Chris Dodd's Narrow Window to Help Himself AND Ned Lamont

Democrats running for President are coming to the realization actively supporting Ned Lamont will give them needed credibility from activist Democratic liberals, progressives and committed base of people they'll soon be aggressively courting in Iowa and New Hampshire.  The first Democrat looking at the '08 nomination to come out for Lamont will receive a groundswell of activist support.  After one of them makes the leap, expect to see a run for the door as several others attempt to capitalize on the good will as well.

Of all of those running in `08, Chris Dodd has the most to gain from this narrow endorsement window of opportunity.  Unshackled as he is as a result of Lieberman's latest traitorous snub at the Connecticut Democratic party, Dodd has the opportunity to take back his endorsement of Holy Joe.

Chris Dodd's Narrow Window:

Senator Dodd (D-CT) has been a tepid supporter of Joe Lieberman.  It is understandable that he felt, earlier this spring, compelled to nominate Holy Joe at the State's Democratic Convention.   At the time, his hands were tied in many respects and he was in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation.

Now, however, everything has changed.  Lieberman is cratering and the national activist base of the Democratic party will soon (to the extent they haven't already) be making support for Lamont - or at least withholding support for Lieberman - a litmus test.  As we should!

The Democrats running for President are coming to the realization that not only is Lieberman an anvil hanging onto their necks, but actively supporting Ned Lamont will show the precise type of testicular fortitude expected of them by the committed Democratic base of liberals, progressives and those truly dedicated people they'll soon be aggressively courting in Iowa and New Hampshire.  The first Democrat looking at the '08 nomination for President to come out for Lamont will receive a groundswell of activist credibility and support.  After one of them makes the leap, expect to see a run for the door as several others attempt to capitalize on the good will as well.

Of all of those running in `08, Chris Dodd has the most to gain from this narrow endorsement window of opportunity.  Unshackled as he is today as a result of Lieberman's latest traitorous snub at the Connecticut Democratic party, Dodd has the opportunity to take back his endorsement of Holy Joe.  The easy and popular path will be to couch it in a simple: "I will support the winner of my party's primary." 

The harder path is doing what is really in Dodd's heart, which is go all the way and endorse Ned Lamont, whom I suspect Senator Dodd privately supports  (In fact I know he does, but let's leave it at "suspect" for now). Dodd has been burned by Lieberman's behavior as much and as many times as any of the Senate's liberals.  An endorsement by Dodd will be wildly popular among those constituents of his who really care about this race (and only controversial among those with less skin in the game, e.g. Lieberman's more tepid supporters).  On balance, however, reaching out to Lamont weighs heavily in Dodd's favor politically and personally.

Dodd now has a short lived opportunity to give his incipient presidential bid a big shot of adrenaline among those he needs most in 2008. In fact, the few days will be Chris Dodd's BIGGEST and perhaps only chance to splash into the national Democratic activist limelight.  There are no two ways around this, right now is that rare opportunity for immediate national legitimacy among those who matter most to him and the only one chance he'll likely get between now and the beginning of the Iowa caucus.  If he truly is serious about running, and he's thinking hard on it right now, he has a very narrow window to do himself a very big favor.  This opportunity is huge, but it will have a short shelf life.

The other upside for Dodd is this.  Lamont is a cause celebre for "the Democratic wing of the Democratic party." Does Dodd want Ned Lamont campaigning and fundraising for him in the months leading up to Iowa, or does Chris Dodd want Ned Lamont to take the easily state position: "I will support my party's nominee in 2008."?  A few months ago, the handicappers wouldn't give Ned Lamont a snicker.  In a few months, "candidate Dodd" may need "Senator Lamont" more than Senator Lamont needs candidate Dodd.  Whatever happens, if Senator Dodd does throw his hat in the presidential ring, it will never fly with a Lieberman anvil still clinging to it.

sláinte,
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Tags: 2008 election;, Chris Dodd, CT-Sen, Democrats, Joe Lieberman, liberals, Ned Lamont (all tags)

Comments

2 Comments

Re: Chris Dodd's Narrow Window to Help Himself AND

Dodd just really has to say that he will back the nominee on August 8, and fight all opponents of that nominee.

by Max Friedman 2006-07-04 05:31AM | 0 recs
Yes, but it's what Dodd needs to do for himself!

Max,

I agree that Senator Dodd only needs to "say that he will back the nominee." For him, that is only showing up for work.

However, the bigger point is that Lieberman (ironically) has given Dodd a once in a lifetime campaign opportunity.  Dodd will NEVER get a chance as good as this to put himself on the political map leading up to the pre-Iowa caucus organizing.  

Conversely, if Dodd doesn't take this fat pitch right down the middle of the plate, Lieberman will end up being an anvil around his neck.

cl

by Caoimhin Laochdha 2006-07-04 01:20PM | 0 recs

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