Lieberman/Lamont preview: "Tooled-up adolescents" edition

From, of all places, the Guardian’s blog:

In the coming months and years, [Hillary’s] behaviour is, on present form, bound to attract the ire of the Democratic base, and its blogging cheerleaders. These tooled-up adolescents want someone who can take the fight to the Republicans; to show some balls and backbone. Instead they run the risk of lumbering the Demoncrats with an unelectable donkey like Russ Feingold, a leftist Senator from Wisconsin.

I think “Demoncrats” is a typo but I’m honestly not sure.

Newsweek interviewed Lieberman and the Freshmaker this afternoon. Freshy thinks it’s high time we pull out of the Sunni triangle, Osama’s recent comments notwithstanding. As for Liebs, he had some tough words for the nutroots:

Liberal bloggers have been attacking you pretty hard. What do you think of all that anger?
I don’t like it and I don’t think it’s healthy for our system. Speaking beyond [the attacks] toward me, we’ve seen two presidents, President Clinton and now President Bush, who’ve been the targets of just the worst vituperation and I’d call it hatred from people in our country. It’s not healthy for the country. Our politics is much too partisan. We see it in Washington. Part of why the politics is partisan is it’s a less mainstream group that dominates primaries in both parties and that’s not healthy. As far as the vituperation on the blogs—periodically my staff will show me some of it and I don’t recognize myself. It’s not me. The personal attacks are just outrageous.

Over at Red State, Mark Kilmer is firmly in Lamont’s corner.

The debate starts in less than half an hour on MSNBC. Comment here if you’re watching.

Update: Lieberman’s opening statement was stronger, echoing Lloyd Bentsen in saying he’s run against George Bush and he’s no George Bush. Lamont seemed nervous and gave some canned story about his teaching days. Now he’s hitting Lieberman about the lack of WMD — and praising Murtha.

Update: Lieberman’s hitting him as a flip-flopper on Iraq, saying he’d had multiple positions even on the same day. Lamont says he supports an absolute deadline for withdrawal within the next six months.

Update: Lieberman just referred to Lamont’s Iraq position as dumb. Har.

Update: Lamont just blamed Bush for Haditha.

Update: Lieberman uses a question about North Korea to criticize Bush’s policy. Lamont says NK is the most serious threat facing the United States today … and now he’s talking in platitudes about sharing intelligence and “constructive dialogue.”

Update: Lamont says he’s got grassroots support. Lieberman says the Democratic Party is and should be what it was in 1960. Now he’s slamming Lamont for calling him insufficiently Democratic when he votes with the left 90% of the time in the Senate. And he says Lamont’s supporters are poisoning the party. Nice. Now he’s telling Lamont, in an angry tone, to stop spreading untruths about his record.

Update: Lieberman accuses Lamont of voting Republican and using Republican campaign aides. Lamont scores a nice point by noting that he’s not the one who’s threatening to run as an independent if he loses the primary. Liebs says Lamont can’t win the general election and he wants the whole population to have a chance to decide. Lamont responds by hitting him on job loss.

Update: Lieberman says Lamont gave him three campaign contributions — after he took the position he did on Iraq.

I’m trying to be objective. Lamont isn’t bad, but Lieberman’s better.

Update: Lieberman keeps hitting the point, “Who is Ned Lamont?” Republican or far-left liberal? The point he should be making is that Lamont is cipher; none of his supporters support him, they merely oppose Liebs.

Update: The nutroots is freeping MSNBC’s poll: Lamont leads 69-27%.

Update: Lamont says Bush wants to “militarize” the border. If only. Lamont smacks Bush for saying that there are jobs Americans won’t do. Sweet. Lieberman’s rambling in his response; Lamont did better on this issue.

Update: Lieberman gets to ask Lamont a question now. He asks if he’ll release his state and federal tax returns in the interests of transparency. Lamont dodges him, says he’s released hundreds of pages of documents. He’s using the question as an opportunity to talk about scandals in Washington. Lieberman says he’s not answering the question and it’s an insult to the public.

Update: Lamont asks if, as Liebs said 18 years ago, it’s time for a change in Connecticut. Liebs says no because he hasn’t stopped working for the people the way Lowell Weicker did — who’s now supporting Lamont.

Update: Liebs cheeses out in his closing statement, saying how he and Connecticut have “laughed and cried together.” Lamont says he doesn’t want people voting against Lieberman, he wants them voting for him. His close was better.

John Harwood makes a good point afterwards: Lieberman used “there you go again,” a famous Reagan line, and accused Lamont of flip-flopping several times, which the GOP bludgeoned Kerry with in ’04. He’s using Republican debate tactics, in other words — a fact which I’m sure Lamont’s campaign will be emphasizing tomorrow.

He also used a variation of Bentsen’s famous line against Quayle, though.

Final MSNBC poll was 73 to 25. Video coming up.

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