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John Kerry on Ned Lamont’s Victory in Democratic Senate Primary in Connecticut

by Pamela Leavey

Now that Ned Lamont has trounced Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic senate primary, Joe Lieberman has vowed to run an an Independent. Democratic members of the Senate are moving to distance themselves from Lieberman and stand behind the party nominee Ned Lamont, including some that supported Lieberman in the primary. The WaPo notes today that “many more [Democrats]are likely to come aboard the Lamont campaign on Wednesday.”

John Kerry, said on July 5th that he would support the Democratic nominee in Connecticut, and he would campaign for Ned Lamont in the fall if Lamont won the primary. FireDogLake notes that “Frank Lautenberg, John Kerry and Barbara Boxer all called to congratulate Ned.”

Kerry issued the following statement today, on Ned Lamont’s victory in the Connecticut Democratic senate primary:

“After an intense and competitive primary season, Connecticut Democrats have chosen their nominee and they’ve made a strong statement about the current course in Iraq which is failing our troops. I strongly support Ned Lamont for the United States Senate.

“I’ve worked with Joe Lieberman since our days in college together, and I respect his many contributions to our public life. But the Democratic Party stands for something, and the Democratic Party in Connecticut has made a choice. That choice will matter in November to the direction of our Party and the direction of our country. The events of the past months make even more clear the differences Democratic leadership would make for our country on Iraq, in making America safer, in having an economy that works for everyone, and in achieving energy independence. That’s who we are as Democrats, and that’s what we’ll be fighting for. It’s time for all Democrats to come together to support Ned Lamont. It’s time for Democrats to unite.”

Kerry is right on this — the Democratic Party does stand for something and it’s important that we stand together. Lieberman’s move to run as an Independent is a divisive move that can only be seens as desperation by man not willing to concede defeat. There are key issues that Lieberman has failed the party on — most notably, Iraq. Lieberman’s hawkish stance on Iraq has been anthema to the party.

Political Wire obtained a copy of last night’s exit polling done by CBS News and the New York Times. Taegan Goddard reports that the exit polling sheds “interesting insight into the views of Connecticut Democrats who voted in the primary yesterday.” Among the key findings:

  • As expected, the war in Iraq played a significant role in the race with “a significant majority” of primary voters saying they disapproved of the U.S. decision to go to war with Iraq, and most of them cast their ballots for Ned Lamont. Of those surveyed, 78% disapproved of the decision to go to war.
  • Among the war’s opponents, 60% cast their vote for Lamont, while 78% of the smaller group who supported the U.S. decision to go to war voted for Lieberman.
  • Lieberman’s relationship with President Bush was also a factor in the race. 59% of Democratic primary voters said Lieberman was too close to the President, while 41% didn’t think so. Those who said Lieberman was too close to Bush voted overwhelmingly for Lamont.
  • 61% of voters rejected the notion of Lieberman running as an Independent candidate in the fall, something he has promised to do. 39% supported it. Moreover, one in five Lieberman voters does not think he should seek an Independent run in November.
  • Adam Nagourney reports in the NY Times, “The victory of Ned Lamont over Joseph I. Lieberman, a three-term senator and former vice presidential candidate, was a vivid demonstration of how the Iraq war is buffeting American politics and of the deep hostility toward President Bush among Democrats.”

    It also suggested there are stiff anti-status-quo winds blowing across the political landscape as the fall elections approach.

    Mr. Lamont’s victory marked the first time that liberal political blogs, after playing an increasingly noisy role in Democratic politics, have been associated with a major winning campaign, suggesting a moment of arrival for this new force in political combat. And the outcome will also undoubtedly prod other Democrats who supported the war — albeit with less gusto than Mr. Lieberman — to step farther away from the increasingly unpopular conflict.

    UPDATE: ABC notes Kerry’s support of Lamont via an AP story.

    6 Responses to “John Kerry on Ned Lamont’s Victory in Democratic Senate Primary in Connecticut”

    1. I have very mixed feelings about this. I haven’t always agreed with Joe Lieberman and he’s certainly too conservative for me. That said, I’m Jewish and I have to say that when he was nominated for Vice President and said, “Only in America,” it really mattered to me because it is true that this is the country where, in a pluralistic society, it is actually possible for a Jew to be nominated (and had they won) and be elected to the second highest office in the land.

    2. Judith,

      There’s a feeling that Lieberman is in a way a victim of his success. He showed in 2000 that (given a fair counting of the vote) being Jewish didn’t stop someone from being elected VP.

      Once that was established, many Jews in CT felt more comfortable voting based upon the candidate they wanted as opposed to feeling they had to vote for the Jewish candidate. Just as we wouldn’t want people to vote against a candidate because they are Jewish, it isn’t necessarily the best course to chose a Jewish candidate over a candidate with better positions on the issue. As a consequence, Lamont led Lieberman in pre-primary polling. (I haven’t seen any post-primary results on this yet).

    3. […] me for Democrats to unite.” Update: More, with background information at The Democratic Daily Written by Ron ChusidLast 5 posts by Ron ChusidMore Distancing Themselves From Me […]

    4. Ron! You’re back! I was looking at dropping you a line at DemBloggers. Ah well, you’re here – good enough.

      Lieberman: Good man in his day, voted with the party some 90% of the time, but still doesn’t get it. As Joe likes to say, he’s brought the bacon home more times then he can remember. But even with all the bacon, Joe still supports the war; he doesn’t get it. The most important issue of our time and Joe doesn’t get it. In fact, Joe has gone so far as to give cover to Bush for the war. And remember that big smooch! Talk about too close to the president!!
      Heck, think Lamont will do just fine. He understands the issue of the day, there will be bacon and he won’t hold hands with the president. What more does a voter from Connecticut want? There’s probably more, but I can’t think of anything right now.

      Ron, I’ve missed your insight here!

    5. BW

      Our Dem Daily Blog system is growing…

      Donnie started the Katrinacrat Blog, Ron has Liberal Values Blog now! It’s all good. 🙂

      As for poor tired Joe, he needs to give up the ghost. He’s made his bed.

    6. Blue Washington,

      I’m mainly posting at Liberal Values now:

      Of course when the need arises, such as today’s attack on Kerry from Kos, I’ve posted the response all over including here.