I just got home and was stunned to read this terrible news. Though saramerica has already posted on the matter, I feel I have something worthwhile to add. Professor John Orman ought to be an inspiring figure to all who seek to reaffirm the impact of the individual citizen on the political process. Professor Orman, whether you agree with his positions or not, was the first quiet and persistent voice in what became a state-wide movement to defeat Senator Joe Lieberman. At a time when the Senator enjoyed incredible approval ratings, unanimous support from State Central, an enormous war chest, and countless other advantages, Professor Orman provided the template for overcoming these advantages simply by refusing to pipe down.
Managing political obstinance while maintaining a twinkle in the eye is as difficult as it is essential for any activist, yet this seemed to come effortlessly to Professor Orman. His good humor, razor wit, and infectious intellect struck me from the very first time I met him. When I was even younger than I am now–16 or so–he seemed easily approachable and effortlessly ebullient. His confidence was catching. He made you feel as though you and he were on the same level of the political food chain because, well, at least in relation to Joe Lieberman, you were. He and others I met during the Lamont campaign came to represent for me all that was good and possible in politics. I will be eternally grateful to him and them for my start. Professor John Orman will be profoundly missed.