Lieberman's Republican Support
by Chris Bowers, Mon Mar 19, 2007 at 08:53:12 AM EDT
In the general election, in which Lieberman ran as an "independent Democrat," his take from Republicans soared 80 percent. He collected more money from Republicans than from Democrats. And of major donors - giving $200 and more - Republicans exceeded Democrats.70% support from Republicans, eh? With Republicans making up 26% of the electorate in Connecticut, that means Ned Lamont would currently be the junior Senator from Connecticut had Lieberman received less than 35% of Republican support. Overwhelming Republican support was crucial to his campaign, and the constant pro-Lieberman messaging, donations, and signals of Republican support were crucial to making that happen (that, and Alan Schlesinger was a complete joke). Among only Democrats and Independents, Lamont defeated Lieberman by 7%-twice the size of his victory in the primary when only Democrats were voting.
Officially, the White House stayed out of Lieberman's 2006 race, and Lieberman, who today caucuses with Senate Democrats, did not actively seek its support. But the signs from the White House were unmistakable.
"A lot of people would call and ask, `What's our position?"' Charles R. Black Jr. said last week. The former Bush adviser, who remains close to the president, said, "And I'd say, `There's no official position, but if I were you, I'd help Joe Lieberman.'"
There were other signals. On primary day, White House political guru Karl Rove called the senator. "He's a personal friend," Rove said later. "I called him. It was a personal call."
That call, leaked to media organizations at the time, "sent a message to Republicans across the country to embrace this guy. When Karl Rove calls, most Republicans ask how high they should jump," veteran GOP strategist Scott Reed said last week.
Throughout the campaign, the White House and Republican Party sent other veiled, and less veiled, messages. Vice President Dick Cheney, for instance, would mention at rallies how the Democratic Party had moved away from Lieberman. Sen. Susan M. Collins, R-Maine, campaigned with Lieberman two weeks before the election. Melvin Sembler, a former Bush administration ambassador to Italy and former GOP finance chairman, held a fundraiser at his Florida home.(...)
Other Republican donors included brewery chairman Peter Coors, former New York Sen. Alfonse M. D'Amato, Wall Street financier Henry Kravis, real estate magnates Trammell and Harlan Crow, and John C. Whitehead, a deputy secretary of state in the Reagan administration.
After Lieberman's victory, exit polls found he received the support of 70 percent of Connecticut Republicans, 34 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independents.
When conducted by players in the DLC-nexus, bipartisanship has always actually meant "joint attacks on the left." There are cases when bipartisanship is not like that, such as when Russ Feingold is able to scrape together a majority coalition. However, it is clear that for Lieberman, Republicans were always his main base of support. Had he not always been so willing to criticize the left, he would never have been so loved in a Republican town like the political industry in Washington, D.C., and by establishment media that was slowly being dominated by the Republican Noise Machine. At the very least, now that he was forced to win an election via overt Republican support, his ability to speak on behalf of Democrats has been annihilated. Everyone knows in the last election that Joe Lieberman was basically the Republican nominee. This is just the latest evidence supporting that claim.
Update: Dan Gerstein back in September:
A top aide to U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman adamantly is denying a thinly sourced report that the White House used big Republican donors to secretly funnel "millions of dollars" to the three-term senator's campaign committee before the Democratic primary last month.I wonder how Gerstein's investigation went. Probably about as well as the FBI's investigation into the supposed "hack" on Lieberman's website. Yet more lies from Lieberman's camp.
But while Lieberman's campaign spokes-man, Dan Gerstein, insists there is "not a shred of truth" to the story now being widely circulated on the Internet, he also promised readers of the senator's new campaign "blog" that he would "look into whether or not serious Republican contributions have been made to Joe's campaign."