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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ned Lamont does The Colbert Report

Watch the interview everyone is talking about.

(hat tip to C&L)
UPDATE: The reviews are in...
Politicians who try to mix it up with Colbert in his off-kilter broadcast world frequently look silly or worse, two unattractive options for a Senate candidate just eight days before a too-close-to-call Democratic primary with Connecticut's three-term senator, Joseph I. Lieberman.

But Lamont's campaign has taken odd turns before, so shortly before 7 p.m., it turned left on West 54th St., where, waiting, was a small, young studio audience - and a TV audience of more than 1 million people, generally ages 18 to 34.

What exactly was the media strategy?

"It's another chance to engage and excite young voters," said Tom Swan, Lamont's campaign manager, who chewed gum like an expectant father.


Lamont was scheduled for the last segment, but he and most of his posse headed into the studio to watch. Hillsman opted to watch on a monitor. Nodding at the TV, he said, "This is reality."

After a hilarious bit at the expense of Mel Gibson, the actor trying to explain a DUI arrest and an anti-Semitic outburst, it was time for Lamont.

"Mr. Lamont, thanks for coming on. Brave man," Colbert said. Then, he deadpanned, "Have you come on to announce you are dropping out?"

Lamont smiled and said he was in the race to stay.

"You're only up by four points in the polls," Colbert said.

Lamont asked for help from Colbert and his audience to get across the finish line.

"I'm not sure if I can give you my help, sir." Colbert said. "You just got the endorsement of The New York Times. OK, you know they are destroying America. You know that newspaper is destroying America, correct?"

"It was a well-written, articulate analysis of the issues, and I think they came to the proper conclusion," Lamont said.

"Really?" Colbert said.

"What do you think?" Lamont asked.

"I don't know. I just met you, sir," Colbert said. "Let's find out. What have you got against Joe Lieberman. He's my kind of Democrat. What's your beef with him?"

"I think George Bush is driving this country into a ditch, and if Joe Lieberman won't challenge him, I will. I think it's time for the Democrats to stand up and ..."

The audience drowned out the rest of his answer with cheers.
Not a bad start for Lamont...and it gets better.
In the studio, Lamont seemed relaxed - even when Colbert teased that Lamont's campaign would collapse if the war turned around in the next eight days.

He left to applause.

Campaign manager Swan walked out smiling and gave a thumb's up.

Lamont's driver Bradley muttered, "That was nerve-racking."

Lamont hugged his wife, accepted congratulations from the Colbert staff for generating the most applause in memory. Then he was standing on West 54th.

Before he could relax, another door burst open and the audience spilled into the muggy night air. A pretty, dark-haired woman did a double-take at seeing the guest on the street.

"You did a great job. He can be tough," she said.

"Lieberman is terrible," said a bearded young man.

"Can I get your picture?" asked another young man.

Annie Lamont watched an ad hoc receiving line form in front of her husband. She shook her head and smiled.