ONCE CLAMORING FOR DEBATES (2006), LAMONT NOW LOOKS LIKE HE’S AVOIDING THEM

One drawback for a candidate who has run for office before, is that the candidate has to live with what he said and did last time around—or at least he should have to. Such is the case with Greenwich millionaire Democrat Ned Lamont.

Back in 2006 when he was hot after the US Senate seat held by Sen. Joe Lieberman, Lamont repeatedly called for “old fashioned kitchen-table debates.” You can see Lamont’s call here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH6e4iyMEgs
Now, Lamont’s opponent in the August primary, Democratic party endorsed candidate Dan Malloy is calling for 17 debates in every community in the state that has a daily newspaper (many also have a local radio station). So far, Lamont has been slow at best to respond to the challenge—hiding from it at worst.

Lamont, of course, really has nothing to gain from so many debates. He leads in the polls and he is personally financing his multi-million dollar run. The more he stays away from debates, the better he can manage the message by spending millions on TV advertisements. Joining Malloy on stage would mean risking getting smoked by a well-versed, seasoned campaigner.

As for Malloy, he wonders what has changed since Lamont’s call for multiple debates in 2006. “I guess Ned’s had a change of heart, and that’s unfortunate,” he said. “The fact is, Connecticut voters deserve better. They deserve to hear why each of us thinks we have the right kind of experience to get the job done. They deserve a campaign based on ideas, one where the candidates test one another’s vision and solutions for the problems that lie ahead. Problems like anemic job growth, a massive budget deficit, the largest achievement gap in the country, and electricity rates that are drowning families and small businesses.”

Of course, there’s very little chance Malloy will get Lamont to agree to any more than a handful of debates but it’s something. All the communities that would potentially host a debate under Malloy’s plan should call editorially for Lamont to live by what he said just four years ago.