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Monday, July 24, 2006

My weekend with the Lamont campaign

With August 8th fast approaching, I thought it would be nice to do something I haven't done in quite some time...pack up all my video and digital camera equipment and follow the Ned Lamont campaign around the state.

You see, I first met Ned Lamont at his second public appearance (I think it was in New Haven back in January) and I was so impressed with him that I took it upon myself to follow him around for a while just to see where his campaign would lead. I knew he had the right message and positive vision to beat Senator Lieberman and was just the type of Democrat we need now in Washington but he had a HUGE name recognition problem. In fact, back in those days, I could show a picture of Lamont to someone and they would have no idea who he was or what he was all about.

I could remember arriving before Ned to a number of his early events when he traveled from small town to small town in Connectucut and when I asked people how they felt about Lamont possibly challenging Lieberman, they would always say, "who is Ned Lamont" or "I never heard of this Lamont guy but I don't like Joe and wanted to learn more about him."

Just when things couldn't get any weirder, something strange happened and it happened repeatedly right in front of my eyes.

Every single time Ned finished his stump speech and finished answering every question in the room (I was always pleased with Ned's ability to talk to everyone who had a question no matter the topic), people were immediately impressed by him and ran to the sign up sheet.

It was the weirdest goddamn thing I've ever seen. People who had no idea who Ned was (or didn't even know he was showing up in the first place), were cheering him on by the end of the night. It was like something incredible was happening as people started to believe in Lamont and what he had to say. The crowds became bigger and the buzz about his campaign became louder. I know this might sound wired but trust me, I have all the video to back up my claim.

Just as Ned went through his learning stage of campaigning, I went through a learning stage of incorporating multimedia into my blog. You see, back then (like it's so long ago), there were very few blogs that used video and there were no blogs in Connecticut that used this tool (hell, back then, there were only two or three blogs covering Connecticut politics).

As my video capabilities improved, so did Lamont's delivery and his the size of his audience. I appreciated that fact that there was finally I politician that I believed in so much that I spent countless hours following him around the state and doing what I can to get his message heard.

That was then, and this is now. I haven't had the time to shadow the Lamont campaign like I use to in some time and with the primary day around the corner, I thought it would be nice to tag along and see Ned in action. Let's just say that the days of Ned speaking to small crowds in places like at Dos Amigos in Torrington are long in the past (trust me, you had to be there to understand and I'll write a post about that night someday).

Enough of me babbling about Ned, there will be time to look back on what Lamont has done for the Democratic Party and for the people in Connecticut later. Here's my video report on the Lamont campaign from this weekend as he traveled across the state with U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, and State Rep. Peter Tercyak (what a funny guy. Listen to his quotes, as they're priceless).