Live Blogging the Lieberman- Lamont Debate

Final Update and thoughts: Considering Lamont is the less experienced debater, he did an excellent job. While Lieberman touted his own trustworthiness and experience, and tried to attack Lamont, Lamont came off as fresh-faced and someone who shares our values and would bring a change to Washington. Lamont talked about policies he supports and Bush policies that need to be changed, while Lieberman defended his past votes. Lieberman was on the ropes from the beginning and he stayed there. Lieberman got repetitive and weaker as the hour went on, Lamont got stronger.

Final word goes to C.L., TalkLeft's graphic artist, who e-mailed in: "Lamont was a little bit of the deer caught in the headlights but likeable and solid. Leiberman just seems petulant."

Update 9: Closing statements: Lieberman is reading his, very distracting. Shorter version: I have 18 years of experience, he served on the Greenwich town council a decade or more ago. He offers negativism. Lieberman stops reading and finally speaks from his heart. His voice almost cracks as he asks the people to support him and elect him to another six years.

Lamont says he will fight for our civil liberties, for social security, he'll bring our troops home to the heroes welcome they deserve. People should vote from their hearts. "My name is Ned Lamont and if you approve this message, I could use your support on August 8." Good close.

Update 8: Lieberman asks Lamont why he won't release his tax return. Lamont gives a half way answer, saying he's released hundreds of financial documents. I'm now wondering why he won't release his tax return? Lieberman's final answer is not an answer but a speech.

Update7 : Immigration: Lamont: go after the employers, he supports Senate bill, we need comprehensive immigration reform with an earned path to citizenship for the undocumented already here. He does want to say though that Americans are willing to do the jobs. He says we have to give path to undocumented kids. Lieberman: He supports Senate bill. They sound pretty similar on the issue.

Update 6: Lamont makes a joke -- Lieberman tries to interrupt him and he says "Let me finish, this is not Fox News." Even Lieberman laughed.

Update 5: Impressions so far. Lieberman is clearly more confident and a familiar face. But he sounds sour and more than a little bitter. Lamont is much more fresh-faced and natural and has the better arguments. He also stays on message better: universal health care, bring jobs to the state, reproductive choice. Our country is on the wrong track and it's time to bring a change. Lamont talks about future direction while Lieberman defends his record to date. Lamont goes on the offense, Lieberman seems stuck on the defense.

Lieberman's worst argument so far was his attempt to cast Lamont as a Republican when he served on the city council where they vote on things like potholes. Lamon'ts disadvantage is he has no prior record to tout.

Update 4: Question: What do the Democrats stand for? Lieberman accuses Lamont of mis-stating his record on social security. He has always opposed privatization. Question: Lieberman again attacks Lamont, pointing out where Lamont has sided with Republicans. Says Lamont tried to stop Obama's senate race. Lamont says Lieberman can't have it both way. Denies Lieberman's charge. That was Lamont's best answer. Lieberman says he intends to win the primary. He believes Lamont can't win the general election. That's why he's running as an independent.

Update3: Question: What's the difference between Lieberman and Lamont on Iraq? Lamont: Best hope for success is to get military out of Iraq, help with rebuilding. Lieberman: Situation in Iraq is better now than it was a year ago. 2/3 of Iraqi military is ready to lead the fight. We should not abandon them. He is not for an open-ended commitment in Iraq. If we leave too soon, we will emolden the terrorists and allow them to win.

Update2: First Question to Lieberman on his position on Iraq. He supported the initial decision to initial decision to go to war and opposed many policies after. But now we need to support the Iraqis. Now to Lamont: We need to start bringing the troops home now. Lieberman responds: challenges his prior statements on troop withdrawal. Lamont: He does supports withdrawal. To start within six months.

Update 1: 90 second openings, Lieberman goesfirst. Ned Lamont is running against him on one issue, Iraq, and he is distorting his record. He's not George Bush and Ned should stop running against Bush and run against him. He's a democrat with a 35 year record of voting for democratic values and the working class.

Lamont: Touts his volunteer experience. Washington is making a lot of bad choices. Says to Lieberman, "If you won't challenge Bush and his agenda, I will."

The debate is also on MSNBC and starting now. I'm going to live-blog for a while as well. Hope you join in in the comments.

Embattled Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman will debate his primary challenger Ned Lamont tonight at 7pm ET in CT. You can watch live on C-span.

Jane at Firedoglake will be live-blogging the debate from the Lamont war room. Markos at Daily Kos has a loyal Democrat whip count.

As an aside, who has the money edge in the race?

....As of this quarter Lieberman's campaign war chest is reportedly somewhere between four and six million dollars.....Ned Lamont, says he's willing to dump more of his family fortune into the race. Lamont announced yesterday he will use another million dollars of his own money to unseat Lieberman. Lamont has already spent one in a half million dollars. Lamont's campaign manager says the family fortune is somewhere between $90 and $300 million.

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    Re: Live Blogging the Lieberman- Lamont Debate (none / 0) (#1)
    by Slado on Thu Jul 06, 2006 at 06:34:45 PM EST
    Whats so great about this is if Lamont does win he will lose in the general election because republicans and some democrats will vote for Liberman. Net effect one seat picked up by republicans. Go Lamont!

    Re: Live Blogging the Lieberman- Lamont Debate (none / 0) (#2)
    by cmpnwtr on Thu Jul 06, 2006 at 06:37:35 PM EST
    Dream On, Slado. The 'o6 election is a referendum on the Bush catastrophe. He's toast, especially in Conn. Lamont will win the primary and the general.

    Re: Live Blogging the Lieberman- Lamont Debate (none / 0) (#3)
    by glanton on Thu Jul 06, 2006 at 07:08:17 PM EST
    I think Slado is right, the GOP benefits from this either way. If Lieberman hangs on, they obviously benefit. If Lieberman and Lamont split votes and a GOP candidate wins the seat, the GOP benefits. And one of those two things will happen. Still, now that the game is officially over for America as a beacon of anything except greed, apathy, and bigotry, one can only conclude it's better to lose standing for civil liberties than to win spitting on them. And much, much better to lose challenging the military/industrial matrix than to win on its teat. Slado you and yours can claim victory but not decency.

    Re: Live Blogging the Lieberman- Lamont Debate (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jul 07, 2006 at 12:48:54 AM EST
    I do so admire everyone with the stomach to watch that debate all the way through. I couldn't take it. I wished they could have just cut it in two: Ned on one half; Joe on the other. That way I could have seen and heard more from Ned before I turned it off. Good thing for Joe, I guess, that I live in a different state. It's been bothering me lately that everybody in the country can't vote for all senators.... They each have such a huge impact on all of our lives. The notion of "their constituents" is really getting kinda lame. They are deciding for all of us, and most of them don't listen to their constituents lately either. Sigh. Clearly. Yes. Clearly. So it is hard to listen to them, and especially this one, lately.

    Re: Live Blogging the Lieberman- Lamont Debate (none / 0) (#5)
    by scribe on Fri Jul 07, 2006 at 02:52:41 AM EST
    Olbermann commented on the debate on his show last night, saying his impression while watching it (though it took him some searching to remember exwactly wheree he'd seen it) was the Lieberman resembled the incumbent being debated by challenger Robert Redford in "The Candidate", i.e., aloof and offended to even have to be there. If it were up to me (I'm not a CT voter), well, my mind was made up on Lieberman, unfavorably, a long time ago.

    Re: Live Blogging the Lieberman- Lamont Debate (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jul 07, 2006 at 07:49:00 AM EST
    cmpnwtr, Wasn't 2004 supposed to be a referendum on the Bush catastrophe? Bush stayed in office and the Republicans picked up seats. I wouldn't mind seeing a different result in 2006, but if you're counting on Lamont for that, it may not be Slado who is dreaming.

    Re: Live Blogging the Lieberman- Lamont Debate (none / 0) (#7)
    by Dadler on Fri Jul 07, 2006 at 09:26:09 AM EST
    Justpaul, Go do some homework on what transpired in the 2004 election, then make comments like that. Conyers Report Also, answer this one simple question: Why does the U.S. use exit poll irregularities to completely discredit foreign elections, but ignore serious ones in our own "free and fair" elections? Answer that with a modicum of logic, and do so to support Bush's election. Go ahead, you'll be wildly dishonest from the first word. Power corrupts and we are making sure that's viewed as a GOOD thing. Does it not worry you that the United States cannot now offer a legitimate electoral process for the rest of the world to admire, imitate and strive to acheive. We're now the excuse to keep things irregular and crooked. Disgraceful.

    Re: Live Blogging the Lieberman- Lamont Debate (none / 0) (#8)
    by Slado on Fri Jul 07, 2006 at 09:38:31 AM EST
    For anyone to suggest that Ohio was stolen by George Bush is ridiculous. Bush won the election fair and square. If a party or group is unable to accept actual defeat how can they be taken seriously? As for Liberman he will probably win the primary anyway and I'll have to hear all the usual excuses from the extreme left about why their predictions fell short again. This time I wonder if they will accuse the democrats of rigging the election since the republicans won't be involved.

    Re: Live Blogging the Lieberman- Lamont Debate (none / 0) (#9)
    by swingvote on Fri Jul 07, 2006 at 10:28:36 AM EST
    Dadler, Is Bush not in the White House right now? Did the Republicans not pick up seats in 2004? Go spin your delusional conspiracy theories elsehwere (although this is probably the perfect place to do so since you have a ready-built audience all too prepared to believe you). 2004 WAS spun as a referendum on Bush, and the Left lost. Spin 2006 as such at your own peril, but I would suggest you would do better by offering people a reason to vote FOR your candidates, rather than against the Republicans.