I'm not convinced the Washington Dems are 100% behind Specter. They didn't give him any seniority and only a minor subcommittee chairmanship. Sestak has to win the race but he's very popular in his district and far from unknown statewide. It is the Democratic primary, too.
Toomey is the least of his worries. He has Ridge to worry about. He'd lose against Ridge in a primary and he'd probably lose against him in a general. Hence the Dems need to run a real Dem against Specter.
I'm a progressive Dem so this matters to me not a bit, but Lieberman would have been a terrible choice for the Reptiles.
1. far from energizing it, Lieberman would have alienated the SoCon base.
2. Lieberman's a terrible campaigner.
3. McCain's draw is already the moderate middle.
On the other hand, Palin energized their base, not enough to win, but enough to avoid humiliation. By far their best choice would have been Huckabee who would have brought Palin like energy to the base without giving the center the willies. Anyways, if you want to know how much Lieberman can energize a ticket, just ask Al Gore.
There, having done my bit of Republican strategizing, I think I need to take a shower.
What this the right move? No, it was unnecessary. They did it because they could do it. The Dems in the Senate are centrists. The Dems that did the hard work of electing them in 2006 and 2008, and for that matter Obama, are progressives.
This was a slap in the face of progressives since the centrists don't feel the progressives have any place to go. Which is true.
I'd recommend continuing to do the hard work of electing progressives and to show contempt for the Dem leadership and for Lieberman himself.
or Yes. It didn't really matter. The Republicans were going to lose this cycle. McCain did about as well as he was going to do and Obama ran a pretty much flawless campaign.
Palin, for them, was actually a good choice. They were still going to lose, but she turned out their base, thus limiting losses downticket. Without Palin, the religious right would have sat on their hands and the Republicans would have gotten utterly crushed. And in 2012, with Palin, they'll still lose, badly.