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July 04, 2006


Ron Ziegler's term was "inoperative", not "inoperable", though the latter may also be apt.

"An interesting kind of 'Democrat,' Lieberman thinks he is," he wrote.

A Democratic Yoda, Kos thinks he is.

"Inoperable" - too funny.

Democrats are going to have to come to grips with the war sooner or later. The idea that they can finesse their way around it, or avoid saying what they think, is rapidly becoming inoperable...

I agree - ff the Democratic Party hopes to lead the nation, they will probably have to start by leading themselves.

''Ron Ziegler's term was "inoperative", not "inoperable", though the latter may also be apt.''

LOL. I'll correct. More coffee...

Tom Maguire, you may appreciate the approach that says the war and immigration win for us, except each party thinks it.

If I ever run for office, make sure I don't use anyone connected with the Lieberman campaign....

These idiots thought the story would be buried because he made the announcement the day before the fourth of July. But the 4th isn't part of a long weekend this year, its on a Tuesday -- and there's not much else to talk about but Lieberman's craven actions.

I think this move kills Lieberman with "independent" voters --- Democrats are unhappy with how Lieberman has worked against the best interests of the party. Independents don't care about that -- but they do care about "character", and Lieberman's attempt to "have it both ways" will not reflect well on his "character."

Joe would have been better off bolting the Democratic Party entirely, and saying while he plans to vote with the Dems for leadership positions, he cannot support the increasingly "leftist" tilt of the Dems. (yeah, its bullshit, but its the kind of bullshit that sells with 'independent' voters). Instead, he comes off as just another WATB.

C-Span's Washington Journal did quite a bit on Lamont/Lieberman this morning, using the political reporter from the Hartford Currant as the telephone guest taking questions. They also had a focus piece on Simmons District -- one targeted by the DCCC to be flipped. Of interest the Political Reporter says that CT is now polling Bush's job rating down in the mid 20's -- a little more than ten points under the national average.

Program introduced another CT issue I had not been aware of till now, the New London Shipyard matter. In the most recent BRAC (Base Closing) the Pentagon had recommended closing the sub base at New London, but eventually the Commission took it off the list for closing. All the Congresscritters and Senators took credit for saving what apparently amounts to about 50 thousand jobs in that district -- but not to be outdone, when the Commission disagreed with Rumsfeld, he apparently moved the contracts for submarine repair to other places anyhow, causing many high skilled workers to get laid off. You gotta imagine that makes Bush-Rumsfeld really really popular thereabouts, and with Lieberman understood as all kissie wissie with Bush, a little of that might be rubbing off on the Senator.

You know you would think DC Democratic leaders would read some of the polls. Nationally the right track wrong track numbers are around 60% overall, but with Democrats polling over 80% wrong track. Some version of "stay the course" is a prescription for a gross train wreck you know. Strange how it is that once you begin looking carefully at individual districts, and hearing from or reading the voices from those districts, things look very very different.

Sara, that they do.

Bush's name is mud in these parts (CT-5 and Nancy Johnson's medicare plan is not popular here, though she's the strongest of the R three). CT-4, otoh, is always a toss-up, as is CT-2.

Getting Dems riled isn't good politics for the Rs. The status quo is thye lat thing people want.

Everybody who knows me in wwwLand is well aware of the big gap in my learnin' and analytical ability: I'm the world's worst when it comes to electoral prognostication, even though I read much of the same stuff everybody else does. Part of this, I suppose, comes from having been burned so many times before. My record of looking at the data and coming up with a reasonable prediction from it is grim. So anything I have to say in the case of Lamont-Lieberman should be taken with several more grains of salt than whatever you use when spicing my other comments.

The last time I was the contrarian and actually publicly predicted a winner in a race that mattered was in 1972. Everyone was so in despair over George McGovern and what he would do to down-ticket races that they ignored what seemed evident to me. Even most of his own handlers privately predicted Floyd Haskell (who later married Nina Totenberg) was going to lose his Senate race against Gordon Allott in Colorado because, well, because the polls still had him behind 9 days before the election, the last poll that was taken.

Why so few people looked at Haskell's steady upward trend and failed to do the math surprised me. When I drew the graph, it showed Haskell would win by the narrowest of margins if the trend in the polls continued for those 9 days. Which is exactly what happened.

So, with my best effort 34 years old, and practically everybody, including my far better informed blog pals - including sara, demtom, and DemFromCT - seeing Lieberman in the loser's circle (and Lieberman obviously seeing that possibility, too), my perspective is perhaps akin to some witchy reading of tossed finger-bones.

In fact, that is 75% of the source of my analysis - a visceral feeling that all of us who want to see Joe ousted and the national leadership of the party hardening its stand on Iraq before election day are going to be disappointed on August 8. Naturally, I hope I'm wrong. And maybe you all will change my mind in the next month, but right now ...

Meteor Blades, Joe is still the favorite. What I think he (and we) sense is how good the Lamont campaign is (yeah, hillsman is that good) and how badly Lieberman's has foundered.

I'll bet he wishes the primary were today. but this CT Post story from 7/3 about politicians in the Bridgeport paprade tells the story:

The only negative shouts seemed directed at Lieberman, who is facing a primarychallenge from Ned Lamont of Greenwich.

"Hey, look at that, a Democrat walking with a Republican," came one shout to Lieberman.

"How's the president," shouted another parade watcher, giving Lieberman a thumbs-down sign.

Lasting just short of two hours, the parade featured more than 100 marching units, floats, eight hot air balloons and a dancing cop.

Meteor Blades, thanks for the kind words, but I don't have great faith in my own prognosticating ability, either. It seems the last 15 years have provided with nothing but comeuppance for my predictions. All I hope to do is observe and analyze what I see...the outcome can always turn on intangibles. (I take heart that a great baseball analyst like Bill James, who slices and dices statistics as no other, often makes outlandishly wrong seasonal predictions -- most notably, his post-1991 forecast that there was no reason to expect much future for the Atlanta Braves).

What I see in this campaign that makes me think an eartquake could lurk is Lamont continually surpassing his seeming best-hope position. He wasn't supposed to get on the ballot via the convention method at all, but got twice as many votes as needed (in a venue where Joe and Co. could surely lay down the whip hand). He's got to decent polling position quite early on, even before voters truly know who he is and well before voting. The rate at which he's gaining strength suggests a real shot at victory. And this is in spite of essentially zero support from the Democratic establishment: given the Trojan horse Lamont vote that showed up at the state convention, I wonder if there isn't similar hidden support in the party structure as a whole, that might show up as a surprise on Election Day.

I don't know any more than anyone. But there's an awful lot in the wind I'm finding it difficult to ignore.

What a needlessly coy question. JL's higher loyalty is to the same cause that motivates Frank Gaffney, Cliff May, Martin Indyk, Reul Gerecht, Ken Adelman, Doug Feith, Abe Shulsky, Eliot Abrams, Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Jerry Falwell, Marty Peretz, John Podhoretz, the WSJ AND the NYT, to say nothing of Wolf Blitzer. 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Hint: I am not talking Taiwan.

How to predict when it is worth investment in a Progressive doing down the opposition....

MB -- tracking and projecting from tracking polls is only part of it. Yes you need to know that -- and what makes me believe Lamont maybe can do it is that as people understood they had a choice, they went Lamont's way. Not everyone is a politics junky, not everyone reads the daily papers or watches the local TV News beyond the weather and local sports. But the key thing is do people understand a real choice and sense the importance of it. I think that condition is present in CT this year. Comes down to the matter of whether going out to vote really is about change. That condition is real this year in CT.

Question two is whether the opponent is able to establish the difference -- to really draw the line in the sand. If there really is a choice, then the differences are critical. Is the opposition clearly the majority opinion? I think Lamont has that hands down on Lieberman in this instance. Can Lieberman really sustain himself being iffy on Social Security? Yea, those of us who are sophisticated know that is about preserving a negotiating position, but that is not how voters will comprehend the issue. It opens the gate to Lamont if he wants to take it. Name ten more issues of that sort, and he is just vulnerable.

I have a "kind a" rule as to predictions, and it has to do with whether or not an opponent can draw lines of difference that capture the opinion of voters. It also has to do with whether or not the opponent will draw those lines.

The thing that convinced me that Wellstone could defeat Boschwitz is something largely ignored, and was not really one of Paul's things. But it was a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting where someone asked an ambassador up for appointment whether he had any knowledge or language skills regarding the place he was being appointed. Boschwitz went ballistic on that question -- he thought knowledge of culture, history and language were totally irrelevant to an appointment and he got totally testy on that. The Wall Street Journal supported that argument the next day. Understood as a paradigm of how the Senator thought, I believed from the beginning that the right kind of opponent could defeat him.

Question is whether Lamont is the candidate who can do the same thing -- I think it is very possible.

You just have to do predictions on multiple dimensions that anticipate how the constituancy sees things. My own prediction on Wellstone on Thanksgiving, 1989 was based on two factors. I thought he could draw real differences that mattered if put on the table for Minnesota voters, and I was also aware of what he had done organizationally over the previous 20 years. As far as CT is concerned, I don't know about the organizational dimension.

Shays is the target. Lieberman is small potatoes, since in the crunch he will vote Dem. Shays in the crunch votes Rethug. Shays is the guy to get. Lieberman is jelly on toast. It would be nice to see the 'it's all about me and my religion' bite the dust. But it wwould be worth more to knock off the enabling Shays.

Why does everyone automatically assume that a Republican has no chance of being elected in a three-way race? Twice in recent memory a conservative Republican was elected to the Senate in New York with only a plurality-- James Buckley in 1970 because Richard Ottinger and Charles Goodell split the vote and Al D'Amato in 1980 because Elizabeth Holtzman and Jacob Javits split the vote.

Thanks, sara.

As George Bush would say, it's all about the "Big Mo", who has it and whether the other guy can stop the guy with it in time. Lamont clearly has the Big Mo. Can Lieberman slow it or halt it before it's too late. If so, Lieberman will squeak through.

The wild card is the Lieberman gambit of chasing after an indie run while chasing after the Dem nomination. How much will this this cost him in Dem votes? But more importantly, will the Lamont campaign be able to take advantage of this and turn it against Lieberman among Indie voters. It's tough to run as a man of principle and moral uprighteousness when you're speaking out of both sides of your mouth and playing a double game. I see a new ad coming, will the real Joe Lieberman please stand up? ;-) There's only one thing voters hate more than a politican and that's a politician without some semblance of a veneer of integrity.

Vadranor - I worked on the Ottinger campaign as a kid - my first political campaign, actually. But the answer to your question isn't whether a Republican can win, of course they can. We have a popular Republican governor in CT (whose best feature is that she's not John Rowland) and 3 of 5 congressional seats are R.

It's this this particular Republican is a non-entity, no way as strong a candidate as Buckley or D'Amato.

Republican Alan Schlesinger's campaign headquarters in Shelton sat dark and empty on a recent afternoon; only a few signs in the windows indicated that the former Derby mayor is leasing it for his U.S. Senate bid.

Unlike his high-profile Democratic opponents, incumbent U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman and Greenwich entrepreneur Ned Lamont, no one has to wade through handlers to reach Schlesinger. He answers his own cell phone.

Before I posted it did anyone know the R Senate candidate's name?

Actually, the more I tune in to the contest for the CT Senate nomination, the less it appears to be about the war in Iraq.

If you watch videotapes of Ned Lamont's campaign appearances, especially the Q & A sessions afterwards (half a dozen can be found on the web - go to youtube.com and type in Lamont as a key term), all sorts of dissatisfaction with Senator Lieberman surfaces, and only some of it is about foreign policy. You'll also hear complaints that Lieberman has gotten distant from Connecticut's problems (that's what cost Tom Daschle his Senate seat) and that his voter base are sick of seeing him kiss up to the Bush Administration on domestic policy as well as foreign policy issues.

Ned Lamont appears to be just the kind of person Connecticut would elect to the senate this year if the seat were open. His views match the constituency on more issues than the war. And it looks to me as if there's a very good chance the voters will clear the seat for him, so he can represent them in it.

It's a luxury for the party that the GOP contender is so lackluster. Fears that he'll take it in an upset are unwarranted. Maybe with a stronger candidate and more lead time to prepare for a non-perfunctory campaign, yes. In 2006, no.

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