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July 15, 2006


More from Mark Schmitt at TPM Cafe.

The NY Times on a shell-shocked Lieberman.

Interesting that the "dissatisfaction timeline" starts Joe's descent well before he became the party VP nominee. That event has looked increasingly like a bizarre aberration. Yet he still gets some mileage out of it.

emptypockets, the base's dissatisfaction with Lieberman was an essential element in his selection. The press in 2000 proclaimed that Bill Clinton was nothing but an impediment to Gore's election (on Lewinsky, sure, but also on lots of other scores), and Gore -- to his lasting discredit -- bought into the idea. Picking Lieberman was a way of saying, Forget all the good things that have happened to the country (giving Clinton 60+% approvals); this election will be fought on the disappointments. The GOP couldn't have asked for better.

Gore now knows what a mistake that was -- endorsing Dean in '04 and not endorsing Joe now speak loudly -- but in real time he made a fatal blunder.

And Bill Clinton returns Lieberman's criticism by endorsing him, at least through the primary.


Why? Because Terence Samuel is right.

First, all the Democrats who voted for the war and are now against it better come up with an explanation for what changed their minds. Supporting the war but faulting the execution is not going to work this time. I say this on the strength of the evidence that it didn’t work the last time. In a very real way those Democrats have to do what they have been calling on the White House to do -- admit they made a mistake. Kerry has made this journey: “It’s not enough to argue with the logistics or to argue about the details,” he said. “... It is essential to acknowledge that the war itself was a mistake. ... It was wrong, and I was wrong to vote for that Iraqi war resolution.”

If Lieberman goes down, the war becomes a crippling issue for Hillary.

CT: Lieberman is up with a new ad that hits Lamont as a "flip-flopper." The ad notes his past support for Republicans, his decision not to release his tax returns and his pledge not to run negative ads. The visuals for the ad are very simple with just a photo of Lamont shifting left and right with the words the announcer saying be typed on screen using a very techy font. Are negative ads what really what Lieberman needs right now? Aren't voters looking for a reason to come back to Lieberman?

I just had a funny thought. There's nothing that could perfect Lieberman's campaign more than hiring Chris Lehane. That would cap it all.

it's as if...

Schlessinger's weakness actually helps Lieberman, though. If Joe loses the primary and runs as an independent, he will be counting on lots of Republican support. The vast majority of conservatives will not consider voting for Lamont. If Schlessinger is an unpopular candidate, many Republicans will see Lieberman as an acceptable alternative.

Poll numbers suggest that Lieberman will handily win a three way race. Much of that strength comes across party lines. Having a stronger Republican candidate would actually steal votes from Lieberman, improving Lamont's chances in the general election.

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