- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
It may be petty, but he really must be more careful:
September 9, 2006
Lieberman Points Out a Turnabout by Lamont
By JENNIFER MEDINA
NEW HAVEN, Sept. 8 Ned Lamont, who this week chastised Senator Joseph I. Lieberman for his public rebuke of President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, wrote to Mr. Lieberman at the time praising the eloquence of his speech on the Senate floor.
I supported your statement because Clintons behavior was outrageous: a Democrat had to stand up and state as much, and I hoped that your statement was the beginning of the end, Mr. Lamont, then a cable television executive, wrote in an e-mail message to the senators Washington office on Sept. 16, 1998, two weeks after Mr. Liebermans speech.
Mr. Lamont defeated Mr. Lieberman in last months Democratic primary in Connecticut, but will face the incumbent now running on his own party line in November. In an interview with reporters and editors on Wednesday night in Washington, Mr. Lamont said he shared Mr. Liebermans moral outrage over Mr. Clintons sexual misbehavior but thought the senator should have handled it behind closed doors before making a public speech.
You dont go to the floor of the Senate and turn this into a media spectacle," Mr. Lamont said of Mr. Liebermans remarks. "You go up there, you sit down with one of your oldest friends and say youre embarrassing yourself, youre embarrassing your presidency, youre embarrassing your family, and its got to stop.
At the time, Mr. Lamont wrote that he had supported the moral outrage Mr. Lieberman expressed reluctantly because he thought it might make matters worse, adding that unfortunately, the statement was the beginning of a process that has turned more political and morally offensive. He urged Mr. Lieberman to stand up and use your moral authority to put an end to this snowballing mess, and suggested that Its time for you to make up your mind and speak your mind as you did so eloquently last Thursday.
Im the father of three and the thought that Clinton testifying about oral sex before the grand jury may be broadcast into my living room is outrageous, Mr. Lamont wrote. This sorry episode is an embarrassment to me as a father and to us as a nation.
A campaign aide to Mr. Lieberman alerted a reporter to the e-mail late Friday, after an article about Mr. Lamonts recent comments appeared in The New York Times. Mr. Liebermans Senate office then faxed a copy of the message.
Casey Aden-Wansbury, a spokesman for Mr. Lieberman, said that after Mr. Lamont announced his candidacy, the senator recalled corresponding with him, and the staff culled old files. She said the 1998 missive was the only correspondence found from Mr. Lamont.
Mr. Liebermans campaign aides pointed out Friday night that Mr. Lamont contributed $500 to his campaign shortly after the speech, in 1999, and did not donate to Mr. Clintons legal defense fund.
Mr. Lamont, who declined to discuss the 1998 speech when an Associated Press reporter asked about it on Friday, was unavailable to explain the apparent discrepancy between his recent remarks and his e-mail at the time.
His campaign manager, Tom Swan, did not address the content of the message, but said in response: It is clear that Senator Lieberman would prefer to try to cloud Neds statements from eight years ago, instead of talking about the important issues of national security, the war in Iraq and health care. It is shocking to see that his Senate staff, at taxpayer expense, is spending their time trying to make up dirt on Ned Lamont.
Senator Lieberman, asked about Mr. Lamonts recent comments, said on Friday that it was important for someone who was a Democrat to stand up and call on him publicly to accept more responsibility for what he had done.
Back in 1998, he wrote to thank Mr. Lamont, saying his kind comments and words of support mean a great deal to me.
This was the most difficult statement I have had to make in my 10 years as a senator, Mr. Lieberman wrote, adding a handwritten Thanks, Ned at the bottom. So it is very reassuring that you feel I made the right decision in speaking out.