Democrats don’t always agree, but it’s because their politics are based on philosophy, not ideology, State Senator Jonathan Harris D-West Hartford said Monday summarizing former president Bill Clinton’s speech at a rally for U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman. Lieberman is facing a fierce challenge from Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont, who had a 51 – 47 percent lead over Lieberman in the latest Quinnipiac University poll. Harris a Lieberman supporter said he doesn’t agree with Lieberman on the war, but has taken a step back and looked at his entire record. “I think right now people have to go out and make the case to unite the party,” Harris said.
So how does a politician handle himself when his principles come into conflict with those of his constituency?There comes a time in every politicians career when he or she is asked to cast a vote based on their principles, Harris said. Maybe it’s the War in Iraq or maybe it’s civil unions. “It’s a gut check,” Harris said. He said as a public official he is always weighing public opinion and his own principles. He said some of his constituents may have been against civil unions, but as a matter of principle he would have been hard pressed to vote against it. His advice to Lieberman: “Go out and meet as many people as he can and explain his entire record.” He said this campaign won’t be won through mass media or slick advertisements, but one voter at a time.