It is fair to say that challenger Ned Lamont’s dramatic victory yesterday over incumbent Senator Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary pivoted almost entirely on the war in Iraq — an issue that has dogged Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell throughout her reelection campaign. But it may come as a surprise to anti-war Democrats — and perhaps to Sen. Cantwell herself — to learn that she and Lamont essentially share almost identical positions on the war.
In speaking about Iraq, Lamont has firmly argued that “America should make clear that we have no designs upon their oil and no plans for permanent bases.” Sen. Cantwell co-sponsored an amendment on this exact issue, helping to push passage through the U.S. Senate.
Lamont believes that “Our best chance of success requires that the Iraqis take control of their own destiny.” In supporting the Levin-Reed Amendment Sen. Cantwell stated that it would “encourage the Iraqis to take complete control of their own future.”
And throughout his campaign Lamont has argued that it is time for us to “change course” and bring the troops home. In a letter to President Bush sent on August 4, Sen. Cantwell twice told the president that we must “change course” to help the Iraqis find a political solution and take over its own security.
I know many Democrats who cite Sen. Cantwell’s vote to authorize the war along with her refusal to vocally criticize the President in its aftermath, as the primary reason they can offer her only grudging support at best. And yet both she and Lamont — who earned the enthusiastic support of anti-war Democrats in yesterday’s primary — apparently share the same position on what to do about the war now.
Just thought you all might want to know.
Not much of a surprise, but Sen. Cantwell has endorsed Lamont:
“I congratulate Ned Lamont on his victory last night. I respect the decision of the Connecticut Democrats in choosing their nominee and I will support him.”