Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Lamont Rocks the Old Statehouse

(cross-posted from http://www.myleftnutmeg.com)

Lamont Rocks the Old Statehouse

by: Neal Fink

March 13, 2006 at 19:19:51 EST5EDT

I just returned home from the Lamont announcement in Hartford. What a fantastic official start to this incredibly important campaign. I’ve seen Ned a few times and he’s always a capable and confident speaker. But, today he was on fire. He came out swinging for Joe Lieberman – attacking him on a whole range of issues beyond the war in Iraq. And, he didn’t hold back his frustration with the Democratic leadership, explaining that the “political brass do not like the idea of a primary.” It’s about time someone spoke up against the status quo. Go Ned!

One of Lamont’s gifts, that will be a key ingredient in his recipe for victory, is a unique ability to take a strong stand on some very controversial issues without coming off as angry (imagine a much more articulate and likeable Howard Dean.) Ned’s energy and enthusiasm is contagious. Everyone in the room was at the edge of their seats, applauding and cheering enthusiastically as he laid out a clear and succinct agenda of issues.

For me, one of the highlights of the afternoon was hearing Ned being introduced by his eldest daughter, Emily. She is an incredibly bright and articulate young woman. Her performance was enough to convince me that Ned cares a great deal about family and education. Maybe Emily should take some time off from Harvard and go on the speaking circuit full time with dad…

Lest you dismiss today’s enthusiasm as the reaction of a loaded audience of Lamont supporters, let me share a bit of what I got to see and hear first hand. I was standing in the back of the room, alongside the platform for the many TV crews and photographers covering the event. Before the event started, and during the brief introductory speeches, most of these news crews seemed settled in for another dull assignment. A few minutes into Ned’s talk, even these ordinarily disinterested folks seemed to sit up and take notice of what was happing on stage and around the room.

Not only did I catch a few of the press representatives applauding during Ned’s speech, I overheard a fantastic exchange between a cameraman and one the reporters. After it was all over, one of them remarked “wow, I would vote for this guy” to which the other responded “me too!”This is the same reaction I keep hearing and reading about as Ned appears around the state. After just a few minutes of hearing Ned speak, something clicks and people “get it.” If he can get an audience with a massive number of Connecticut Democrats, the August primary will be a Lamont Landslide.

The full text of today’s announcement is online at http://www.nedlamont.com/speech031306.html and I believe http://www.politicstv.com will be posting the video.

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