Friday, July 28, 2006

Finally, good Lieberman ads

I have said many times privately and a couple times publicly that the Lieberman campaign's TV ads have so far been poor in both concept and execution. Lamont's quirky ads have been overly cheesy at times (the "I support this message...so do we" tags begin to sound contrived once you've seen it a few dozen times), but have had been unquestionably better than the Lieberman campaign's duds. The strategy has been to try and shift the focus to Lamont, which will never work in a race between a 3-term incumbent who has been on a national ticket and a challenger who few have ever seen or heard of. The correct strategy should have been to highlight and burnish Lieberman's solid credentials as a progressive and a Democrat.

Finally, the campaign seems to be getting it. They have released two new ads - one featuring an endorsement from Chriss Dodd, and the other featuring Bill Clinton. The newest Lieberman ad features Clinton speaking at the rally for Lieberman:
Bill Clinton: "I'm proud that I helped Joe Lieberman in 1970. I'm proud that we've been friends all these years. Proud of his three terms in the Senate. He has been one of the leaders in the Congress. I want him elected because he understands and cares about health care. I want him elected for economy to national security, for our children and grandchildren. Go out and elect Joe Lieberman. He's earned it; he's been a good Democrat. He's a good man, and he'll do you proud. Thank you and God bless you all!"
The ads do exactly what Lieberman's camp has so far failed to do. They put a Democrats on the screen telling the audience (and the ad's viewers) that Joe Lieberman is a reliable, principled Democrat - and in a way that gets the message across.

The Dodd endorsement ad is no doubt going to be helpful, but it's the Clinton ad which will undoubtedly get the most ink spilled on it. The anti-Lieberman crowd will probably make at least two arguments to downplay the Clinton ad's potential effectiveness:
  1. Clinton is not from Connecticut, and an out-of-state politician will not hold much sway over CT Democrats.
  2. People will see the ad and instead of focusing on Clinton's obvious support for Lieberman, they'll take a mental trip back to 1998 and remember Lieberman's criticism of Clinton's personal conduct during the Lewinsky scandal.
The first point is easy to argue against. First off, primary voters rarely resent TV ads or campaign appearances by out-of-state politicians who they respect. As long as the ad's viewers don't dislike Clinton, they probably won't dwell on the fact that he's not from Connecticut. Clinton is probably particularly immune from such a connotation, since he was President and therefore in some sense did represent the people of Connecticut (along with all Americans), even though he is not actually a resident of the state.

The second point seems like very wishful thinking on the part of Lieberman's detractors. For one thing, I don't see many people making such an association unless they already dislike Lieberman or have already decided to vote against him. I think that the memory of Lieberman's speech is far, far stronger among Lamont supporters (particularly those in the blogosphere) than it is among the general population of Democrats.

Even if the viewer did make such a connection, I think that most voters are highly unlikely to hold Lieberman's 8-year old criticism against him after Clinton just went and called Lieberman his "friend" that he is "proud of" as a "good Democrat." As I wrote last weekend, Lieberman's role in the Lewinsky scandal is massively and artificially inflated by his detractors, who ignore Lieberman's staunch opposition to impeachment or any other official reprimand of Clinton and instead focus on the one speech that he made where he criticized Clinton's personal conduct - and even at the time, Clinton said that he agreed with the speech and did not find it the least bit disloyal or out of line.

The ad will finally start to rebuild the positive associations between Lieberman and progressives that have held for the vast majority of his political career. Clinton remains perhaps the most recognized and most respected member of the party, and his word that Joe Lieberman is a good loyal Democrat should (and probably will) carry much weight among Democratic voters.

Coupled with the Dodd ad, the Clinton ad hopefully is an indication that the Lieberman campaign has finally figured out the strategy they need to take in order to stop the free-fall in the polls (maybe even throw it in reverse) and remind Connecticut Democrats why it's more than ok to pull the lever for Lieberman.

35 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

so what's your argument, that people should not pay attention to what other people say and look at lieberman's record or that an endorsement from clinton makes lieberman more of a democrat?

7/28/2006 10:41 AM  
Blogger Gary Sartori said...

What he's saying is that both the Clinton spot and the Dodd spot will make some Democrats come back to Lieberman. Of course, some Democrats are just plain stupid, and have web sites like Daily Kos, Buzzflash, and Arianna think for them.

7/28/2006 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can Robo-Clinton Really Save Joe?
What have things come to when Joe Lieberman has to use a recorded message of Bill Clinton to ensure that Connecticut voters won't hang up on him? And why won't Lieberman talk to us about what Clinton calls "the Pink Elephant in the Room" - the Iraq War?

The message on the issues that people really care about has been lost. Fortunately, some enterprising people on the Internets have made an effort to answer a question that many voters must have - Who is Joe Lieberman?

Debunk Joe Lieberman's many twisted lies

Learn how Republicans are financing his campaign

Examine Lieberman's strong support from Supreme Leader Bush and a gaggle of TV and talk radio wackjobs

7/28/2006 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd rather have my teeth extracted than settle for six more years of Joementum.

7/28/2006 11:22 AM  
Anonymous moderation said...

I think the argument is pretty clear: The Democrats who are supporting Lieberman know his record and know that he's a good Democrat. Their appearence in TV ads will remind people of that and help refute statements to contrary, and if the voters still aren't sure, they can check for themselves.

7/28/2006 11:25 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

Interesting...that second anon post looks like a copy and paste from several L4L posts.

7/28/2006 11:25 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

If you aren't sure, look at the comment from 7/26/06 at 8:02 PM here:
http://lieberdem.blogspot.com/2006/07/real-clear-record-on-abortiongay.html

7/28/2006 11:29 AM  
Anonymous moderation said...

Good catch, centristdem

7/28/2006 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

joe has a divine right for public office. don't these damn lefty blogger trolls know that?

7/28/2006 11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if he'll just delete it like he did with the comment where he called stem cell research friovolous...

7/28/2006 11:41 AM  
Blogger LiebermanForLieberman said...

Here's what's frivolous, dearest Lieberdems.

We all are. To Joe Lieberman, whether we're voters, constituents, or even soldiers in the military we are all frivolous.

That is why he treats CT residents like petulant children.

7/28/2006 11:49 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

Sundog and Ken, where are you? I long for someone who is willing to talk about something without name-calling...

7/28/2006 12:01 PM  
Anonymous moderation said...

Ah, L4L. You're so far beyond pathetic in your inability to make a coherent point, much less make a reasonable argument, that it makes me genuinely sad for you. Maybe you should talk to Sundog and find out that it's possible to oppose Lieberman while staying on topic, making valid points, and refuting your opponents' arguments rather than throwing insults at them.

7/28/2006 12:05 PM  
Blogger LiebermanForLieberman said...

Your insults are meaningless.

7/28/2006 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you see the latest Lieberman attack mailer? I just got it, and it seems that Lieberman is comparing himself to a mule.

An apt comparison, since a mule is only half donkey....

7/28/2006 12:27 PM  
Blogger LiebermanForLieberman said...

Bush Approval Down to 27% in Connecticut

Link:
http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x11362.xml?ReleaseID=940

This does not bode well for his Kissin' Cousin

7/28/2006 12:39 PM  
Anonymous moderation said...

Sorry that you view a call to actually discuss the issues rather than blindly ignore anything that doesn't help your case and trolling links to other sites as an "insult."

You apparently lack the intelligence or the desire to discuss issues. That's why all you do is post other people's writings and tack on a couple insults, and then - and this is really pathetic - copy and paste your old posts as "anonymous" to make it look like more people agree with you.

Now that's meaningless. Grow a backbone and engage on the issues.

7/28/2006 12:50 PM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

Did anybody notice Lieberman's vote and statements against the ridiculous anti-abortion law that Frist shoved through this week? I'm surprised nobody has posted about it...

7/28/2006 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't mean that much in an election year. Lieberman is naturally going to change his stripes to make himself look like less of an extremist right now.

7/28/2006 12:55 PM  
Anonymous moderation said...

How is it changing his stripes? He has never supported any laws like that one.

7/28/2006 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"short ride" comes to mind from the recent past...

7/28/2006 12:59 PM  
Blogger Sundog said...

Sorry, Moderation and Centristdem, I have a frantic Friday going here. But thanks for the flowers.

You kids play nice or I'll turn this blog right around.

7/28/2006 1:05 PM  
Anonymous moderation said...

A statement that the Lieberman-haters love to harp on, but which is on an issue that is only REALLY tangentially connected to choice issues. This law has to do with basic right to getting an abortion; the other deals with requiring religious institutions to do things which go against their religious beliefs. Constitutionally, legislatively, and conceptually, they are VERY different issues.

7/28/2006 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why hasn't Lieberman been on the In-Sannity program lately? I miss all that dem bashing.

7/28/2006 1:14 PM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

Yes, because God forbid a Democrat should ever speak ill of another Democrat or appear to get along with Republicans. Why that would mean that we were just like Ned Lamont...or Joe Lieberman...or any other open-minded human being.

7/28/2006 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous: These Lieberdems simply will not listen to reason. Apparently they are in the employ Lieberman Information Ministry.

It's what they call their "campaign".

7/28/2006 1:35 PM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

It's amazing...a Lieberman supporter presents a counterargument, and instead of responding back to it, you say that WE won't listen to reason and then insult us all as lying puppets.

7/28/2006 1:41 PM  
Blogger SeedFreak said...

I took the time to upgrade my QuickTime to view the video--so glad I did. It's a powerful piece and one I wish was longer as it was so good, it made me want to see more.

I'm looking forward to CSPAN's video coverage of the event ;-)

7/28/2006 2:18 PM  
Blogger Jimbo said...

Centrist Dem - I too have been a victim of anaymous's plagarism as well. I don't think he has an original thought in his head. Must be that he likes eating the dribble the Ned Nuts feed him.

7/28/2006 9:19 PM  
Blogger Jimbo said...

Regarding the posting "Finally, good Lieberman ads". I agree. The Clinton ad was great. This will resonate well with the Blue Dog Dems (the far left is a lost cause at this point). His follow up tour through the Naugatuck Valley today was also a good idea since they are core Lieberman supporters. The key will be to get them out to vote. Clinton's endorsement is huge since he is an enormous presence in the Democratic party and people love him. I saw an article in The Advocate today with someone being quoted "My daughter likes him. My daughter's a big fan of Clinton," said Joe Lagana, 62, who owns a furniture store in Meriden. "If Clinton's got his arm around him, he must be good." Now that's the kind of effect Ned Lamont will never see from the likes of Maxine Waters and Marcy Kaptur.

7/28/2006 9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Endorsements are a sign of weakness. Joe is overplaying the Clinton thing (with all the ads, the Clinton themesong on the side of his bus, etc.). Doesn't look like a winner, but like someone trying to hang on.

This primary will come down to the poeple motivated enough to vote on a summer day, and those people are less likely to be swayed by endorsements by the political establishment. Are Dem primary voters in CT happy with the performance of the Democrat establishment? I didn't think so. More endorsements won't help.

And the Clinton thing will be getting quite old by primary day.

7/29/2006 3:07 AM  
Blogger JFKDemocrat said...

Anonymous --

You had better hope that endorsements don't matter. If I were a candidate, I think I would rather have Lieberman's endorsements than those of Lamont. Let's see. Who has endorsed Lamont and campaigned aggressively with him?

Could one of the people who campaigned with Lamont be Maxine Waters? Isn't she the one who falsely blamed the CIA for the crack cocaine epidemic in Black inner city slums, basing her comment on a San Jose Mercury News article that the newspaper later retracted? Isn't she the same Maxine Waters who, upon learning that the San Jose Mercury News wouldn't stand behind its own article, said that "It doesn't matter whether the CIA delivered the kilo of cocaine themselves or turned their back ... to let somebody else do it ...?" Isn't she the same Maxine Waters who has traveled to Cuba to express her support for Fidel Castro? Is she the same Maxine Waters who defended the 1992 LA riots and the lethal violence that took place? Is this the same Maxine Waters who was one of only 11 to vote against a resolution supporting U.S. troops in the field after the commencement of hostilities in Iraq?

Is this the wing of the Democratic Party with which Lamont really wants to associate himself? Are these the sorts of people with whom Lamont wants to associate his campaign? Whatever you think of Lieberman, do you really want to place domestic governance and foreign policy in the hands of leftists of this ilk? I guess you do!


I am still waiting for Lamont to distance himself from the infamous "screw them" statement by Kos, his biggest backer, about the deaths of the U.S. contractors in Fallujah.

Mr. Lamont -- You asked Markos Moulitas Zuniga to appear in a campaign commercial with you, you have accepted over a quarter million dollars from the denizens of Daily Kos and the leftist Blogosphere, and you are using the Leftist Bloggers as your troops on the ground and on the INTERNET. Will you not at long last say that you at least disagree with the following statement by Kos statement about the dead U.S. contractors?

Markos Moulitas Zuniga: "That said, I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. They aren’t in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them." That's right. Kos said "Screw them" in commenting on the deaths of his fellow Americans.

Mr. Lamont, to paraphrase Joseph Welch in the Army-McCarthy Hearings: At long last, do neither you nor Kos have any sense of shame or decency?

No wonder Peter Beinart draws a straight line from Henry Wallace, Gene McCarthy and George McGovern to today's Deaniacs, Kosssacks and MoveOn.Org. I disagreed with Lieberman over the invasion of Iraq, but I certainly know which side to support in this Lieberman-Lamont Primary.

7/29/2006 7:11 AM  
Blogger JFKDemocrat said...

Ned Lamont cannot even articulate his stance on his signature issue, Iraq. It would be impossible really to say what Lamont stands for on defense and foreign policy, except that he is acting as an agent of the leftist blogosphere and the Deaniacs and is opposed to the war in Iraq. Even on that score, Lamont's position is ambiguous, just as Lieberman stated in the debate. In fact, Ned Lamont seemed to adopt several positions on Iraq during the debate itself. At one point, Lamont seemed to be embracing simultaneously the Kerry and Levin amendments. At another point, he seemed to endorse the position of Gen Casey, who does not embrace any fixed timetable, although he has spoken of the possibility of beginning to draw down troop levels. On the Lamont Website, Ned Lamont states that : "While we will continue to provide logistical and training support as long as we are asked, our frontline military troops should begin to be redeployed and our troops should start heading home." This is a contradictory statement. If we are going to provide such support, we will have troops in Iraq indefinitely. What does Lamont believe about Iraq? Does even Lamont know?

One thing that we know is that Lamont never factors long-term counterterrorism and geopolitical considerations into his discussions of Iraq. I disagreed with Lieberman over whether we should have gone into Iraq. It was a strategic blunder, pure and simple. However, Lieberman is right about one thing when it comes to Iraq. A poorly-conceived and executed withdrawal could lead to a simultaneous victory for al-Qaida and/or the rise of a radical pro-Iranian government in Baghdad. It would have negative ramifications for the balance of power in the Middle East and have other unforseeable consequences. If Lieberman has no credibility on this issue, then listen to Gen Clark, who is most definitely opposed to a "cut-and-run" strategty that does not take into account long-range potential consequences for U.S. national security intetests.

7/29/2006 7:35 AM  
Blogger JFKDemocrat said...

Here is my position on this Lieberman-Lamont race:

If you admire the traditions of Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Harry Truman and JFK, then hold your nose and support Joe Lieberman.

If you are an admirer of the Henry Wallace, Gene McCarthy, George McGovern and Teddy Kennedy traditions within the Democratic Party and are a devoted follower of DAILY KOS and MOVEON.ORG, then Ned Lamont is most definitely your man.

It all rather reminds me of the Hubert Humphrey bid for the presidency in 1968. Yes, the Vietnam War was a strategic blunder. No, it did not serve our vital national security interests to massively escalate in Vietnam, as LBJ erroneously proceeded to do. Humphrey was undeniably LBJ's Vice President, and the Kossacks and Deaniacs of that era, the SDS and the like, embarked on a Holy Crusade against HHH and all Cold War Liberals. They wanted a purge, just like the Kossacks and Deaniacs do now. They were willing to throw out all of the positive foreign policy traditions of Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Harry Truman and JFK. They wanted their Henry Wallace, their anti-Harry Truman. They found just what they wanted in the likes of Gene McCarthy and George McGovern.

The result was that America was on the strategic defensive througout the 1970s. We were routed in Indochina, which experienced a holocaust. The post-Vietnam Liberals did not care about the "killing fields." They had renounced Cold War Liberalism, and that was that. When America went on the strategic offensive again, it was up to Ronald Reagan to rearm America and put her on the offense. There were no modern Harry Trumans or JFKs to make the case for the Democratic Party's pro-Defense and pro-democratic internationalist positions from the Party's golden era. Modern Liberal Democrats were not quoting Wilson, FDR, Truman and JFK. They were ashamed of those traditions, and left it to Reagan to quote the Party's icons, even though his conservatism and frequent support for reactionary foreign policy positions gave him no moral right to do so. Reagan Democrats flocked to his side, not hearing the old rhetoric from their own Democratic Party. The post-Vietnam Liberals' weakness on defense and foreign policy has earned them the distrust and suspicion of the voters ever since.

As I say, I know which side I am on in this Lieberman-Lamont fight.

7/29/2006 7:58 AM  
Blogger JFKDemocrat said...

It is time for Harry Truman, JFK, Pat Moynihan and Scoop Jackson Democrats to return to the Democratic Party and fight for its soul. If Ronald Reagan ever earned the support of the so-called Reagan Democrats, then George W. Bush and modern Republican reactionaries have forfeited that support. Post Vietnam Liberals, if the Kossacks and Deaniacs speak for them, have also forfeited their support. Come back and help us rebuild the Democratic Party of the Golden Age one state at a time. The truth of the matter is that most Americans probably don't support either the Republican Right or the Democratic Left, but a Third Way. Wilson, FDR, Truman, and JFK used to represent that Third Way. It's time to resurrect that tradition in American politics.

7/29/2006 8:10 AM  

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