tell you if a politician is good for the Democratic Party. Just last year we saved Social Security not because of a single vote, but because Democrats united in ensuring there wasn't a vote. The fact that Lieberman reluctantly went along with this is the exception that proves the rule. The problem with Lieberman isn't how he votes, it is the fact he kisses up to our opponents to ensure we lose votes. The problem is Joe Lieberman is the best thing to happen to the GOP.
In this race, Lieberman is going to be judged on his record, which goes far beyond his votes. I think that trying to judge a politician only on votes is like evaluating a lawyer based only on decisions in court.
The case can be made that despite Lieberman's scores on issue group scorecards, he has actually hurt each issue in the big picture battle to get stuff done. When one of the great minds in the blogosphere figures out the best way to state this, the infrastructure is in place to move the talking points to the screens of millions of activists across the country. And the Lamont campaign is positioned to sieze these opportunities, working with the new progressive messaging structure to ensure that it gets in the local papers and on the news.
Look at the positioning to date, Lieberman is getting crappy advice from Sean Smith who thinks that assuming Lieberman's constituents are stupid and yelling that Lamont is angry will carry the day, as long as they throw enough money at the problem. Meanwhile, Lamont is empowering people to raise his campaign up as more people get involved...to think smarter and work harder, to let reality join us as a community.
The most negative attacks that Lieberman will face won't have to come through Lamont's campaign, but will occur from citizens who realize that they have a voice that can be heard, that can influence this race. The graphics designer or video producer or writer who produces something that resonates will have her voice echoed by a new progressive communications network...within minutes it can be on the front page of Daily Kos or winning the Wanker Award, or the video will be on Crooks and Liars or the words will be spread across all of the wonderful progressive blogs while Majority Report discusses it that night. The infrastructure is in place, it is now only up to citizens to make the case.