- Dear Fellow Democrat,
Ned Lamont -- that's the name of the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate from Connecticut. He defeated Senator Joe Lieberman yesterday in a hard-fought primary election.
There's been a lot said about this race and what it means for our party, so I wanted to get a few things straight.
One big issue in this race was the war in Iraq. Like the vast majority of Americans, Ned Lamont believes that "staying the course" will only drive America and Iraq deeper into disaster.
Lamont's courage and conviction on Iraq will make him a good Senator. But his positions on all the important issues -- on Iraq, but also balancing the budget, getting every American health insurance, and solving the energy crisis -- will make him a great Senator. These are not just the values of the Democratic Party, they are mainstream American values, and they are Ned Lamont's values.
After his loss, Joe Lieberman announced his intention to run as an independent. That's the wrong thing to do.
Ned Lamont won fair and square. We have a process, and those who participate in it should respect the outcome. Joe Lieberman should respect the Democratic voters' decision. He has to do what all of us who have lost an election have done: support the winner.
Our party is united on a new direction for our country. Joe Lieberman has been nominated for Senate by Democratic voters three times, and has served admirably for 18 years. But this moment in our country's history demands that we be unified.
This race wasn't about ideology. Ned Lamont succeeded because of participation politics -- he talked plainly and honestly with the people of Connecticut, and his campaign engaged in the kind of neighbor-to-neighbor organizing that has reinvigorated our party across the country.
Over a quarter-million people voted in the Democratic primary in Connecticut yesterday. Among those taking part in that exceptionally high voter turnout were tens of thousands of people who are new to our party. Voters included Republicans and Independents joining the Democratic Party and others registering for the first time and choosing to be Democrats.
That bodes well for our chances not just in Connecticut but everywhere that people like you have been working to build this party from the ground up.
We've got to be unified through November.