Today John Kerry sent an e-mail to his approximately 3-million-person subscriber list to raise money for Ned Lamont and two incumbent Senators–Akaka and Menendez–who supported the Kerry-Feingold bill and are in tightly contested races. Akaka is facing a strong primary challenge from conservative Democrat Ed Case. Menendez is facing a challenge from Republican Tom Kean.
Unless I am badly mistaken, Kerry is the first Democrat to support Lamont in such a concrete way. Credit where it’s due–Hillary Clinton’s HILL PAC did cut him a check after he won the Connecticut primary. The party leadership and most elected officials have endorsed him. But to my knowledge, Kerry is the first to raise money on his behalf on a large scale like this.
Lamont would be a great colleague for the other New England Dems with his mainstream liberal positions and common-sense perspective on the war, which a majority of Americans agree with. And anyone who’s ever seen him on TV can attest to his appealing personality.
Also, I think that Kerry deserves props for this move, which is more than simply a statement of “support” to cover one’s behind on this issue without any real walking the walk. Kerry is using the valuable resource of his e-mail list to draw attention to Lamont while helping two other embattled Democrats who stood against continuing the war indefinitely, one of whom is a very strong liberal voice.
Snippets of his e-mail below the fold, with a link to donate. It’s pretty strong language in places, and I’ve bolded comments that stood out to me.
We say America needs candidates who take strong positions and have the courage of their convictions. We’ve got them. We’re searching for leaders who understand that we can’t change George Bush and Don Rumsfeld’s aimless course in Iraq if we don’t stand up in this fall’s campaign and demand change. These leaders are standing right in front of us.
Each of these strong leaders has forcefully spoken out in favor of a clear timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
Despite the “warnings” coming from consultants, political pundits and naysayers in Washington, each of these candidates is making the mess in Iraq a central issue in their campaigns for the Senate. They aren’t afraid to talk about why the war is wrong and what must be done to change course and start doing what is best for our troops and our country. And they aren’t afraid to stand up for a better way that will bring our heroes home and put Iraq in Iraqis’ hands.
It’s time to reward their courage.
In Connecticut, Ned Lamont has caused a national stir by successfully challenging the Bush position on Iraq that ignores the utter failure of the President’s policy and calls for a deeply misplaced reliance on a dangerous course of action. In the Senate, Ned Lamont will go head to head with Don Rumsfeld, and our troops will benefit from Lamont’s leadership. He knows that patriotism isn’t reserved for those who defend a President’s position; patriotism is doing what’s right for our troops and our country.
My friend Dan Akaka (D-HI) has been a powerful voice of opposition to dangerous policies, as one of 13 votes in favor of the Kerry-Feingold amendment calling on the Bush administration to withdraw all U.S. combat troops by the middle of 2007.
My colleague Bob Menendez (D-NJ) proudly supported that amendment, as well. In fact, the day after we voted, he put his money where his vote was, putting an ad on TV saying it was time to start bringing our troops home. His vote was that important to him.
Ned, Dan, and Bob have been attacked mercilessly for acting with such conviction and are locked in close must-win races.