Lieberman's Independent Counteroffensive?

After four months of being battered by a far superior Lamont campaign, and one Carter Eskew built insipidly stupid campaign commercial, Lieberman is beginning to figure out what his counterattack will look like.  At first, Lieberman tried to dismiss Lamont as an antiwar candidate, unimportant and unserious.  Then he tried to burnish his own credentials as a Democrat.  He ran commercials in which he acknowledged his principled difference with most Connecticut Democrats on the war, but pointed out the wide areas of agreements he had on other issues.  Finally, when that didn't work, he went negative on Lamont, calling him a Republican and a puppet of Lowell Weicker.

This messaging didn't work, at least not among Democrats.  Lieberman is clearly very angry about this campaign, and this challenge.  He recently vowed to run as an independent, which is a further escalation of the pressure against the Democratic establishment.  Previously, he had only said that he would not rule out presenting his record to all the voters of Connecticut, but that he was a Democrat.  Parsing words, maybe, but this guy's doing a lot of polling and he knows what's going on.

Now the messaging is subtly changing.  Lieberman is having his surrogates talk about him as a JFK Democrat unafraid to use force, and the voice of the abandoned Democrats who left the party years ago because of liberal intolerance towards the 'middle' of the country.  One Op-Ed in the Hartford Courant co-authored by Republican Marshall Wittman is a coincidence, but this second Op-Ed in the Concord Monitor, by Lieberman supporter Bob Quinn, is not.

I think Lieberman's making a last ditch effort to threaten the party base with electoral disaster if they don't pick him.  This Thursday is the first debate, and we'll see what happens then.  These Op-Eds though read to me like they are targeted at independent voters, not Democrats.  I mean, if you were going to pander to independent voters in Connecticut, you'd probably talk about excessive partisanship and how the Democratic Party abandoned independent voters.  

So I guess that's my question.  With this counterattack, is Lieberman conceding the primary already?  He's sure starting to sound like an independent.  

Tags: Connecticut, Joe Lieberman, Ned Lamont (all tags)

Comments

13 Comments

Trying to sound like Jim Webb

Difference is, Lieberman didn't leave the party and come back, Connecticut ain't Virginia, and he's not up against an incumbent Republican looking to the White house.

Lieberman is no Jim Webb.

by msnook 2006-07-02 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman's Independent Counteroffensive?

Starting to sound like one?

He's gone from

"I'm a Democrat. I'll die a Democrat! But if I have to take my case to all the voters of Connecticut.."

to

"I'm an Independent Democrat!"

to

"Aw, the hell with it. I just want to keep my seat!!"

by Scarce 2006-07-02 08:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman's Independent Counteroffensive?

Sure sounds like it to me.  Thing is, I don't think he'll pick up that many independent voters in CT.  This flip-flopping and whining and threatening makes him look bad across the board.  Instead of working to deserve re-election, he's thrown a two-month temper tantrum.

by beerwulf 2006-07-02 08:59PM | 0 recs
Chuck Shumer backtracks on MTP

Idiot Andrea Mitchell first of all turns the outrage perception around and asks Shumer why he wont commit to supporting Lieberman in case he loses the primary. Now Schumer disnegenuously says and I paparphrase " we will now consider the primary situation and anything after that is irrelevant as we intent on trying to get Lieberman elected in the primary. I cannot commit to anything after that because there is no point speculating". He never mentions that he previously said that he would stand by Lieberman regardless of the primary results. And Andrea michell, the dunce she is, does not even bring that up. Instead she puts him on the defensive for not committing to supporitng Lieberman in case he loses the primary!!!!! Unbelievable

by Pravin 2006-07-02 09:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman's Independent Counteroffensive?

Surely Lieberman must know that losing the primary will undercut hus support among Democrats and make him look like an unattractive loser to indys.  Why would he keep driving away Dem support in the primary he needs to win with these threats to run as an independent?

After all, an independent run would help only four people:  Rob Simmons, Chris Shays, Nancy Johnson, and George W Bush.  Oh, I guess I have my answer there.

by ChetEdModerate 2006-07-02 11:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman's Independent Counteroffensive?

This is my main concern.  Perhaps Rahm Emanuel and the steel testicles need to visit Lieberman's office and deliver a very compelling lecture on party unity.  To jeapordize three House races in order to hold a Senate seat that will remain in Democratic hands is simply inexcusable.  Where is Rahm Emanuel when you actually need him?  Lieberman is ruining Rahm's chances in Connecticut.

by illinois062006 2006-07-03 12:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman's Independent Counteroffensive?

My guess is that an independent run at the presidency with McCain has been in the back of Joe's mind for some time.  He knows he will never be the Democratic nominee, and  that the Republicans will probably reject McCain.  So running now as an independent will be a warmup for the big run at the presidency.

I think Lamont is helping Courtney and Farrell, because every Democrat in the State is being called and fired up by the contest.

by Bob H 2006-07-03 02:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman's Independent Counteroffensive?

I remember JFK. JFK was not an isolationist but neither did he pursue preemptive war strategies against non-threats like Iraq. He also never threatened to bolt the party. Joe is no Jack.

When DLC operatives start spinning crap like that, it's rooted in the supposition that Dems have to prove they're foreign policy hawks. Bull.

The DLC parrots GOP talking points. They can't be talking to us with that crap, so you're right: the message is intended for independents.

The DLC is the Dem's own Southern Strategy. And there's no leadership in their council

by KevinHayden 2006-07-03 05:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman's Independent Counteroffensive?

I hope he does go independant.  I want a woman in the White House.

http://kelleybell.blogspot.com/2006/07/l ets-put-woman-in-white-house.html

by kelleybell 2006-07-03 05:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman's Independent Counteroffensive?

"He's sure starting to sound like an independent."

Replace independent with Republican.

Liberman's overall voting record doesn't make him look like a Republican.  There are several Senators far closer to the GOP than him.

He still sounds more like a Republican than most Senators and is more damaging to the Democrats.

by Catch 22 2006-07-03 06:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman's Independent Counteroffensive?

The problem isn't whether he will run as an independent, the problem is whether, if he wins as an independent, he will vote to organize the Senate with the Dems or with the Republicans. This question may explain why Schumer is still pro-Lieberman. He doesn't want to see us fail in the Senate by one vote on Senate organization.

by mrgavel 2006-07-03 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman's Independent Counteroffensive?

Let's put the shoe on the other foot. Should Joe win the Democratic primary, despite Lamont saying he would support the primary winner, how many of you in CT that have been obsessed with booting Lieberman would vote for Joe in November or would you sit it out?

by NebraskaDem 2006-07-03 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman's Independent Counteroffensive?

The only way to beat the Republicans is to tell the truth on them.  Liberman has not acted like he fully knew the truth nor wanted to tell it for sometime.  The way we snatch defeat from the jaws of victory is to soft peddle and not loudly tell the truth about what has happened in this country at home and abroad.

by rcrawford 2006-07-03 05:57PM | 0 recs

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