Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is now engaged in the political fight of his life, welcomed President Bill Clinton to CT yesterday to campaign on his behalf.
Bill Clinton came to praise three-term Sen. Joe Lieberman and most assuredly not to bash Ned Lamont, the anti-war challenger making a strong bid for the Democratic Senate nomination in the state’s Aug. 8 primary.
“I don’t have anything against Joe’s opponent,” Clinton said Monday as he campaigned to save his political ally of more than three decades from defeat. “He seems like a perfectly nice man. He’s got every right to run and he’s waged a vigorous campaign.”
Clinton’s comments underscored the dilemma facing many party leaders as they watch Lieberman struggle for renomination against an opponent who says he would stand up to President Bush instead of standing with him.
This heated primary race between Sen. Lieberman and Ned Lamont is a race based on core Democratic values and policy stances. However, the ‘pink elephant’ in the living room is the war in Iraq. Lieberman is a supporter of the war, while Lamont believes it was a wrong choice to go to Iraq and it’s now time for U.S. troops to step back from the front line, while the Iraqi people step-up and take control over their country. Clinton understands the ‘pink elephant’ better than anyone.
On his political rescue mission, the former president made no mention of Iraq until near the end of his remarks. “The pink elephant in the living room,” he called the conflict that has divided Democrats as it has grown increasingly unpopular nationally.
Democrats “don’t agree on everything. We don’t agree on Iraq,” Clinton said, urging Democrats to put the issue aside and send Lieberman on his way to a new Senate term.
“The real issue is, whether you were for it or against it, what are we going to do now. And let me tell you something: No Democrat is responsible for the mistakes that have been made since the fall of Saddam Hussein that have brought us to this point.”
Lieberman has been one of the most vocal Democratic supporters of the Iraq war in the Senate, and he recently voted against two proposals to begin winding down the American military commitment.
After the Clinton event, Lamont held a rally of his own. He articulated his position on Iraq.
Lamont laid out a different view not long after Clinton spoke, at a campaign appearance of his own.
“Staying the course is not a winning strategy in Iraq,” he told supporters at a fundraiser. He said the United States is not going to be able to bring about “democracy at the barrel of a gun.”
A millionaire businessman who has taught in high school, he drew applause when he said, “How come we can afford to spend $250 million a day in Iraq and we can’t keep that school open past 2:30 in the afternoon.”
The Lamont-Lieberman primary is on August 8th, 2006. Can’t wait to see how this shakes out. Stay tuned to DoubleSpeak for more on this important race.