Disclosure: I worked for the Lamont campaign doing web design and production and some writing for the official blog (from 9/5/06 to 11/07/06).

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Lieberman Nostalgic for The Old Days

When candidates in Connecticut didn't have to deal with inconvenient things like elections:

In an interview, Lieberman sounded a note of nostalgia for the old days. "John Bailey genuinely believed that primaries were not only divisive but often didn't pass the ultimate test of finding the candidate who could win," he said. If Bailey were alive, his attitude would be, "We have an incumbent senator who is quite popular in the state; we have an opportunity to elect three Democratic congressional challengers; we have a very tough race for governor. Why would we want to challenge an incumbent senator who could lead the other candidates to victory?"

It's amazing how much this man whines about having to make his case to the voters of Connecticut. You'd think he was the first incumbent ever to face a primary challenge.

The Broder article contains some other great bits, such as Lieberman talking about facing a primary challenge "from the left":

"I didn't know who the challenger would be, but I felt there was a very good possibility this would happen," he said. "I told people at my fundraisers last year there could well be a challenge from the left of the party...

This, of course, on the same day he released a painfully bad commercial calling Ned Lamont a Republican.

And while he may stay in the party until the day of the debate on July 6th, it certainly sounds like this is a man planning on bolting soon thereafter if things don't turn around for him:

He says he knows of no effort to gather signatures now. But he also says, "I want to put my whole record before the whole voting population of Connecticut" -- clearly implying an independent run if he loses to Lamont in August.

Poor Joe. He's lost every real campaign he's had to run since 1988... first 2000, then 2004. Now he's going to cut and run from a race in 2006 where he had all of the advantages in the world.

He's just not up to the fight anymore.

No wonder the old days are starting to look so good to him.
You've made a good point with the parts quoted from the article, but that was far from the point Broder was trying to make. His article was really intended as a favor to Joe:

Lamont supporters are anti-war. Period. Their problem with him is the war.

The bar for a challenger to earn a runoff in Connecticut has been lowered so that someone "who can garner even 15 percent of the convention vote" can earn a runoff. He's implying it's a low bar when in fact it's the referendum option - outside of the party's control - that's the new feature (which of course, Ned didn't need).

Participants in the primary will be weirdos: August 8th is an "awkward date", that is in the heart of the summer-vacation season. Those against the war are likely to vote in the primary than others. So according to Broder, anti-war Democrats don't vacation and/or are the only ones sophisticated enough to figure out how to vote absentee.

Broder's whole article sets up Joe's repetition of the latest Republican thrust: my support for the war is for the best of the country, their opposition is about partisan politics.

And last but not least, Broder says Joe's being "forced" to run as an independent.
Oh, I am under no illusions about the reason Broder wrote the article, and his larger points. He agrees with D.C. insiders like Stuart Rothenberg that letting people vote in primaries is reprehensible.

The fact that Lieberman agrees with both of them so much is what is revealing here.
True, that he so willingly goes on record to bemoan the democratic process is pretty surprising.
Why does joe grant an interview to washington insider rather than a local paper?

Why doesn't he accept other points of view?

Joe is out of touch and the more he talks the more people realize it.

To know him is to dislike him.
This article (which I thought was very good) shows that Lamont's support is almost totally confined to the blogosphere.

A well respected liberal-leaning nationally syndicated columist for one of the country's leading newspapers (who presumably reflects the views of most of his readers) sees the Lamont campaign for the angry temper tantrum that it is.

Lamont has no mainstream appeal, which is why he's so scared of facing Lieberman in the general election.
I would really like to see Lamont win in such a huge landslide that Lieberman would be embarassed to run as an independent.

The craziest thing about Broder's article is that he allows Lieberman to say that he isn't supporting signature campaigns in case of a defeat -- anyone who has been paying attention would know better than to believe that.
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