Both Obama and Clinton betrayed Lamont and all of us during the 2006 campaign. Hillary Clinton, while she did do a fundraiser for Lamont, had her husband go onto Larry King after the primary and back Lieberman by saying there was no difference between the candidates. At that moment, all of Lamont’s establishment support dried up, and we lost 30% of the Democrats in the general election. At the same time, after promising to endorse the winner of the primary, Obama went through Connecticut by train and refused to stop in the state out of fear of challenging Lieberman. He had earlier in the race spoken out at the Jefferson Jackson dinner for Lieberman, his mentor.
I talked to Ned today, and expressed all of this. And he knows it. And nothing can reverse the outcome of that election, which set the stage for the complete Democratic capitulation on Iraq we saw throughout 2007.
A few weeks ago, Obama refused to help out during the Senate FISA fight, when Chris Dodd bravely filibustered the Bush administration’s top priority to expand wiretapping authority and immunize telecom companies who had broken the law. The fight is probably coming around again, and Lamont promised he would advocate internally for Obama to actually stand with Dodd this time. I doubt Obama will filibuster, though it would be really good for his campaign and I would become an excited advocate for Obama were he to do so.
The only one of the three remaining Democratic candidates who actually went to Connecticut and put his shoulder to the wheel for Lamont was John Edwards.
And Edwards has said that if he doesn’t do well in South Carolina he’ll probably end his race.
If Lamont had gotten Obama’s agreement to filibuster FISA in exchange for his endorsement, as Matt says, I can see why Ned might have come out for Obama at this point in time. But he didn’t. So under the circumstances, I’m a bit puzzled why he didn’t show respect for Edwards and defer this kind of decision until his future was clear.
*The Edwards campaign denies that Senator Edwards will pull out after South Carolina..