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Lamenting Lamont
Posted by: McQ on Monday, October 16, 2006

Arianna Huffington is calling for readers at HuffPo to help write Netroots darling Ned Lamont's concession speech.

After a bit of posturing, Huffington says:
It is bitterly ironic that instead of building on that momentum by continuing to make his case against Lieberman, Lamont has let himself become enmeshed in the same consultant-driven culture of caution and blandness that has produced a steady stream of modern candidates more worried about stepping on the land mines laid out by their opponents' campaign teams than stepping forward to lead. The addition to the Lamont campaign after the primary of Democratic insiders Howard Wolfson, Doug Schoen, and Stephanie Cutter has been part of the problem. According to their poll-driven culture, one must move to the center and appeal to those in the middle. And, as a result, once-promising politicians are insidiously encouraged to lose their moral bearing — and the authenticity that made them so compelling in the first place. In the attempt to appeal to everyone, they end up losing their appeal. As Bill Curry puts it in the Hartford Courant , "Inundated with insider advice, [Lamont] grew more cautious; his message became blurred and ineffective...Three televised debates in the next eight days may tell the outcome. To win, Lamont must come off the ropes and go on the attack."
All I can say is she, and they, still don't get it. Other than appealing to the extreme base in a primary - where it is more likely that an extreme candidate might win because extremists turn out in higher percentages in primaries - Ned Lamont is a one-issue candidate with no record on anything else and certainly no constituent service record. Or said another way, he's a political lightweight and that has become evident since the primary.

So all of this nonsense about 'poll driven culture' and 'authenticity' is just that ... nonsense. There's nothing to Ned Lamont. There never has been. What Ned Lamont embodied was the anger of the extreme left. In my opinion, they could of taped "Not Lieberman" on a house cat and the extreme left would have supported it and voted for it in the CT primary.

Had Joe Lieberman played the game according to the Netroots plan and dropped out, the house cat would have won the general election and the Netroots would have felt their strategy to have been vindicated.

But he didn't drop out and Lamont's one-issue candidacy is coming apart. Huffington talks about Lamont not stepping forward to lead because he's been listening to all of these insider Dem consultants. Gee, I thought that was part and parcel of leading ... taking charge of your candidacy and deciding how you, not someone else, wants to run it.

Lamont, however, was content to sit back and let others lead him ... wherever. And that wherever, according to Huffington, has him writing his concession speech.

While I don't disagree with everything Huffington says - I do think many politicians do themselves no favor when they become too cautious and thereby hurt their ability to get their message out - that isn't Ned Lamont's problem.

There's just not much to him or his message. Never has been.

Lamont personifies much of the problem with the current Democratic party. Faced with a self-destructing Republican party they should be waltzing into a dominant position in Congress via the midterm elections. At this point there should be little doubt as to how the midterms will end.

But voters are apparently still cautious. Very cautious. It's a matter of trust, and I'm sensing that while they think the Republicans are terrible, they just don't trust Democrats to be any better.

As the post below explains, they may take 18 seats in the House, when, if dissatisfaction is as high claimed, they should be in line to take a clear majority and possibly the Senate as well. While the generic Democrat does well, demonstrating the dissatisfaction with Republicans in general, if Jay Cost is correct, it doesn't appear to be translating into the expected landslide.

While I've touched on the fact that Congress and each party have done much to ensure incumbent seats that isn't the only reason the Dems may not do as well as they should. A lot of it has to do with a message which seems to boil down to "we're not them". For some, like Lamont primary voters, that's enough. But most voters are looking for better reasons to vote Democratic than that. And unless and until the Dems can provide a good reason for voters to switch in a couple of weeks, my guess is they will most likely hold their collective noses and vote for what they know, even if, for the most part, they are dissatisfied.

Pity it's come down to this ... a two-party system in which neither party is worthy of a single solitary vote.
 
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McQ very interesting! I guess we will find out in November the "Not" vote theory of campaigning works. If it does then I think we are in for alot of long dark anti-everything election cycles (from both sides). Personnaly I believe hate just clouds reason.
 
Written By: coaster
URL: http://
Huffington is just selling her new book (Becoming Fearless) and has herself become a one idea pundit. She has hit on one kernel of the truth, but one kernel does not the whole truth make.

I’m grown up enough to accept that the ideas in politics are always mingled with the tactics of politics.
But I just hate it that the best tactitician, not the person with best ideas gets elected. I’m repulsed by the money poured into election campaigns; when I think of the good that this money could have accomplished instead.
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
a two-party system in which neither party is worthy of a single solitary vote.
Amen! And again, amen! I find nothing desirable about either of the two parties, and apparently most voters feel similarly. What irritates me, however, is that most voters refuse to seek out alternate choices. They simply dismiss 3rd parties as "fringe", "nuts" or won’t vote for their candidates "because they can’t win". Well, no, not with an apathetic voter attitude like that.

I’m with Laime in being disgusted by the money involved in campaigns. Money drives politicians, elections and our government. That is the real pity.
 
Written By: Joab
URL: http://joabsblog.blogspot.com

 
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