Saturday, August 12, 2006

How Ned Lamont Blew it on Primary Night 

I watched the coverage on C-SPAN. Here is what Ned did wrong. 1) Ned needed to realize that primary night is not a night for thank-yous and congratulations. It is, first and formost, the first and most important day of the fall campaign. 2) Ned needed to understand that he was not talking to the people in that room. He was talking to all the potential voters in the state. For many people, this may be the only time they have seen him, and may be the only time they see him until election night in November. Never squander that kind of audience. 3) Timing. Ned needed somebody to make sure he was in front of the cameras as soon as Lieberman was finished (perhaps even just before the end). The tv stations would have been forced to cut to him (after all he was the winner), and deprive Lieberman of that end of rally euphoria, and make sure the audience didn't drift away. 4) Contingencies. Ned should have listened to the Lieberman speech or had someone listen to it and let him know how aggresive he could be. Once Lieberman started into the "we won't quit" talk, and especially launched into criticism of Lamont, Ned should have been given the heads up that the gloves were off. No need to be polite. Time to deal Lieberman the death blow. 5) Talk directly to the Lieberman supporters. Many of them wanted to stay with Lieberman because of a perception that Lieberman, based on seniority, is a big man in the Senate. Remind them that as an independant, he might as well be a freshman. All Lieberman's important committee assignments will go to real Democrats come November, even if he wins.

Great points. I agree. It would have also sent a message all those Democrats who are treating a traitor to their party as a kind of an elder statesman.
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