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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Lamont video flashback: My first encounter with Ned Lamont and the start of my videoblogging

Date: Jan 21 2006

So you want to know who all this videoblogging stuff happened. Well, the story starts here and this is the tale.

First, a little background info is needed.

Little was known about Ned Lamont when he first appeared on my little radar screen. Now, I knew Joe Lieberman was in trouble going as far back as December 2005 when a poll showed that Joementum would have a bit of a problem if Lowell Weicker decided to challenge him. Unfortunately, it was quite known that Weicker wouldn't throw his hat in the race so it was only a matter of time until some Democrat would step to the challenge.

Enter Ned Lamont.

Ned who?

The first time I heard of Lamont was in The Hartford Courant and on the new blog My Left Nutmeg back during the first week of January. I was interested in learning more about this Lamont guy but at the time, it was hard it was to find ANY information on Ned. Real hard!
I googled and googled and all I could come up with was a brief blurb and this one photo.

That's it!

Needless to say, I was pissed. I couldn't stand the thought of Joe Lieberman as a senator for another six years but I knew nothing about this Lamont guy and it was driving me nuts. I mean, here I am a blogger of a site called ConnecticutBLOG and I knew nothing about a person who was challenging a three-term senator.

That's when a light bulb went on in my head and changed things forever.

I never forget saying to myself "man, this guy doesn't have a chance in hell of beating Lieberman as no one can find any information on him and he has only a couple of months until the state convention. I knew he needed exposure but at the time, I thought the best thing to do was to take as many pictures of him as possible. I had no idea about YouTube and at that time and embedding video was a bit more complicated than it is. Back then, bloggers with no money (a.k.a me) had to place a video file on a FTP server provided your local ISP (which usually had a 20 meg limit) and link to it. Since my background is photojournalism, I thought it would be cool just to take some photos of Ned and report on the event.

As I was about to leave my place, I walked passed by my camcorder and said, "oh, what the hell, I'll bring the thing along." Now, this camcorder was not digital (which you'll see when you watch the videoclip) but I thought it would be smart to record Ned just in case I could post the video online in the future.

Smart move.

Once I made it to New Haven and after seeing the large crowd and hearing Ned speak for about one minute, I knew I was watching something special so I dropped my camera and re-directed my energy to videotaping everything. There were a couple of other bloggers in the room as well as two guys handing out these buttons called "The Kiss". As soon as I saw them, I knew I had to hang with these guys...they were fucking nuts and I knew as long as I hung with these two guys, there would be PLENTY of things to report on...plenty.

I'll never forget meeting Ned for the first time and introducing myself and before I could get the name of my blog out of my mouth, Ned says "how did I do up there? Do think I was okay?" Puzzled that his first words to me owuld be somehting like that, I simply said this to him, "Ned, if you keep talking from the heart like that and be yourself, you're going to be just fine" at which point he smiled and I told him about my blog and promised him that he would see more of me pointing a camcorder in his face.

The rest is history.

I came home and came up with the bright idea of pouring my video into my Tivo and downloading the video to my computer. I had to cut the video into really small clips and compress the video down as small as possible so I could post it on my small FTP server. No longer did I have to write about something, I could let the video tell the story and who better to practice this new thing called "videoblogging" with than Ned Lamont (a person NO ONE KNEW).

Blah, blah, blah, enough of me already! This should be more about Ned but I left that I needed to explain how all this videoblogging in Connecticut (if not the nation) really started. It's still funny that this whole adventure started with me thinking twice and bringing my camcorder along with me on that cold winter’s day in January. Maybe I made a difference in the way people view blogs with the incorporation of video but whatever, I'm still poor so what the fuck. Anyway, you guys are here to see the video and there are plenty of more video moments that I’ll talk about later.

Here, for the first time, is my first raw video recording of Ned Lamont in New Haven dated Jan 21, 2006. WARNING: The video clip last twenty-four minutes but I encourage you to watch the clip as you can sense the intense dissatisfaction towards Lieberman.


1. I had no idea how to use this camcorder I was dealing with at the time so the time stamp you see if wrong.

2. This is totally raw footage as I want everyone to see the event as it really happened. Even back then, there was this intense feeling that you were witnessing something special, the only problem was that the general public was unaware of this yet. The edit at the beginning of the clip was due to me pressing the pause button by mistake when trying to set up the camera.

3. You'll notice at the beginning of the video the very moment when I decided that it was better to videotape then take pictures (when I grab the camcorder off the floor) but, as the camera is on the floor, listen closely to what Ned says when he talks about Iraq. You'll notice something...HE HAS NEVER CHANGED HIS OPINION ABOUT IRAQ OR HIS PLAN ABOUT RE-DEPLOYMENT although Lieberman's dishonest campaign would have you to think otherwise.

Enjoy (and don't laugh at the bad camera work, I got better with time!) If you're smart, you'll notice many of the other bloggers in the room as well as many people who attended the event before they became a part of Lamont's campaign.

You can see all the photos from that day by clicking here.