Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Lieberman Takes the Fall

The fallout from Sen. Joe Lieberman's announcement that he was collecting signatures for a possible independent run should he lose the August primary continues.

The Journal-Inquirer Keith Burris had this to say:
Democratic primary voters in this state hate the war. They want to vote for something else. They want choice and change.

Joe Lieberman and his party are at odds.

So how does Joe deal with that?

Well, his operatives say these Democrats are radical and extreme. And Joe says Democratic primary voters are not the majority of the state. He says, "I'm asking Democrats ... to consider my total record."

In other words: FORGET THE WAR. I NEED TO KEEP THIS JOB.

But we can't forget the war. The war is the issue. (Burris)

Worse for Lieberman, his friend and colleague Sen. Hillary Clinton announced yesterday that she would support the winner of the primary, even if that happened to be Ned Lamont.
"I've known Joe Lieberman for more than thirty years. I have been pleased to support him in his campaign for re-election, and hope that he is our party's nominee," the former first lady said in a statement issued by aides.

"But I want to be clear that I will support the nominee chosen by Connecticut Democrats in their primary," the New York Democrat added. "I believe in the Democratic Party, and I believe we must honor the decisions made by Democratic primary voters." (AP)

This is especially bad for Lieberman, considering how close he and Clinton are on many issues--including the war. Now there are unconfirmed reports that the DSCC is going to support the primary winner, too.

The news for Lieberman hasn't all been bad, of course. He still has some diehard supporters:
State House Speaker James A. Amann, D-Milford, said he is backing Lieberman in the primary and will back him if he runs as an independent. "I'm aggravated that some guy named Ned . . . is trying to buy himself a U.S. Senate seat," said Amann. (Hladky)

But Amann has been mostly alone. All of the sudden, it seems like there's a rush among Democrats to distance themselves from Joe Lieberman. Even if he wins in August or November, his stature will never be the same.

Sources

"Sen. Clinton: Lieberman on own if he loses Dem primary." Associated Press 5 July, 2006.

Burris, Keith. "There are times when politics is more than a game." Journal-Inquirer 4 July, 2006.

Hladky, Gregory and Mary O'Leary. "Independent's Day." Middletown Press 4 July, 2006.

39 comments:

Wolcottboy said...

Enter:
Alan Schlesinger was seen on Channel 8 today talking about how the door has opened for him as the Democrats sling it out. Schlesinger says he will unveil an ad later this week poking fun at both Lieberman and Lamont.

Back on topic, I think that this "Democratic Party above all" attitude by Clinton a few others who will only endorse the primary nominee is hugely pompous.

Kudos to those Democrats that support one candidate for the other for reasons besides partydom. At least they show some resolve that the party should stand for something and have direction it needs now.

Anonymous said...

State & National Democrats are turning against Joe Liberman. They are all saying they will back Ned if he wins the primary. A bad primary loss and Joe is history.

How long before State Republican Chairman George Gallo and Senator Lieberman meet for lunch. What do you think they will talk about?

(R) Joe Lieberman
(D) Ned Lamont

dumbruss said...

If Lieberman loses the Dem. primary, he will not be able to run as a Republican or as a "Petitioning Democrat." Maybe he'll strike up some deal with the Republican party, whereby they endorse him as an independent over Schlesinger, but I highly doubt that.

Don Pesci said...

Well now, Hillary Clinton has taken out an insurance policy; she does not want to rise to the top of Daily Kos’ enemy list.

I think it is possible to quarrel with the notion that the United States has lost the war in Iraq; it certainly hasn’t won it. But there is a grave danger in applying to this war an analysis that belongs to an earlier Viet Nam war. Islamic terrorists are not Vietnamese. The Vietnamese would not and could not have destroyed the World Trade Center in New York. This war is different, and it requires a different response.

As for Lieberman, too often in politics we are unwilling to tip our hats to our opponents. Those who say that that senator Lieberman is a man without principle – the furious spittle spewing Kossaks – are just wrong. A man of no principles would have quickly abandoned his position under fire; Lieberman has not done this. If he goes down, he will do so precisely because he has principles to defend.

Don Pesci said...

Well now, Hillary Clinton has taken out an insurance policy; she does not want to rise to the top of Daily Kos’ enemy list.

I think it is possible to quarrel with the notion that the United States has lost the war in Iraq; it certainly hasn’t won it. But there is a grave danger in applying to this war an analysis that belongs to an earlier Viet Nam war. Islamic terrorists are not Vietnamese. The Vietnamese would not and could not have destroyed the World Trade Center in New York. This war is different, and it requires a different response.

As for Lieberman, too often in politics we are unwilling to tip our hats to our opponents. Those who say that that senator Lieberman is a man without principle – the furious spittle spewing Kossaks – are just wrong. A man of no principles would have quickly abandoned his position under fire; Lieberman has not done this. If he goes down, he will do so precisely because he has principles to defend.

Anonymous said...

Lieberman can accept the endorsement from the Republicans if Schlessenger steps aside.

Anonymous said...

"The Vietnamese would not and could not have destroyed the World Trade Center in New York."

True. As it happens, however, the Iraqis didn't destroy the World Trade Center either. That would be Osama bin Laden and his thugs, who Bush (and Lieberman) seem to have completely forgotten about (to the point that the CIA has even disbanded the team assigned to capture bin Laden).

So much for "dead or alive".

Conn-Tiki said...

What a cowardly strategy this is. Rather than running as a full-bore Democrat (as Lieberman's earlier dissing of Lamont's Democratic credentials might infer, or his invocation of his decades-long membership in the party), or as a principled independent, striking out his own ideological terrain, Lieberman is instead trying to have it both ways.

The fact remains, the Democratic party machine is necessary, to combat the Republican one. And the Republican one works better. If we lived in a world where there were reasonable men of all stripes along the spectrum of the parties, then we wouldn't have a problem, and we'd be able to vote for "the individual, not the party." But we don't. Parties matter. That's why party organization is important.

And Lieberman, by essentially telling Connecticut Democrats, "I love you unless you don't love me," is threatening to split the Democratic/liberal vote, and hand the election to whatever Republican runs.

In general, I don't make arguments *for* big machine politics, on anything more than a descriptive/strategic level, but in a case where Congress is *so* closely divided, and the Presidency so rampantly out of control, it's important to keep party mechanics in mind. And Lieberman is upsetting that apple cart, all in the name of keeping himself in Washington.

BRubenstein said...

First....Joementum has 2 choices on how he is on the ballot in November...as a individual or as a 3rd party...the choice effects his ballot position...and he must state his choice to the SOTS when his staff picks up the petitions..an event i think in a few days..

Forget Schlesinger pulling out so Joementum can be the endorsed Republican...His campaign manager ( dick foley) is far too experienced and Schlesinger is far to greedy for the position to do that..and he does have a chance to win..

My guess is..Joementum runs as a Dem for the primary to eat up the 6 million in the bank he has ( and to bleed Lamont) and just before the primary( with bad polling numbers) he holds a press conference and drops off the ballot ( why take a loss heading into November if you can avoid it)..by saying he wants " all the people to judge him,not just "leftist weirdo's" like me.

Weicker Liker said...

U.S. Senate candidate Ned Lamont says he's prepared to spend another $1 million or more of his own money
before next month's primary.

Weicker Liker said...

This just in from the AP...


U.S. Senate candidate Ned Lamont sayshe's prepared to spend another $1 million or more of his own money
before next month's primary.

BRubenstein said...

Conn-Tiki..Lieberman would split the conservative vote..not the liberal vote...he has been judged by the liberals as " unfit for office" .thats one of the many reasons why Lamont is doing so well

disgruntled_republican said...

BR is right...

He would split in that he won't split the Liberal vote...he will have an impact on the conservative vote and should be part of a 3 way split of the middle of the road.

To be honest, I think when all the dust settles, we will have either Senator Lamont (I hope not) or Senator Schlesinger but certainly not Lieberman...just the way I see it

PRrag said...

I think we can't underestimate the 5th district as well as the senate seat:

http://www.prrag.com/2006/06/conn-5th-district-seemingly.html

Anonymous said...

Lieberman doesn't split the Conservative vote, either. He splits the independent/moderate vote. And I have to assume that Gallo will aproach Scleshinger and request he have a change of heart. This opportunity is too ripe for the R's to rely on some unknown from Derby. As for Dick Foley, he will get taken care of - he will either work for the higher profile candidate or NOT work, but be paid as a consultant. Foley is smart, smart enough to know this is the one shot in a generation for the Republicans to take back that seat.

cgg said...

Ned's honeymoon period with the media can't last forever, but every time I think it's peaked Lieberman does something to extend it. You could almost make a case that the Lieberman campaign has done more to get Lamont's name out there than his own campaign has.

Conn-Tiki said...

BR,

The idea that the liberal vote is a monolithic bloc which has "decided" Senator Lieberman unfit for office is not one that I agree with.

I agree that the thus-far-successful Lamont primary candidacy makes it *appear* that way, but Lamont's success has so far been in limited, interested categories - the state nominating convention, politically-involved bloggers, people who pay attention to politics, etc. As you get out into less-engaged segments of the population (i.e., after the party primaries in August), I think the dynamics will probably shift towards the incumbent a bit. Should Lieberman run as an independent (or "petitioning Democrat" as he puts it in his letter to supporters), his historical association with the party will, in my opinion, split resources from the Democratic candidate, and have the effect of forcing liberals to choose between their party's candiate or the incumbent (presuming that they would not vote for the Republican candidate). It's the same thing that happened to George H.W. Bush in 1992, with Ross Perot.

BRubenstein said...

Anonymous...please...politicians if not anything are self-serving....Schlesinger isnt going to leave when he has a decent chance to win...he is in the classic connecticut Republican mold...hard conservative on money and alittle "softer" conservative on social issues...frankly his numbers will go up after august 8th...and then we will have a real dogfight.

If you would care to make a wager on it anonymous..( i will take the position that Schlesinger stays) ..let me know.

BRubenstein said...

CGG...When Joementum announced his bificated strategy id bet Lamonts numbers now will improve even more...the party backbone ( mayor's..elected official..town chairs..etc) dont like a democrat who tries to have " it" all ways..

ctblogger said...

PRrag,

You correct, keep your eye on the race in the 5th.

cgg,

You hit the nail. Joe was is own worse enemy in regards to this entire campaign from day one.

Let's recap:

1. Joe refuses to take Ned seriously.

2. Joe refuses to support the winner of the primary (Windsor meeting),

3. Joe quickly taking the low road and accusing Ned of being a Republican (then calling him a far left liberal).

4. Joe airing his infamous (and ill-advised) bear ad.

5. Joe's staff doing really silly things in regards with communicating with the media (oh, please don't get me started there).

6. Joe cutting and running from the Democratic Party.

Each time Joe did one of the above things, Ned received more attention, his "don't know enough about Lamont" poll numbers went down and , Joe's approval numebrs took a nose dive.

In my opinion, the only question now is when Joe loses the primary, how bad will the loss be for Joe. If he gets killed, he's toast. If he loses by a small margin, he's still in trouble becausse he'll be all alone and Lamont will be in the national spotlight.

My two cents.

CC said...

PRRag: GREAT post on the Fifth District race between Murphy (D) and Johnson (Inc. - R). Everyone should read it. As I've stated in the past, it's Democrat candidates like Murphy that have probably suffered the most by the Lamont candidacy. If not for that story the media would be focusing on campaigns like Murphy's.

On an unrelated note, please check out my blog (ConnCon, linked at the right of this website) for a recent post on the Lieberman/Lamont race.

CC said...

PRRag: GREAT post on the Fifth District race between Murphy (D) and Johnson (Inc. - R). Everyone should read it. As I've stated in the past, it's Democrat candidates like Murphy that have probably suffered the most by the Lamont candidacy. If not for that story the media would be focusing on campaigns like Murphy's.

On an unrelated note, please check out my blog (ConnCon, linked at the right of this website) for a recent post on the Lieberman/Lamont race.

Don Pesci said...

Annon

“…the Iraqis didn't destroy the World Trade Center either. That would be Osama bin Laden and his thugs…”

Islamic terrorism, fueled by religious fervor, is transnational. It does not matter where you choose top confront it militarily. What matters is whether or not you prevail. If you do not prevail, it will be unrelenting in its attempt to crush what we in the West consider the fruits of the Enlightenment – including your rights, privileges and immunities under Western law. The war this time is different than Viet Nam because the nature of the enemy is different. By the way, Al-Qaida’s man in Iraq, al-Zarqawi, directly connected with Osama BinLaden, was not an Iraqi; he had established himself in Iraq prior to the invasion of American troops with, one must suppose, the concurrence of Sadaam Hussein.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I'm a bit unclear on the way the CT Democrats work, but in NY the Democrats regularly seek endorsement on other party lines. In 2000 Hillary Clinton ran on the Liberal party and the Working Families line. In 2004 Chuck Schumer ran on the Working Families and Independence party lines.

I suppose had either been surprised in their Dem primary they would have let the voters of the Empire State decide whether to keep them on, ala Jacob Javits after losing in 1980 to Al D'Amato.

This all makes Hillary;'s recent "Democrat or else" pitch seem a bit self-serving. She didn't limit herself to the Dem line, now did she?

Great Santini said...

Fascinating. The Democrats don't really hate the war - they hate George Bush. And to show their all-consuming hatred of Bush, they're more than willing to throw a life-long liberal Democrat, disciple of JFK, Freedom Rider, pro-labor, pro-inclusion, pro-choice, loyal party member onto the train tracks in front of a speeding bullet train. Why? Well, for committing the unpardonable sin of supporting the war to take out a brutal dictator who had used WMD in the past and would undoubtedly use them again. Campaigns based on hate rarely succeed.

cgg said...

Anon 7:47:
CT doesn't work like NY. In NY any party who recived x number of votes in the last election (80,000 I think) can have a candidate on the ballot. Smaller parties can run their own candidates or they can throw their support behind someone running from another party. They can also endorse someone before the primary to throw weight behind their campaign such as when the NY Liberal Party backed Alan Hevesi for Mayor in 2001.

Anyone running in NY has to seek support from several parties with varying interests. Smaller parties have played a huge role in many recent NY elections such as when the Liberal Party backed Rudy Giuliani.

Lieberman isn't looking to be on the ballot multiple times, but once. Should he lose the primary he still wants on the ballot in November, thereby ignoring the will of his own party and the entire primary system. Apples and Oranged.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Anonymous said... " Foley is smart..

Really?

What recent campaign has he run that was a winner?

aninimity breeds contemp said...

Re; Lieberman painting Lamont as a Republican - let's not forget that Lamontt gave money to old Joe before he threw his hat in the ring.

Also, BDRuben - why do you proposition a bet in virtually every thread?

I think you might have a gambling problem. Might want to get that checked out.

Anonymous said...

so hedging your bets is Ok in NY for the Dems but not in CT, is this some unwriten Yankee custom now being enforced just against Joe Lieberman???it sure looks it?

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

BRubenstein said... "
....Schlesinger ..he is in the classic connecticut Republican mold...hard conservative on money and alittle "softer" conservative on social issues
"

You do get it don't you?

Alan will be the 1st Republican I've voted for instead of Joe since we used him to knock out that @#$%^#@ Weicker back in `88.

I knew the next two too; so voting for Joe was easy.

This time we're running an actual credible candidate, one with a decent track record and a nice guy to boot.

I suspect most (over 90%) Republicans will vote for Alan and that should give him a base of around 30% (+/-) of the vote right there.

Lamont scares the daylights out of moderates and conservatives; or will once Schlesinger's ads hit.

Thinking Joe's a goner (looks like he might be) those people will opt for Alan.

Then after we count all the hanging chads and Lamont complains that the good people of Greenwich didn't understand the butterfly ballot the Supremes (staring Diana Ross) will finally decide the winner.

Al Gore will be on hand to complain regardless of how it all works out.

BRubenstein said...

Conn-Tiki...i respectfully disagree...if Joementum loses the primary( and i dont agree he will even stay in the race that long)..he will lose...the loss will set in motion a feeling among the party elite to back the candidate...only the disgruntled dem conservatives and others will follow Joe like lemmings..

The "less engaged segments include anti-war folks who arent dems....and others that Lamont cam attract if he shifts gears enough..

I still maintain that the party liberals have made their choice and will support Lamont...leaving Joe little to do except go for the less engaged conservatives..

Anonymous said...

BRubenstein pointed to Lamont's politcal strength and policy weakness in one line

"Lamont cam attract if he shifts gears enough.."

I suppose it is very easy for an empty suit to change its stripes....

goodbye antiwar activist, hello Greenwich tightwad

I suppose the ability of Lamont to pull this stunt off is based heavily on the incompetence of the surfer from San Diego Lieberman hired to run his campaign

BRubenstein said...

ACR ..i get it and agree that Schlesinger will be tougher to beat then what the posters here have said...your party votes in higher %'s then mine and is more homogenous then mine....and once your classic republican's see he is within your classic conservative mainstream they will solidify around him...

If Lamont wins the debate tonight ( i hope so)...it will be to show the voters that he is much more then a 1 issue candidate...the next poll may well have Joementum losing to Lamont.

Ive already posted the numbers in this promising classic 3 way wrestling match.

BRubenstein said...

Aninimity...TY for the advise..i gamble with othr people's money every day...

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

BRubenstein said... "
your party votes in higher %'s then mine and is more homogenous then mine....


Most Dems never figure that out.

"will solidify around him..."

Just like so many ran from Weicker in `88 once Dick Bozzuto gave Lieberman his blessing. (Come to think of it, Dick never told us to stop voting for Lieberman, I assume we can take care of that at some point.)

Alan Schlesinger is clearly the best man (he is in fact a good man by anyone's definition) we've fielded for that seat in over 30 years.

Good on the stump too, tall good looking, quite GQ in appearance and answers hard ball questions quickly - and from a moderate standpoint, correctly as well. Carrys himself in an almost Reagan-like fashion.

No primadona, his cell number is on everything and he answers himself; quick on call backs too.

He is the perfect Republican candidate.

Gabe said...

ACR - How high is this clearly the best man ... we've fielded for that seat bar, when the last guy fielded for that seat got busted for child molestation in the middle of a corruption investigation.

I am feeling snarky today...

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Gabe -

As opposed to cross posting (which certainly beats cross dressing doesn't it?) I'd direct you to my comment on another blog; and a rather good one at that, operated by a Rabbi that refuses to even let me buy him a coffee (I think he really hates Republicans or is afraid we'll try to convert him)



"The Radical Middle": Jay Sounds Off: The Courant gets it right re. Lieberman's petitions.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Gabe said... "
How high is this clearly the best man ...
"

We ran the darling of the lunatic set, Weicker several times; then Dr. Labriola, who by most accounts is a good man (I'm an old Bozzuto guy so I voted for Joe that year too) and then the former mayor.

Considering people such as then Senator Steve Somma made it clear to my wife and I the night of the Dole debate in Hartford that there was "something wrong" with Giordano....(just couldn't put his finger on it); we both voted for Leiberman when that race came up 2 years later.

Dems however confuse protest votes with support; I doubt many Republicans have ever actually supported Leiberman; he's just looked better to many of us than what we happened to be running that year.

This year that is not the case.

conn-Tiki said...

BR,

I can't say that I disagree with what you say that much, really.