Lieberman's Last Three Days
by Matt Stoller, Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 08:06:19 AM EDT
Over the past three days, Lieberman has defended the Republican leadership over Mark Foley, joked about torture with Imus, and race-baited Al Sharpton, even though Lieberman had asked Sharpton for support. Meanwhile, Ted Kennedy is going after Lieberman for calling himself a 'John F. Kennedy Democrat'.
Credible polls are showing between a 6-10 point lead for Lieberman, and that sounds about right to me. During the primary, Lamont was the leader of the progressive movement. He became bigger than himself, and it was a movement campaign where progressives of conviction saw in Lamont a way to represent our values in the political process. That generated a huge surge in support and momentum. After the primary, Lamont shrank back to a normal candidate, playing to local issues and moving away from the strong progressive stances he had taken in the primary. It actually kind of reminded me of the Clark campaign after Clark jumped into the race.
My sense of what is going on is that the race in Connecticut needs to be renationalized, because it's on grand questions of national purpose and morality where Ned Lamont has the advantage. If it's a localized race, Lieberman is the known quantity. Lieberman's even running on that theme, of experience. Lamont must make the case for change, and the progressive movement is where that case is being made. The Foley scandal and the torture bill, where Lieberman adopts the far right status quo, are creating new ground every day for this race to be reshaped.