Save me, Bill
Bill, what knife in the back?
1998 was back in the day.
A Boost for Lieberman and a Call for Unity
By JENNIFER MEDINA
Published: July 25, 2006
WATERBURY, Conn., July 24 — Former President Bill Clinton issued a broad appeal for Democratic Party unity in defense of Senator Joseph I. Lieberman on Monday, praising him as a “good Democrat” who deserves to win next month’s primary. The senator’s surprisingly strong challenger has accused Mr. Lieberman of being too close to President Bush.
The challenger, Ned Lamont, a wealthy cable television executive, has pulled even with Mr. Lieberman in recent polls largely by attacking Mr. Lieberman for steadfastly supporting the war in Iraq.
But by appearing alongside not only the former president but also California Senator Barbara Boxer, who has spoken out against the war, Mr. Lieberman was clearly attempting to bolster his Democratic credentials.
Monday’s rally also underscored the contrasting approach of the two campaigns in recent days. Mr. Lamont, despite trying to broaden his message beyond Iraq, campaigned over the weekend with California Rep. Maxine Waters, who called the war the most important issue facing the nation.
But Mr. Clinton emphasized the importance of party unity in spite of the disagreements over Iraq that have caused bitter conflicts between antiwar liberals and centrists like Mr. Lieberman. For much of his speech, Mr. Clinton recalled Mr. Lieberman’s support for an array of Mr. Clinton’s presidential initiatives, including education, health care and energy programs.
“We Democrats have a bad habit, we’re prone to think, and when people are thinking they sometimes disagree,” Mr. Clinton said. “That’s the way we are. If we fight together we should go forward together.”
Many of the people who attended the raucous rally at a theater in this working-class city said that they were on the fence about the Aug. 8 primary, expressing respect for Mr. Lieberman, who is in his third term, but skepticism about his support of the Iraq war, among other issues.
Both campaigns are concentrating renewed efforts on middle-class voters, whom they view as a critical swing group in the primary.
Calling the war the “pink elephant” in the room, Mr. Clinton said, “The real issue is, whether you were for it or against it, what are we going to do now.”
He added, “No Democrat is responsible for the mistakes that have been made since the fall of Saddam Hussein that have brought us to this point.”
But the two have also parted ways: Mr. Lieberman denounced Mr. Clinton’s conduct in the Lewinsky affair as “disgraceful” and “immoral” in a speech from the Senate floor in 1998.
On Monday, Mr. Lieberman heaped praise on Mr. Clinton. “He left America somewhere else we haven’t been since, unfortunately, admired and even liked throughout the world,” he said.
In line with the more aggressive tack he has taken recently, the senator also criticized the Bush administration several times, adding that Mr. Lamont was “peddling a big lie that I am not a real Democrat.”
Also on Monday, Mr. Lamont announced his endorsement by two of Mr. Lieberman’s former supporters, asserting that he was attracting disaffected Democrats who are growing increasingly frustrated with their party.
One of those endorsements came from Irving Stolberg, the former speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives and a longtime friend of Mr. Lieberman. At a news conference in New Haven, he spoke of his support of Mr. Lamont.
“I’ve supported Joe in every election until this one,” Mr. Stolberg said. “It’s very hard in politics to go against an old friend and a good friend. In Ned, I have found a new friend who is right on target on the most important issues facing our nation and the world today.”
Several thousand people attended the Lieberman rally, though a few dozen seats at the theater were empty. Not all of those who attended, however, were convinced by Mr. Clinton.
“It’s time for Democrats to stand up for true principles and stop caving to conservatives,” said John Szablewicz, a lifelong Democrat from the nearby town of Woodbury. He said he would vote for Mr. Lamont but was eager to see Mr. Clinton.
“When we try to be like Republicans,” Mr. Szablewicz said, “that’s when we lose.
So what would you have to do to Clinton to be a bad Democrat? Bang his daughter and put the pictures online? Slander his wife? What is his standard?
Because it doesn't have anything to do with personal betrayal. The media was expecting for Lieberman to call for Clinton's resignation.
The public is against the war, Democrats are against the war. So when do you deal with the pink elephant, when he's being chased to Basra through Shia human wave attacks and Iranian artillery?
posted by Steve @ 2:34:00 AM