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John Edwards (pictured) said while U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman truly believes what he believes, there are some very big issues where “his belief system is out of whack.” And “I mean on much more than the war,” he said at an informal session with bloggers before a rally in New Haven Thursday.Edwards said America is looking for leaders who are “honest, authentic and real.” He said the public is looking for “somebody’s” they can trust, and that’s a message that “resonates across party lines.“The former 2004 vice presidential candidate visited the Elm City to stump for US Senate candidate Ned Lamont.

Edwards may also have been stumping himself, as he tried out this new brand of honesty on the crowd Thursday. “I voted for this war. I was wrong,” Edwards, said. “I should not have voted for this war and I take responsibility for that.“Lieberman has been unapologetic for the war in Iraq and Connecticut Democrats weren’t willing to let him get away with it last Tuesday when he was defeated by about 10,000 votes. Even before the primary Democratic Town Committees across the state were asking Lieberman to change his position on the war. vertical stageChristine Stuart photo
In the weeks leading up to the primary Lieberman held press conferences to remind residents how much money he had brought back from Washington DC over the years. But, everyone still wanted to know about the war. They had forgotten he was Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, they had forgotten he was a civil rights activist, they had forgotten what he had done for the state because he had forgotten the people who elected him as he traveled the country a vice-presidential candidate. Edwards, who is thinking about a run for president in 2008, said the country doesn’t need politicians, it needs leaders and “the leaders we’ve been waiting for are us.” He said it’s “what we do together that matters.”  Lamont walked away victorious amongst Democratic voters last week, but the question becomes how well does his message resonate with Republicans and unaffiliated voters in a general election? A recent Quinnipiac University poll on the race showed Lieberman in a three-way race ahead of Lamont by 11 points.  Does he have to change his message to reach out to Republicans and unaffiliated voters?“I don’t think Ned’s message has to change,” Lamont campaign manager, Tom Swan, said. He said as Lamont is introduced to constituencies across the state he’s “changing the status Joe.” ed ned 003Christine Stuart photo
Click here to read the New Haven Independent article from the rally. And click here to read Michele Bair’s perspective and see some of the interviews she did with the audience. Bair has been following Edwards around the East Coast and is not with a campaign or the media.