WASHINGTON -- Old-line Connecticut Democrats who backed insurgent candidate Ned Lamont against Sen. Joseph Lieberman were appalled to see their candidate flanked at his Tuesday night primary election celebration in Meriden, Conn., by two contentious African-American political activists from out of state.
On either side of Lamont during his victory speech were the Rev. Al Sharpton of New York and the Rev. Jesse Jackson of Chicago. Each nodded affirmatively as Lamont spoke, giving the impression that they were his close advisers.
Faithful Democrats urged Lamont's managers to get the two former left-wing presidential candidates away from the Connecticut campaign. The danger is that they might drive Republican, independent and even some Democratic voters into support of Lieberman's independent candidacy.
The environmentalist lobby endorsed Sen. Joseph Lieberman against Ned Lamont and then abandoned him in his unsuccessful Connecticut Democratic primary election.
Giving Lieberman an all-time environmentalist voting record of 86 percent, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) designated him this year as an "environmental champion." That won him endorsement for re-election from both the LCV and Defenders of Wildlife, but neither organization contributed television ads or get-out-the-vote efforts.
Spokesmen for the environmentalist groups explained that they had other political commitments in 2006. However, sources said environmentalists so oppose Lieberman's support of President Bush's Iraq policy that they would not countenance their organizations assisting his campaign.
NOT BUSH'S CHOICE
President Bush's closest political lieutenants were not happy about Rep. Joe Schwarz's loss in Michigan's southern tier Tuesday to a conservative insurgent, even though Schwarz had opposed the president on key issues.
Bush not only backed freshman lawmaker Schwarz, as he automatically does all incumbent Republicans of Congress, but the president and the first lady went beyond that with automated telephone campaign pleas during the campaign's last weekend. Schwarz had opposed Bush on stem-cell research and cast several liberal votes on the environment and population control. Sens. John McCain and Chuck Hagel went to Michigan this year to campaign for Schwarz, while the Club for Growth made his defeat a priority project.