« Some Thoughts on Rove | Main | Terror! PANIC! MAAYYYHEMMM!!! »

June 15, 2006

Comments

from the Fix:

Then there is the war in Iraq. In the Quinnipiac survey just 15 percent of Democrats said the war was the right thing for the United States to do while 83 percent said it was the wrong thing. Lieberman allies note that in spite of those numbers he retains a 15-point edge over Lamont. But it's also important to remember that 75 percent of Connecticut primary voters in the Quinnipiac poll said they didn't know enough about Lamont to offer an opinion -- a statistic that suggests the challenger still has room to grow.

The incumbent remains the favorite in the race but it is likely to be much closer than many independent analysts (including The Fix) assumed.

Lamont rips Lieberman for Iraq stance
PETER URBAN purban@ctpost.com

Greenwich Democrat Ned Lamont slammed the Bush administration and his political opponent, Sen. Joe Lieberman, on Wednesday, saying they pushed America into an ill-fated war in Iraq.

"George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman rushed us into this war, got our 132,000 troops stuck in a bloody civil war, and they should be held accountable," Lamont said.

The statement drew loud applause from several hundred liberal Democrats that attended a panel discussion Wednesday organized by the Campaign for America's Future at the Washington Hilton Hotel.

"This is shaping up as the most interesting thing to happen in CT politics in years."

It's interesting, to be sure, but don't sell CT short. You guys did have a sitting governor indicted not too long ago. That doesn't happen every day.

Assuming Lieberman does run as an independent after losing the Dem Primary, as seems likely, will he beat Lamont? What will the big city machine pols do? Will Labor back Lamont? How much of a factor is that?

Lamont seems to have lots of support in the smaller towns, and his natural constituency would seem to be in the cities and more liberal suburbs. If labor goes for Lamont, will that affect the urban vote? Then there is Lieberman's unwavering support for Israel, which will undoubtedly win him support, and all the corporate money he has enbjoyed in the past. On the other hand, the more he campaigns, the more he grates and the more his negatives go up and his support goes down. That certainly happened in the '04 Presidential, and seems to be happening now.
And so far, he doesn't seem to know how to be positive.

One thing to take from the CA and VA primaries is that negative seems to be really turning off voters. Lamont needs to stay positive and fresh, and be willing to put some of his own money into this. It will certainly be an interesting race.

Trapper John, that's the last interesting that happened. But it really was a long time ago, politically speaking.

That story about Droney -- cited in the article as a Lieberman ally -- saying something that Lieberman's camp professes they don't want him to say, still has me perplexed. Is that really just Droney slipping up, or do you think that is something Lieberman wants amplified (despite his protestations)?

DFA is on the job in a fund-raising email for Lamont, and doesn't miss a chance to kick Schumer in the pants while he's bent over helping Joe climb out the window.

Amazingly, Senator Chuck Schumer, Chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), has said that the DSCC will not rule out supporting Lieberman if he runs as an Independent.4 The DSCC's mission is to elect Democrats to the Senate. Yet in this case, they would prefer to back an incumbent who leaves the party instead of a principled progressive who's proud to be a Democrat.

Lieberman must decide whether to run as independent candidate

Lieberman has until Aug. 9 -- the day after the Democratic primary -- to collect 7,500 signatures from registered voters to land on the November ballot as an unaffiliated candidate.

But any effort to gather signatures before the primary could annoy Democrats who already question his party loyalty and his perceived closeness to President Bush, as well as his support for the Iraq war.

Christopher Kukk, an associate political science professor at Western Connecticut State University, said it's a risk Lieberman may be willing to take if Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont continues to gain in the polls.

"I think he'll alienate Democratic voters, but to be honest with you, I think he already has alienated Democratic voters," Kukk said. "If Lamont is gaining ... I think you'll see Lieberman jump."

We knew Lieberman was god-awful at the game of politics by watching him over the last, say, 6 years.

Now we get to see his ineptness in an actual race where he's the guy running.

I do know he had a fundraiser in the Bay Area two weeks ago. The smell of desperation.

Lamont's problem, if he has one, won't be money. And that will help with name rcognition, which is his problem.

Droney has to have talked to Joe to launch that trial balloon. but between Political Wire, the Fix and the Courant, going indie is the worst kept secret in CT politics.

Questions:
1) Is Joe running away from his base? (Has Joe's base ever been the ~35,000 active D's who might vote him out in the primary? Or has it always been CT's civil corporate centrists?)

2) After crushing Lamont as an Indie, who does he caucus with in the Senate?

3) With D's picking up a few seats (a bare majority or less), and this sequence of events giving Joe uber-Centrist status in the Senate, can he attract 2, 3 or 4 adherents ... and take effective control of the body?

Questions:
1) Is Joe running away from his base? (Has Joe's base ever been the ~35,000 active D's who might vote him out in the primary? Or has it always been CT's civil corporate centrists?)

2) After crushing Lamont as an Indie, who does he caucus with in the Senate?

3) With D's picking up a few seats (a bare majority or less), and this sequence of events giving Joe uber-Centrist status in the Senate, can he attract 2, 3 or 4 adherents ... and take effective control of the body?

Questions:
1) Is Joe running away from his base? (Has Joe's base ever been the ~35,000 active D's who might vote him out in the primary? Or has it always been CT's civil corporate centrists?)

2) After crushing Lamont as an Indie, who does he caucus with in the Senate?

3) With D's picking up a few seats (a bare majority or less), and this sequence of events giving Joe uber-Centrist status in the Senate, can he attract 2, 3 or 4 adherents ... and take effective control of the body?

Dude!

You've heard nothing from Joe?

Me? I get JoementumSpam almost daily. I live in Illinois. Never gave him my email address, never signed up to be on it, etc.

So who gave Joe my email addy? Kerry? Edwards? FL Dem Party (McBride campaign 2002)? DCCC? DSCC? arrrrgggghhhh ...

More trenchant analysis on this subject from RonK. Seems like just yesterday you were telling us Lamont would be crushed in the primary. Let me see if I get this straight, Joe's base is "CT's civil corporate centrists", but he is excellent in every way.
.

"2) After crushing Lamont as an Indie, who does he caucus with in the Senate?"

You'd have to bet on the D's, but it would be more on his terms than it is currently.

"3) With D's picking up a few seats (a bare majority or less), and this sequence of events giving Joe uber-Centrist status in the Senate, can he attract 2, 3 or 4 adherents ... and take effective control of the body?"

If he wins as an indie, my wild speculation is for him to be McCain's VP in '08.

-----

This is the stupidest crusade since Iraq. All conceivable scenarios leave the Democrats weaker than if this hadn't happened.

If I were a Nutmegger, I'd vote early and often for Joe. And I don't like Joe.

Corporate money doesn't go to people they like ... it goes to people who can do things for them.

If Joe is defeated, he can't do squat, and even if he were to win as an independent, if didn't have an evenly divided Senate where he could be kingmaker, he would have no power at all -- no chairmanships, no "ranking" status -- nothing.

If Joe loses the primary, he shouldn't count on that corporate money or the Democratic machine. In fact, probably all he could count on would be some Republicans.

1) Is Joe running away from his base?

If Democrats are his base, yes. Scoop Jackson, he's not.

2) After crushing Lamont as an Indie, who does he caucus with in the Senate?

The D's, except there are major assumptions in this questions which may not be so. we are not three weeks before the election, and while Joe's still the favorite, "crush" is premature.

3) With D's picking up a few seats (a bare majority or less), and this sequence of events giving Joe uber-Centrist status in the Senate, can he attract 2, 3 or 4 adherents ... and take effective control of the body?

Do you think he controlled the nuclear option debate?

MikeB, I think Petey's point is the one that needs to be addressed. By putting Schumer and Reid on the spot and highlighlighting disunity, it is not a run to the the roses. As to the position, I see Joe in now, I misunderestimated how badly he'd play his hand from when I commented last (which was to point out his contemporaneous position in the polls, not to predict Joe would crush him). Joe is still the favorite, mind you, and could win. I just don't think he's going to the way he's going.

There would be a totally new dynamic in a 3 way, the more interesting part of the discussion. All D endorsements become null and void. Can you name the R in the race? You'll need to. Even as a non-entity, he becomes an issue for Joe. And do not underestimate how cranky CT voters are.

"There would be a totally new dynamic in a 3 way, the more interesting part of the discussion."

It is more interesting, but it's just so difficult to properly imagine the environment...

I'd strongly go along with RonK's assumption that Joe wins the three way quite easily. But that assumes that Joe re-finds his political footing once he breaks loose of the party.

And isn't there an insanely popular R gov on the ballot this fall to factor in as well?

If there weren't something quite real actually at stake, I'd love to see the R win just to teach everybody a lesson about fucking around with "safe seats".

-----

Of course, there are (at least) three interesting discussions here:

- What happens in the primary?
- If Joe loses, what happens in the three way?
- If Joe wins the three way, what does that mean?

One thing I think Joe winning the three way means is a PR nightmare for the national party. The Democratic Party rejects him and the populace of a solid blue state embraces him anyway...

Petey, all good points and discussions (which is why TNH exists). ;-)

One thing I think Joe winning the three way means is a PR nightmare for the national party. The Democratic Party rejects him and the populace of a solid blue state embraces him anyway...

That's certainly so, though Joe has not exactly been the poster boy for national party PR to this point (see The Kiss). And Schlesinger, the Republican, is not going to win even if he ran by himself.

skippy does his part:

we sent letters to the dscc blog organs that continually clog up our in-box with press releases, asking them to stop doing so unless and until schumer backs down from his intimation that they will support lieberman's independent run.

btw, following skippy's links, you can find (to Petey's fantasy point about lessons learned from an R win) Hotline:

One note of caution: Schumer's answer was probably intended to give Lieberman some public, establishment cover to begin to explore the mechanics of an independent bid. And even if he does, we doubt the DSCC will spend a dime's more than already budgeted in CT anyway. It's a safe seat for a Dem -- or an independent who caucuses with Dems. [MARC AMBINDER]

It's a long way until the primary. Not to be jaded, but what could Lamont do to screw things up?

"Assuming Lieberman does run as an independent after losing the Dem Primary, as seems likely, will he beat Lamont?" - Mimikatz

If Lieberman decides to cut and run as an independent he will lose the general election and Lamont will become the next senator from CT. First, it would be a media feast and all that publicity would drive Lamont's name id through the roof as the challenger that scared off Joe. And although most Repubs and some Indys will vote for Joe, CT is basically a blue state. The Dems will feel like they have been taken for ride all these years and that Joe is all about only Joe and will vote decisively for Lamont. Most Indys are against Bush and the Iraq war and all the Repub corruption and abuse of power - they will also vote Lamont.

Lieberman's best shot is to win the primary. Here is where he has the advantage - name recognition, most of the party machinery beholden to him, the DC Dem leadership backing him and of course money. On the other hand what Lamont has going is a fired up volunteer organization and an incredibly engaging personality and of course right on the issues for CT Dem primary voters.

All said and done the turnout in the primaries so far have been abysmal. Virgina was I believe in the 2-3% range. In CA-50, Busby could not get even half the registered Dems to come out and vote. So despite all the hoopla around this race in blogosphere the CT Dem primary race will be decided by very few voters. Turnout I believe will be the achilles heel for the Dems in Nov also. The Repub base will turnout as they will be highly motivated by all the classic Rovian tactics. Will the Dems turnout to make the difference in the vote count? Current trends don't make me very optimistic.

This race fascinates me. Glad to hear that Bill Hillsman's media material is according to his own advertising philosophy -- he calls it a sacred principle actually...

"If a Political ad looks like a political ad -- too preachy, too serious, too cautious, and worst of all dull, then it is a failure." The test of a political ad is whether people use the time to go to the bathroom, or do a quick turn in the kitchen -- not focus groups. Hillsman believes most political advertising next to the bottom of the form -- with the basement being occupied by shouted car dealer ads during a late night movie. (Source, pp 148-49, "Professor Wellstone goes to Washington" Dennis McGrath and Dane Smith, U of Minnesota Press, 1995.

For sure, Hillsman totally rejects any idea of negative ads -- you won't see any unless someone does the nasty. He believes is irony, humor, and good feeling all balanced out. (He was one of the multitude of Paul's former Carleton students who worked the 1990 campaign) -- and we had to pay him with pizza and sandwiches, cause we had no money. These days he does money. He is also effectively blacklisted from DSCC supported campaigns, because his real speciality is populism and insurgency. Afterall he turned Jesse Ventura the Wrestler into Rodan's "The Thinker" in the MN Governor's race in 1998. Anyhow appreciate -- he is an artist.

What with the two CT Teachers Unions, AFT and NEA affiliates, coming in with yesterday's Lamont endorsement, and the likelyhood of an AFL-CIO endorsement in a couple of weeks, Joe has effectively been stripped of the normal Democratic endorsements -- labor and education and womens organizations. Talking to folk who know the crew in CT -- I understand more is to come. Apparently internal polling shows a point a day moving to Lamont with the only real question being whether Lamont can move key minority voters in the larger cities (Bridgeport-New Haven). And this is how it is supposed to happen -- you offer a choice and time to think it through, and people consider interests and change.

Hillsman started the Wellstone effort when we had 17% name recognition, and that was after the state convention and endorsement. And with no money and no support from any source in DC -- we won. I hope good people in CT are watching this closely, and writing up each bit, because this is how it is done, and we probably have many more situations where it will be necessary around the land.

I don't know why so many people blithely assume that Joe will win a three-way race. I doubt he has a particularly solid base in any of the regions of the state. The dynamics of the three-way race in 1970 were very different than they are today, not least because the Republicans nominated Weicker, a formidable candidate. I can see Joe getting 25% in a three-way, like Tom Dodd did, but I don't see how he gets a plurality unless independents swing massively his way. And they will do this on the basis of Joe's "courageous" support for the GWOT or whatever it's called these days?

DeWitt Grey, it's that current polling has him way in front... but Lamont has no name recognition at this time. Rs may like Joe's Bush support and may vote for him over the R candidate, who is (I can't emphasize this) REALLY weak.

Joe's still the favorite, but if he doesn't get his campaign in gear, he could lose a 3 way, too.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Where We Met

Blog powered by Typepad