Lieberman Wins Nomination, But Lamont Forces Primary!
Lieberman Wins Nomination, But Lamont Forces Primary! is the headline of a story in the Hartford Courant describing the rather unusual events of last evening.
U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman was nominated for a fourth term by state Democrats Friday night, but his anti-war challenger garnered enough delegates to force a primary in August. Backers of Ned Lamont, a Greenwich businessman who has sharply criticized the moderate senator for his support of the war in Iraq, shouted with delight after learning their candidate will be the first to challenge Lieberman to a primary. Lieberman won 1,004 of the 1,509 votes cast at the state convention, while Lamont won 505. Lamont captured 33 percent of the delegates, well more than the 15 percent he needed to force the primary.
Lamont said he believes the level of support he received at the convention will send a message to Washington that people are fed up with the war. “They are saying this war was a mistake and bring the troops home,” he said. “I think 33 percent of the people in the convention are telling people in Connecticut and Washington they want a change.”
The bitterness toward Lieberman and his support of the war was evident Friday night. About 60 peace activists protested outside the Expo Center. And some Lamont supporters loudly chanted “Go Home Joe” when U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., nominated Lieberman. Dodd acknowledged the discontent, saying he appreciates people who speak up about issues.
That one can simultaneously be the party nominee and yet face a party primary down the road is a bizarre concept. Either you’re the nominee or you ain’t.
Even more surreal is the idea that Lamont’s spectacular defeat is a victory. Yet, his supporters actually seem to think that.
Matt Stoler proclaims, “Ned Lamont is CRUSHING Joe Lieberman.” Even better, he is excited that, “Lieberman has $5 million of a smear and slime campaign coming. This is a big win. Time to saddle up.”
His Lamont’sown blog touts this notion:
Joe Lieberman was severely rebuked tonight by the grassroots and the insiders of his own party. Ned Lamont exceeded even Joe’s inflated expectation of 30%. There are many more who would have voted for him if they would have been allowed to vote their conscience.
Tonight was a stunning victory for Ned Lamont. The mood at the convention center is elation and celebration for Lamont supporters. The campaign is psyched. Lieberman supporters are walking away completely dejected.
So, despite getting 1004 of 1509 votes among hard core Democrats, Lieberman was “severely rebuked” and “a stunning victory for Ned Lamont”? Huh?