"If you're disappointed with the ugly tone of our politics, if you're fed up with the nasty partisanship in Washington, then I ask your help too," said Lieberman, looking into the television cameras.
Lieberman called on Americans to visit his Web site and send ideas "on how we can build this new politics of unity and purpose." He also hit them up for campaign contributions.(AP)
What is he up to? Suddenly, this isn't even remotely about Connecticut anymore, is it? It isn't about Joe clinging desperately to a single Senate seat.
This is about the White House.
Joe Lieberman was a few hundred votes from becoming Vice President in 2000, and ran for his party's presidential nomination in 2004. He believes he ought to be President of the United States--and now he's hit on a way to get himself there.
"I'm looking for people from outside of Connecticut to help me with their support, by coming to Connecticut to help, and by contributing money if they want," Lieberman said Thursday. "This is saying to a lot of people across the country, who I know are as fed up as I am with the partisanship in Washington that stops our government from doing anything about the big problems that average people face." (AP)
He's trying to start a national campaign against "partisanship," which he has on many occasions helped to fan the flames of (remember his attacks on Wesley Clark for being too recent a Democrat?), and he's enlisting the support of people from all across the country. To what end? First and foremost, he wants to win his seat back. But then what? If he can manage to defeat Lamont, he will spin his victory as moderation triumphing over extremism, the center defeating the fringe. The public will take notice.
Lieberman is a long way from winning his party's nomination. In fact, he will probably never be able to win a Democratic primary. But he may be exactly who these guys are looking for:
For most of the 20th Century, the contest for the U.S. presidency was waged over those “in the middle.” Recent Presidential elections, however, have not been focused on the middle but on the turnout of each party’s special interest groups – with each party’s “base” representing barely ten percent of the American people.
We believe that, while the leaders of both major parties are well intentioned people, they are trapped in a flawed system – and that the two major parties are today simply neither relevant to the issues and challenges of the 21st Century nor effective in addressing them.
As a result, most Americans have not been enthusiastic about the choices for President in recent elections, the key issues they ran on, or the manner in which the campaigns were conducted.
Therefore Unity08 will act to assure that an alternative ticket is presented to the American voters in 2008.
Imagine that the choices for president in 2008 are John Edwards, George Allen... and Joe Lieberman. How far out of the question is it?
He's starting now. He is trying to appeal to all Americans, not just to people from Connecticut. His message is a simple one: enough partisan bickering. It could wind up being very compelling. If he's successful in getting past Lamont... the sky may be the limit for Lieberman.
"Lieberman looks outside state for help with independent run." Associated Press 12 August, 2006.
Our Beliefs, Our Goals & Why We'll Succeed." Unity08. http://www.unity08.com/believe, accessed 12 August 2006.