THE CURIOUS, POST-ELECTION POSITIONING OF MR. LAMONT

Ned Lamont, the vanquished, mega-millionaire from Greenwich who has never won an election of consequence, sat in the front row of Gov. Malloy’s town hall meeting on the budget, Lamont’s name on the chair, located on the aisle. Just how did he score that prime seat as hundreds lined-up outside (he’s not an elected official or even a party official; maybe he bought the chair itself)?  That’s the least of the questions about Lamont as he tries to find a place of relevance in politics.

Lamont won the Democratic primary in 2006 against US Sen. Lieberman with a one-trick pony issue of being against the war in Iraq. However, as soon as the choice between the two was put to the entire electorate of the state (which is really all that matters), Lieberman whipped him.

More recently, Lamont engaged former Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy in a bitter Democratic primary for governor and…wait for it…got whipped. Not even close; clobbered; Probert-ized. So what does Lamont do now? It’s hard to tell because he is all over the map—fundraiser; pro-business and state spending cutter; supporter of public financing of campaigns. None of them seems to fit because each requires a complete reversal in either his word or deed.

Lamont spent many millions of his own money in the races against Lieberman and Malloy. Perhaps learning the hard way that spending other people’s money is easier than spending your own, Lamont was in attendance at a special meeting of heavy-hitting fundraisers for President Barack Obama which took place earlier this month in a Washington, DC hotel ballroom.

Prior to the Malloy Greenwich event, Lamont told reporters that people in the state expected Malloy to cut spending more than the governor does in his proposed budget. Since when does “cut spending” apply to Lamont? Ok, maybe it was a demand of him made by his family during his two losing campaigns—but that doesn’t count.

And most curious was Lamont joining in a legal brief in the case currently before the US Supreme Court. The court could decide the constitutionality of the supplemental grant provisions of several states’—including Connecticut’s—public financing of campaigns. The provisions grant participating candidates more funds when their non-participating (usually incredibly wealthy) opponents spend a certain amount.

Lamont’s brief is in favor of the supplemental grants saying they are important to a democratic election system. Lamont thought so much of the state’s “clean elections” program that he didn’t participate in it, a point Malloy hammered at during their primary campaign. Why would anything Lamont said on the subject have any credibility?

Lamont is trying to find his place in the political world and seems to be having trouble doing it.  That’s understandable. But anyone who runs for office, puts themselves out there and is willing to take shots from blogs like this one is to be respected, even admired.  So The Shad admires Mr. Lamont.  Just don’t run again.  No mas.