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Lamont Says Lieberman Should Get "Gold Medal for Political Gymnastics"

By Alec MacGillis
DENVER -- Ned Lamont, who made a fortune as a cable industry entrepreneur, was having some trouble with some decidedly more rudimentary technology -- the special-edition biodegradable wooden key card to his Denver hotel room which, while in keeping with the Democratic convention's green theme, was performing in a capricious manner.

But the flustered Connecticut millionaire took a moment from his trek back to the front desk to weigh in with sharp words on one of the hot topics of the day -- the possibility that his nemesis, independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, might become Sen. John McCain's running mate.

It was Lamont, of course, who helped set in motion Lieberman's move into the arms of the Republican Party when he successfully challenged Lieberman in Connecticut's 2006 Senate primary. In the process, Lamont became a hero to the activist left who saw Lieberman's rightward drift, particularly on Iraq and terrorism, as a betrayal. Refusing to bow out after losing the primary, Lieberman ran as an independent and beat Lamont in round two with the help of many Connecticut Republicans and right-leaning independents.

But as tenuous as Lieberman's ties to the Democrats have become, Lamont still expressed amazement that his former opponent was being seriously considered as McCain's running mate, just eight years after he held the same spot on Al Gore's ticket.

"He gets an Olympic gold medal for political gymnastics," Lamont said. "In our race, he ran around saying, 'I'm a good Democrat and he's a Republican.' And then when he ran as an independent, he told voters he would stay neutral in Washington. Now, he's leading the attack against Barack Obama. It's the gymnastics gold medal."

Lamont said he had not decided whether he would seek to fill Lieberman's seat in an eventual special election if Lieberman did become vice president or take another role in a McCain administration (word is that he would love to be secretary of Defense.) Lamont noted that there were many more Democrats in the state now who would want to try for the seat than when he launched his challenge. "That was a lonely vigil," he said of the 2006 race. And then he was off to do battle with the key card.

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 25, 2008; 2:06 PM ET
Categories:  Conventions , Culture Wars , Democratic Party , John McCain  
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Im JakeD,
and I get paid,
For my posts,
all day.

Im JakeD,
I sit in my desk,
all day,
so I can be a pest.

Im JakeD,
I report to duty,
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Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I think the funniest line about religion and politics was Woody Allen's line about Goldwater when he said he always knew the first Jewish president would be an Episcopalian. Lieberman's being in Washington shows the need for a sore loser law in Connecticut (primary loser doesn't get a second bite at the apple as an independent in the same election).

Posted by: ejgallagher1 | August 25, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Better yet, President Obama could appoint Lieberman as the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, or some similarly important post.

Posted by: Jim S. | August 25, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Fake JakeD at 3:08PM.

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Hi, fake JakeD(s).

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Something I can finally agree with thebob.bob. If the Democrats do not take 60 Senate seats, Lieberman will be McCain's SecDef.

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

McCain will not pick Lieberman. Anything happen to McCain and history would be made. The first Jewish POTUS! There'll be an African American President long before there'll be a Jewish President. That's a fact!

Posted by: thebob.bob | August 25, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Lamont = Sore Loserman ; )

Posted by: JakeD | August 25, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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