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The Lamont campaign fizzles

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 16, 2006 06:58 PM

The big buzz out of the Lieberman-Lamont debate today was generated by……GOP candidate Alan Schlesinger.

Yup. Greg at The Political Pit Bull thinks he was a bit over the top, but agrees Schlesinger made the most of the debate. He’s got video highlights.

The New York Times notes that nobody talked much at the debate about the one issue that was supposed to guarantee Ned Lamont his Senate seat–Iraq:

…the three-way debate was a stilted and at times awkward exchange punctuated by sarcastic swipes from the candidates, who stood at podiums in front of a large audience in a hotel ballroom here, and it did not appear to break much new substantive ground.

Surprisingly, none of the contenders made a forceful effort to focus on Iraq, the issue that had propelled Mr. Lamont to the forefront of the race earlier this year. Instead they spoke at length about domestic issues, particularly those related to the economy, as they each tried to appeal to multiple voting blocs at once.

Mr. Lamont repeatedly referred to his career in business, part of his attempt to broaden his message beyond his opposition to the war in Iraq and to cut into Mr. Lieberman’s support from moderate Democrats.

Methinks it’s too late for Johnny One Note to change his tune.

The most significant development of the campaign is how dispirited some of the unhinged Left now seem to be about the once-indomitable Lamont campaign. At HuffPo, Arianna’s begging for readers to “help save Lamont” and lamenting Lamont’s move to the center:

It is bitterly ironic that instead of building on that momentum by continuing to make his case against Lieberman, Lamont has let himself become enmeshed in the same consultant-driven culture of caution and blandness that has produced a steady stream of modern candidates more worried about stepping on the land mines laid out by their opponents’ campaign teams than stepping forward to lead. The addition to the Lamont campaign after the primary of Democratic insiders Howard Wolfson, Doug Schoen, and Stephanie Cutter has been part of the problem. According to their poll-driven culture, one must move to the center and appeal to those in the middle. And, as a result, once-promising politicians are insidiously encouraged to lose their moral bearing — and the authenticity that made them so compelling in the first place. In the attempt to appeal to everyone, they end up losing their appeal. As Bill Curry puts it in the Hartford Courant , “Inundated with insider advice, [Lamont] grew more cautious; his message became blurred and ineffective…Three televised debates in the next eight days may tell the outcome. To win, Lamont must come off the ropes and go on the attack.”

A recent poll showed Lamont only getting the support of 57 percent of voters who disapprove of Bush’s Iraq policy, and another showed Lieberman still being backed by 35 percent of Connecticut Democrats (perhaps these folks missed his recent reply when asked if America would be better off if Dems regained control of the House). Lamont is somehow letting Joe Lieberman get away with being the only candidate in the country who’s actually benefiting from running as a Republican…

…So why not have Ned Lamont lock himself in a room tomorrow and deliver his concession speech to a few of his most trusted friends so he can be freed up to act as if there is nothing left to lose between now and the election? Why wait for the inevitable post-game Monday morning quarterbacking when, with a little help from the blogosphere, the Lamont campaign can do some pre-game Sunday afternoon quarterbacking that might help get Lamont to the U.S. Senate?

At some point, Ned Lamont is going to speak from the heart, and tell us about his hopes and dreams for the country, and the passion that drove him to challenge Joe Lieberman when almost everyone said it couldn’t be done. The only question is whether he’ll do it now, and win, or do it on the evening of Nov. 7, as he thanks his crest-fallen supporters.

To make sure that Lamont never has to grit his teeth and congratulate Joe Lieberman on his victory, why don’t we help write his “concession speech” now? Post your ideas in the comments section below and we’ll cobble the best ones together and send the speech to the Lamont campaign.

Oh, yes, yes, please. I heartily encourage Lamont to listen to the campaign advice of embittered Arianna and her HuffPo-sters. The electoral record of the left side of the blogosphere, as we all know, is sterling.

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