Unless I am badly mistaken, Kerry is the first Democrat to support Lamont in such a concrete way. I'll give credit where it's due--Hillary Clinton's HILL PAC did cut him a check after he won the Connecticut primary. The party leadership and most elected officials have endorsed him. But to my knowledge, Kerry is the first to raise money on his behalf on a large scale like this. It's more than simply a statement of "support" to cover one's behind on this issue without any real walking the walk. Kerry is using the valuable resource of his huge e-mail list to draw attention to Lamont while helping two other embattled Democrats who stood against continuing the war indefinitely and are strong liberal voices on other issues.
We say America needs candidates who take strong positions and have the courage of their convictions. We've got them. We're searching for leaders who understand that we can't change George Bush and Don Rumsfeld's aimless course in Iraq if we don't stand up in this fall's campaign and demand change. These leaders are standing right in front of us.
Despite the "warnings" coming from consultants, political pundits and naysayers in Washington, each of these candidates is making the mess in Iraq a central issue in their campaigns for the Senate. They aren't afraid to talk about why the war is wrong and what must be done to change course and start doing what is best for our troops and our country. And they aren't afraid to stand up for a better way that will bring our heroes home and put Iraq in Iraqis' hands....
In Connecticut, Ned Lamont has caused a national stir by successfully challenging the Bush position on Iraq that ignores the utter failure of the President's policy and calls for a deeply misplaced reliance on a dangerous course of action. In the Senate, Ned Lamont will go head to head with Don Rumsfeld, and our troops will benefit from Lamont's leadership. He knows that patriotism isn't reserved for those who defend a President's position; patriotism is doing what's right for our troops and our country.
My friend Dan Akaka (D-HI) has been a powerful voice of opposition to dangerous policies, as one of 13 votes in favor of the Kerry-Feingold amendment calling on the Bush administration to withdraw all U.S. combat troops by the middle of 2007.
My colleague Bob Menendez (D-NJ) proudly supported that amendment, as well. In fact, the day after we voted, he put his money where his vote was, putting an ad on TV saying it was time to start bringing our troops home. His vote was that important to him.
Ned, Dan, and Bob have been attacked mercilessly for acting with such conviction and are locked in close must-win races.
Let's see if other prominent Democrats follow suit! I'm hoping, for Lamont's sake and for the sake of party cohesiveness, that certain nameless organizations will step up to the plate and do something meaningful for Lamont instead of just issuing an endorsement in a press release. That's the least they should be expected to do for a Democrat who is being assaulted by Rovian rhetoric and sleazy smear tactics. --- EDIT to include link to CreamPuff's similar diary on the subject.