That didn't take long. Just yesterday, Ned Lamont was the netroot hero, the pride of MoveOn.org, the scourge of the GOP. Today, Dem nomination in hand, he began his run toward the center - with a little help from his MSM friends.
On this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews scoffed at the fact that the RNC put Lamont's picture up on its website alongside Michael Moore, Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos, Howard Dean, and John Murtha. Well, let's see: Dean via his DFA organization openly campaigned for Lamont over Lieberman. Daily Kos put itself totally in the service of Lamont. As for Moore and Murtha, can anyone point to an iota of difference between their views on Iraq and those of Lamont?
Would Matthews have scoffed had the RNC put up this actual photo showing Lamont on his victory platform surrounded by Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and NOW's Kim Gandy?
Interviewing Lamont, Matthews offered him the chance to show what a non-partisan guy he is, inviting him to name his Republican 'heroes.' Lamont mentioned Teddy Roosevelt - for busting trusts, Colin Powell, and John McCain - for being willing to buck the status quo.
An aside - Lamont noted that he disagreed with McCain on 'choice.' I don't know about you, but of all the political sleight of tongue, using 'choice' as a euphemism for abortion is one that particularly grates on me.
Later in the show, guest Howard Fineman did his bit. He claimed that Lamont gave "a very cogent answer" as to why Republicans should vote for him. Right. Lamont had made reference to the fact that he came from a business background. Just like George Soros and Jon Corzine, Howard. Lamont also said he wanted to help business by doing something about health care. Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that his solution would be something Hillary could love?
Fineman even went so far as to claim that Lamont "was really, basically a Republican most of his life as a town selectman in Greenwich." Right. Except for the fact that he was a Democrat.
In closing his interview of Lamont, Matthews said:
"I'll probably get in trouble for saying this, but I think it's great that people like you are running for office. Too many people own their seats in the Senate, own their seats in congress because they don't face formidable opponents like you. I'm glad you're running in this race, I can't support you, but people are better in this country for people in a race like this."
Can't support him, Chris? Don't be so modest. You just did!
Mark Finkelstein lives in the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY, where he hosts the award-winning public-access TV show 'Right Angle.' Contact Mark at email@example.com