Obama Endorses Lieberman for Senate
The New York Times reports that Joe Lieberman did not command the attention or respect of his audience at a fundraising event in Connecticut Thursday night.
Three times on Thursday night, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman asked the crowd of 1,700 for quiet during his remarks at the state Democrats' annual Jefferson Jackson Bailey fund-raising dinner. "Shhh," he told the guests. But rather than interrupting him with applause, many were ignoring him, having struck up conversations after finishing their chicken.
The inattentiveness -- as well as the scattered boos amid the supportive calls of "Joe" that welcomed Mr. Lieberman to the podium -- convinced some that the three-term senator, criticized for months because of his continued support for the war in Iraq, may be vulnerable in the primary challenge he faces.
Who came to his rescue? Sen. Barak Obama, with a ringing endorsement.
"I know that some in the party have differences with Joe," Senator Obama said, all but silencing the crowd. "I'm going to go ahead and say it. It's the elephant in the room. And Joe and I don't agree on everything. But what I know is, Joe Lieberman's a man with a good heart, with a keen intellect, who cares about the working families of America."
Then, with applause beginning to build, he finished the thought: "I am absolutely certain that Connecticut's going to have the good sense to send Joe Lieberman back to the United States Senate." That time, people cheered loudly.
Nonetheless, Ned Lamont's people were very happy. Ned also was in attendance, sitting with Howard Dean's brother.
Tom Swan, Mr. Lamont's campaign manager, said he had been wary of attending the dinner, given his campaign's outsider status. "I thought I was going to feel like I was on a hunting trip with Dick Cheney, but when we went into that room it was anything but," he said. "There is no doubt in anybody's mind who follows politics in Connecticut that Ned Lamont can win the Democratic primary after last night."
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