Pubdate: Mon, 15 Dec 2003
Source: Concord Monitor (NH)
Copyright: 2003 Monitor Publishing Company
Author: Holly Ramer
Note:  Comments on medical marijuana toward end of article.


Senator Says Dean Cannot Win Against Bush

MANCHESTER - Declaring himself "energized and raring to go," Democratic 
presidential candidate Joe Lieberman took on rival Howard Dean yesterday, 
suggesting that his rival is confusing excitement with electability.

The Connecticut senator said Dean would return the Democratic Party to the 
days before the Clinton administration "when we had a lot of people in our 
base who were excited but weren't winning elections."

Lieberman said he admires the way Dean has brought new activists into the 
party. But he said the former Vermont governor's claim to represent the 
"Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" won't be enough to beat President 

"The Democratic bird doesn't fly with one wing. It needs all its wings," he 

Lieberman spoke after filming a 30-minute town-hall meeting that will air 
tomorrow on WMUR-TV. Several Democratic presidential candidates are buying 
blocks of airtime to speak at length on a range of issues, something they 
can't do in 30-second spots and debates involving all nine candidates.

For Lieberman, appealing directly to undecided voters became all the more 
important after former Vice President Al Gore's surprise endorsement of 
Dean on Tuesday.

"This was scheduled before the events of this week, but it fits right into 
my reaction and the people's reaction," Lieberman said. "We're going to 
take it to the people."

Lieberman, Gore's running mate in 2000, alluded to the endorsement earlier 
after listening to a woman describe how her daughter's struggle with 
diabetes propelled her into advocating for a cure.

"Don't ever make a mom mad," she said.

"Don't ever make a candidate mad - he gets determined," Lieberman added.

That sentiment was shared by at least one member of the television 
audience. Bob Bournival, a retired transit driver from Bedford, told 
Lieberman he was angry about the endorsement and wanted to learn more about 
his campaign.

"Joe Lieberman worked his rear end off trying to get Al Gore elected," 
Bournival said after the filming.

The extended commercial also featured questions on prescription drugs, 
environment, education and medical use of marijuana.

The latter question came not from an undecided voter but from a volunteer 
for a pro-medical marijuana group who had confronted the candidate several 
times before.

Lieberman said he doesn't support legalizing the drug but believes it its 
"humane and sensible" to allow limited, doctor-supervised use of it to 
treat medical conditions when other options don't work. He also said drug 
enforcement agents should enforce the law but not aggressively target 
medical users.

"Cracking down on sick people . . . that would not be a priority," he said.

Lieberman reminded the audience that New Hampshire voters "have made a 
tradition of knocking down predictions," then offered one of his own.

"I feel energized and raring to go," he said.

"I feel something building up, and with your help, it's going to build up 
to a surprise in New Hampshire."
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