Yesterday, President Clinton came to Connecticut to stump — it would appear, reluctantly — for Uncle Joe.
The choice of Waterbury for a venue would seem significant. It was in that Democrat-ridden city on November 6, 1960, that more than 40,000 people waited on the Green until 3 AM for (candidate) John F. Kennedy to make a brief campaign stop on his way back to Boston. Stunned by the size of the early morning crowd, Kennedy said:
My debt to Connecticut is great, and I come here in the last 48 hours of this campaign to the greatest rally that we have had in this entire campaign, right here in this city.
Anyway, New England has not had a Democratic President since Franklin Pierce, 104 years ago, and I think it is about time! [Applause]
I promised the mayor that I would have you all in bed by three. [Response from the audience.] I want to just say, and I mean it: No.1, this is the biggest crowd we have had in a city of this size in the United States; No.2, it is not 12 o’clock, it is 3 o’clock in the morning. [Applause.] And I must say every day I keep reading the Vice President [Nixon] says the tide is suddenly going in his direction. [Response from the audience.] Well, I think the tide is rising in Connecticut that is just going to wash him all the way out. [Applause.]
Alas, Big Dog Clinton couldn’t conjure up any of that Kennedy magic for Joe Lieberman. It’s amazing that the senator — his party’s nominee for the Vice Presidency in 2000 — and, previously, an enormously popular Connecticut politician in his own right has fallen so far…so fast. The primary challenge from Ned Lamont has really taken it out of him. He looks exhausted and he’s aged well beyond his years.
Times change… Insurmountable popularity one day; kicked to the curb the next. And the times have certainly changed for the country and the Democratic party since JFK made his famous campaign stop in Waterbury. In 1960, if you wanted to attend the Kennedy rally you put on your woolens, poured some coffee in a thermos and froze your arse off on the Green until 3:00 AM.
If you wanted to go to the Clinton event yesterday, you had to submit your Social Security number to rally organizers and hope you passed the background check.
God, I miss America…
Look Who’s Talking – George Bush or Joe Lieberman?