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Lieberman: Iraq and a Hard Place

Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman's decision to gather signatures to run as an Independent in the event he loses the Aug. 8 Democratic primary shocked many in the political world. It shouldn't.

Lieberman had been sending signals for weeks (if not months) that he was moving in that direction, repeatedly refusing to rule out the possibility of an Independent candidacy even as his aides down played the idea.

And, public polling had shown the Democratic primary race between Lieberman and businessman Ned Lamont narrowing while the incumbent held a wide lead over Lamont and likely Republican nominee Alan Schlesinger in a general election matchup.

So, now that Lieberman has opened the political pandora's box of an Independent candidacy, what comes next?

The first element to assess is the reaction Lieberman's decision has drawn from his colleagues, a response best described as tepid.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) said he had spoken with Lieberman and accepted his decision. Asked today whether the Leader would support Lieberman if he loses the Democratic primary to Lamont, Reid spokesman Jim Manley punted. "Joe Lieberman is going to win the primary and we are not going to speculate about it," Manley said.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) appeared on "Meet The Press" on Sunday and echoed that sentiment. "I'm not going to speculate on what happens after the primary, because we believe Joe Lieberman is going to win, and it -- I'm not going to undermine my candidate by speculating about what might happen afterwards," Schumer said.

A Democratic source who requested anonymity in order to speak with candor said, however, that the DSCC will likely support whichever Democrat wins the primary.

Lieberman received a similar rebuke from New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is widely seen as the frontrunner for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. After noting that she and Lieberman have been friends for more than three decades, Clinton said in a statement: "I want to be clear that I will support the nominee chosen by Connecticut Democrats in their primary. I believe in the Democratic party; and I believe we must honor the decisions made by Democratic primary voters."

That decision is good politics for Clinton who has struggled to gain support among the liberal blogosphere due to her positioning on the war in Iraq. The "netroots" are heavily involved in Lamont's campaign (Markos Moulitsas Zuniga aka Kos appeared in an ad for the challenger) and Clinton was already receiving some kudos among posters on several of the larger and more influential liberal blogs for her move.

Should Lieberman lose the primary, expect a number of other Senators -- especially the more liberal elements of the caucus -- to follow Clinton's lead. If Clinton, the DSCC and other powerful interests within the national party come out in favor of Lamont, it will be difficult for Lieberman to continue on as an independent in the general election regardless of the polling. One interesting possibility is that if Lieberman runs and wins as an independent without the support of national Democrats whether that impels him to consider caucusing with Republicans in the 110th Congress.

The history of Independent Senate bids is nasty, brutish and short.

Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords is the only Independent currently serving in the Senate but when he ran for a third term in 2000 it was as a Republican. Jeffords switched his affiliation to Independent in 2001 and announced he would not seek a fourth term last year.

New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith left the Republican party in July 1999 to run an Independent presidential bid but was back just three months later when a chairmanship opened up following the death of Rhode Island Republican Sen. John Chafee. Voters didn't forgive Smith; he lost a 2002 Republican primary to then Rep. John Sununu 53 percent to 45 percent.

The last Senator to win election as an Independent was Harry Byrd Jr. (D-Va.). Byrd was appointed to replace his father -- Harry Sr. -- in 1965 and ran as a Democrat in a 1966 special election for the remaining four years on the term. He won that race -- albeit narrowly against a liberal Democrat. Four years later Byrd decided to run as an Independent after rejecting urgings from party leaders to sign a pledge to back all Democrats running for office. Byrd won that race with 54 percent, beating back Democrat George Rawlings (31 percent) and Republican Ray Garland (15 percent). Byrd went on to win another term as an Independent in 1976 and retired from the Senate in 1982. He is the only Independent Senate candidate to win more than 50 percent of the vote against two major party nominees and the only Independent to be elected to more than a single Senate term.

Judging from the early reactions of his colleagues and the weight of history, an Independent Senate bid for Lieberman this fall would be rife with complications. While The Fix is usually all in favor of putting the cart before the horse, it's important to remember that a Lieberman primary win is still the most likely outcome. He has been endorsed by the state AFL-CIO as well as nearly every Democratic elected official in the state. Lamont certainly has a chance at pulling off the upset but remains the underdog at the moment.

Can't get enough of the Lieberman-Lamont skirmish? Make sure to watch C-SPAN -- The Fix's favorite channel -- this Thursday at 7 p.m. for a live broadcast of the first debate between Lieberman and Lamont.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 5, 2006; 4:05 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

I just want to point out that this post is about The Big Lie's position on Iraq (heck it's titled "Lieberman: Iraq and a Hard Place"). And yet there is not ONE mention of polling the CT voters on the Iraq issue.

How did that happen?

Hey Chris, if Lie-berman really IS "betw Iraq and a Hard Place" and if Lamont really is a single-issue candidate, then why dont you actually WRITE about that in the post?

How about actually writing abt the situation on the ground in Iraq if you really think it is that important?

For one, Joe said during the debate that he STILL THINKS IRAQ IS IMPROVING. He thinks so: despite statements from top military brass that we need to set a timetable, despite international pressure to get out, despite calls from the Iraqi govt to set a timetable, and despite a vast majority of the country - including Connecticut - is AGAINST THE WAR.

I could go on, get my point? Or are you just going to regurgitate GOP talking points just like The Big Lie did during the televised debate?

Heck, Lamont clearly showed his grasp on incredibly complex issues totally unrelated to Iraq (Iran, social security, universal health care, gas prices), but if you and the lapdog MSM are going to call Lamont a one-trick pony and post blog entries about Lie-berman's problems with an Anti-War opponent, then WHY FURCHRISSAKES do you totally avoid the issue???????

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | July 7, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

>>>'What kind of message this!?'

Why are all you Dittoheads illiterate?

Learn to speak the language, then talk to me. You illiterate, extremist fascist republicans are the radicals, my friend.<<<

Sorry, it didn't show my quotation. Drindl, that's what I meant to quote you on. Also, you hound him for his type-o, yet you stoop so low as to call bhoomes a "butthead" and refuse to capitalize. Let's not get technical and call someone on grammatical errors. This isn't the Spelling Bee. Get over yourself.

Posted by: Jack in New Orleans | July 7, 2006 11:06 AM | Report abuse

>


Drindl, I'm pretty sure Alex isn't a Republican, as he used the word "we" when discussing Democrats. He also calls it "our Democratic Party." Fascist? Republican? Did you read the rest of the post????

Also, I defend his ideas - there is nothing fascist about being only moderately liberal. Drindl, you are sounding like Joe McCarthy, who called every liberal a Communist. Perhaps this is the Blue Scare? Take your scare tactics elsewhere, as we get plenty of that from Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, & Co.

Posted by: Jack in New Orleans | July 7, 2006 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Jack, are you talking about the primary or the general? I can't tell from your post. And you might want to check your facts on Hillary. She's said she'll support the winner of the primary, whoever that is. There's a whole Washington Post article on it if you care to use their search box.

There may be a state or district here or there where "liberal" would hurt you in a Democratic primary. Connecticut is most definitely NOT such a place. Ever heard of Rep. Chris Shays? He's a Republican, and a lot of people call *him* liberal. The other Republicans in office in CT, Gov. Jodi Rell and Reps. Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons, are also significantly more progressive than Republicans outside New England. They have to be or they couldn't get elected! Gov. Rell signed into law a bill creating civil unions in the state--with no court mandate to do so. An awful lot of people would consider THAT to be liberal. This is Connecticut, not Alabama or Mississippi.

http://sandwichrepair.blogspot.com

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 7, 2006 12:43 AM | Report abuse

This is such an interesting race, but since I'm outside of CT, there hasn't been enough coverage (though MSNBC and Hardball actually covered the debate!). As of now, 9pm 7/6, the NYT doesn't have a single story on their front page about it. C'mon now.

Ned's Internet backing is interesting, though I wish someone would tell his supporters that the whole traitor Joe thing isn't likely to sway anyone (and in fact, the extremely angry rhetoric will probably just alienate statewide voters - don't forget the label 'extreme liberal' is a bad, bad couple of words).

Why isn't Hillary's comments getting more positive attention, as if she had somehow stabbed Joe in the back?? Shouldn't she just trust the voters and support their candidate???

Still, Ned may have momentum, but he probably doesn't have the votes...

Posted by: Jack T. | July 7, 2006 12:03 AM | Report abuse

>>>Alan Schlesinger should have been allowed in this debate.

No thanks. One Republican on the stage at a Democratic Primary Debate is already one too many!

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | July 6, 2006 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I think a commenter on the NBC 30 site made a good point: Lamont was speaking to Democrats and trying to win them over; Lieberman was speaking to the general electorate. Lieberman has already written off the primary and begun his general election campaign. As such, Alan Schlesinger should have been allowed in this debate.

http://sandwichrepair.blogspot.com

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Line of the Night goes to Ned. The Big Lie kept interrupting Ned, prompting him to came back with "This isnt Fox News." Zing!

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | July 6, 2006 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Joe came off as a career politician who openly bragged about earmarks. Ned came off as standing up for the values of Democrats. Joe may have done decently on style points, but people are not happy with the current track of this country. Lamont clearly wins this one.

And I agree SR, where was Joe in 2000 against Cheney? He's running as an Independent but says he cares so much about the Democratic Party that he will still run for Senate even if he LOSES the Dem vote? What's that all about? Does he honestly think that Dem voters in CT dont know whats good for them? Thats what it sounds like he's saying. Lamont definitely wins this debate.

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | July 6, 2006 8:50 PM | Report abuse

The unscientific poll on the website of the TV station that hosted the debate finds that 79% of people think Lamont won the debate, and 21% think Lieberman won.

http://www.nbc30.com/news/9471030/detail.html

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Lamont also talked about health care and Social Security, and took positions that better represent my views and those of the Democratic base.

I found it disrespectful that Traitor Joe kept interrupting Lamont while he was trying to talk. Lamont did not interrupt him.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm fascinated that Joe keeps attacking Lamont as a single-issue candidate despite the fact that Lamont has attacked him and spoken comfortably about a wide range of issues. I tuned in at 7:30, but I haven't heard a single mention of the Iraq war. What's the single issue Traitor Joe thinks Lamont is about? Choice? Gay rights? Energy? Jobs? Ethics in government?

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Traitor Joe also called Lamont and his supporters "partisan jihadists". That's not vitriol? That's not entrenched incumbent entitlement? That's not arrogance that Traitor Joe has all the answers despite the fact that, as Ohio guy pointed out, the vast majority of Americans--and an even bigger majority in Connecticut--oppose the war?

Both candidates seem to be doing well so far in the debate. I'm impressed with the energy, fast pace, and substantive engagement of it. It sure puts the 2000 Cheney-Lieberman debate, which might as well have been a Leave it to Beaver episode, to shame. I must say that Lieberman is on weak ground trying to defend his vote for the abominable Cheney energy bill, and trying to cast Lamont as both a radical left-wing extremist AND a closet Republican. As Lamont said, a person could be one, but not both. Traitor Joe can't have it both ways. But then, that's never stopped him from trying before.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 7:48 PM | Report abuse

GAME ON!

www.cspan.org

Ned's gonna destroy The Big Lie.

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | July 6, 2006 7:03 PM | Report abuse

"on the other we have these leftist bloggers forming lynch mobs against any who go against there extreme ideology."

Lynch mobs?? LYNCH mobs?? ......

Come on, Alex, try toning down the scorched-earth rhetoric just a tad, will ya? You sound just as foolish as the "hijacked" guy. Last I looked no one is trying to kill Joe Lieberman, just retire him.

And what is this 'extremist ideology' you speak of? The view that the Iraq War was wrong and that we should have some sort of withdrawl plan for our troops besides 'stay the course'?? Sorry Alex, but that is a majority view in this country, and it is an overwhelmingly majority view in Connecticut, which is the state that Lieberman represents.

Can people please stop throwing out such apocalyptic words b/c they pissed that Lieberman may lose his seat? You guys only serve to further convinve people like me (who originally did not see the value of taking out Lieberman) that challenging Lieberman is the right thing to do b/c of your tired, weak, and hypocritical arguments.

Posted by: Ohio guy | July 6, 2006 6:25 PM | Report abuse

'What kind of message this!?'

Why are all you Dittoheads illiterate?

Learn to speak the language, then talk to me. You illiterate, extremist fascist republicans are the radicals, my friend.

Posted by: Drindl | July 6, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse

How about we send Liberman to IRAQ and he can be their SENATOR, that way if it looks like he may not win with one sect he can switch to another, it's a three party system over there, it's just that Bush/Cheney et.al, fail to see what everyone else knows. The only thing Joe would have to be carful of is driving, walking around, going outside the highly secure green zone and talking to anyone outside his sect! Thanks Sue F

Posted by: Sue Filutze | July 6, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"The only difference between liberals and cannibals is that cannibals only eat their enemies!" -LBJ
Truer words were never spoken! You radical liberals are destroying our Democratic Party at a time when we need to grow the most. On the one hand we have a great Democrat in Jim Webb urging Reagan Democrats to come back home, while on the other we have these leftist bloggers forming lynch mobs against any who go against there extreme ideology. What kind of message this!?!

Posted by: Alex | July 6, 2006 3:39 PM | Report abuse

California Nutmegger -

What a brilliant and well-written post. Thanks you for the added historical background on Lieberman. You made me despise him even more, if that's possible. Even I never realized that he is such a puppet of the right.

Posted by: Ohio guy | July 6, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

oh christ the loser bhoomes is back. i have had a successful political website for several years, with paid advertising and contributions, butthead. i'm also a freelance technical writer. i also have children.

but you sure seem to have a lot of time yourself, don't you? unemployed? get a life.

Posted by: Drindl | July 6, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"We like issues thoughtfully debated in a civil manner without vitriol and vicious name calling that demeans political discourse and makes us less united as a country." - A Mainstream Joe

You know what I consider vitriol?

Referring to the possible outcome of a primary election as a "hijacking" just b/c you don't like the result. That's my idea of demeaning the political discourse, and it deserves to be called out and beaten down when it is spotted.

Posted by: Ohio guy | July 6, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"Being a moderate means you are not so smug as to think you have or any political party has all the answers. We like issues thoughtfully debated in a civil manner without vitriol and vicious name calling that demeans political discourse and makes us less united as a country."

Sorry Joe. This is not what Lieberman does. He appears on extremist, hateful rightwing talk shows like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and viciously trashes Democrats. And who do you think is making us 'less united'? How about the wingers who go around calling every real Democrat a traitor? How about Karl Roves who uses hate and divisiveness as a standard campaign tactic? No Democrat is as vicious as your average republican--sorry.

And I never said that Dems have all the answers, only that the republicans don't have any, because they simply don't care about governing, just power.

Posted by: Drindl | July 6, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Drindl how is it that you have seem this cheap trick over the years and through numerous websites. What is it that you exactly do with your life to afford you so much time. Get a life or a job.

Posted by: bhoomes | July 6, 2006 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Remember when Lieberman ran for vice president and wouldn't resign his Senate Seat? Joe always liked to have it both ways, Veep or Senator and now Democrat or Independent,his hawkishness on Iraq, particularly after the death, destruction and loss of treasure is particularly troubling, but none of it has affected this Senator from Connecticut, who probably will win the Democratic nomination anyway.

Posted by: Big Dave | July 6, 2006 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Going back to Gore and Bush debates, gore saying more than once "he agrees with his opponent on this issue,.or issues.
It made Gore seem like a mirror image of the same thing. It looked bad. Al Gore no doubt lost votes because of that.

The issues around the war in Iraq, the war on global terrorism has this nation more than mearly divided now. And Lieberman and Cantwell are both sticking to their guns in support of the Bush adminstration,s rather lackadaisical mannor of heading up the war on global terrorism. And the lack of truth about it.
No longer does the idea of the abandonment of troop support by the people hold it,s fear element. In other words it is OK to not support the Bush adminstrations war effort and at the same time support the troops. One good way to support the troops is to bring them home.

Lieberman and Cantwell on their position of support to the Bush adminstration are both in the same frying pan. And it seems the heat has been turned up. Perhaps too much power at play here.

Both Lieberman and Cantwell are of the view support the war and the president on his calls. Essientially they argree with George Bush,who does not seem to know what he is doing at all.

Tough call for the voice of the people.
And H. Clinton , smooth move, isn,t that just what she seems to be good at.If she doesn,t support her partys choice,which is the will of the people,than what will the will of the people do to her in the long run?

Doesn,t it all come down to war?

Posted by: Deskjet | July 6, 2006 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Being a moderate means you are not so smug as to think you have or any political party has all the answers. We like issues thoughtfully debated in a civil manner without vitriol and vicious name calling that demeans political discourse and makes us less united as a country. These are some of the traits Joe Lieberman stands for and why a lot of people admire him. He's a good man. We could use a few more like him.

Posted by: A Mainstream Joe | July 6, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

California Nutmegger--thank you for exposing that Lieberman was financed by, and acted as, a tool of the rightwing all along.

Those astroturf 'moderate Dems' you refer to who come here and say they're getting pushed out of the party by the 'extremists' who are taking over, are all republicans. It's a cheap trick, but I've seen it over the years on all kinds of websites. Anytime you hear someone call Democrats 'extremists' you can be pretty sure they're a Foxfool or Dittohead. They always give themselves away, if they stay around long enough. But they usually don't because they're trolls.

Considering the fact that the republican party is run by the most extreme radicals since well, as you put it, Goebbels, it really is a joke.

Posted by: Drindl | July 6, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

FH: It's very simple, as has been explained here before thoroughly. Whichever caucus is bigger has their leader recognized as Majority Leader. If there are 49 Democrats and 2 Independents caucusing with them, 49 + 2 = 51, so the Democratic caucus would have 51 members and thus be the bigger one. They would control the Senate.

Giving your opinion is one thing; making blatantly false statements based on your ignorance of the facts or unwillingness to investigate them is entirely another. Not knowing something is fine. Pretending that you do, and arguing incorrectly based on it, is inexcusable. Why is it so hard to refrain from that? Don't you realize that the damage to your credibility isn't worth it?

Sure, if Lieberman won as an I and got really pissed at the other Democratic senators, he could violate his word and caucus with the Republicans, which I find nearly impossible to imagine, or he could simply decline to caucus with either party. But the ONLY scenario in which that has ANY effect on who controls the Senate is if the Democrats come out of this election with EXACTLY 51 seats, including Lieberman and Sanders. Statistically speaking, that is very unlikely. If we gain 5 seats or fewer, Republicans still have the Senate. If we gain 7 or more, we control the Senate. You're talking about a knife edge here, flipping a coin and having it land on its side. Possible, but very unlikely.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 1:49 PM | Report abuse

One of the rare advantages of age is that you actually remember stuff firsthand that others never learned.

I lived in CT when Lieberman chased incumbant Senator Lowell Weicker out of office. How did that happen? Well, sit back kiddies while grandpa tells you.

You see, Weicker, one of the last moderate-to-left Republicans of the Javitts/Rockefeller school, was a thorn in the side of the rightwingers then taking over the GOP. Bill Buckley, my then-neighbor in Greenwich and student of that other Joseph, Goebbbels, decided the conservatives' best shot at dealing with liberal Lowell was to back a conservative Democrat. He and his cronies backed Lieberman financially and in the voting booth, and tried to starve Weicker.

It worked. The GOP got a conservative in Democrat clothing as a stalking horse, and as their token donkey when bipartisanship was useful.

That Lieberman is now threatened from the left shouldn't be a surprise: he entered the political arena from stage right and has spent his time ignoring the big issues facing the country, except when called upon by the GOP right to speak out, and working to secure his lifetime sinecure in the Nutmeg State. What's encouraging is that the left is angry enough finally to go after this phoney.

Lieberman is a self-serving weasel. If it weren't for the weather, I'd move back from California just to vote against him. Again.

Posted by: California Nutmegger | July 6, 2006 1:47 PM | Report abuse

'A Mainstream Joe' spewed:

"It is depressing to think an honorable public servant who has done so much for his state and country as Lieberman has could have his seat hijacked by a bunch of extremist."

I saw one word in that idiotic rant:

"hijacked"

Hijacked??? Are you out of your damn mind? How does an honest, open primary election constitute a hijacking?? Last I looked, Ned Lamont did not have a gun to Joe Lieberman's head. If the voters of CT decide Joe no longer represents them well in the Senate, then that is called DEMOCRACY, not a hijacking moron. Don't like it? Then get out of my country for all I care. People like you who believe that insanely out-of-touch incumbents like Lieberman are entitled to reelection until they retire or die are the reason we have the incompetent elected officials we do today.

And just what are all of these great accomplishments that Joe has done for his state and the country??

Don't you love it when republicans come on this blog to defend Lieberman and pretend to be moderate Democrats who are 'being pushed out of the party by the extremists'?? Funny how none of them ever hang around to defend their baseless rants.

Posted by: Ohio guy | July 6, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Sandwich Repairman: Thank you, you answered my question about the majority.

Hey, I come on this site to learn as much as give my opinion. I still think that if every dem abandons Joe in an Independent bid...I would not be surprised to see him at least abstain from a vote in the majority elections in the Senate.

Posted by: FH | July 6, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

FH, go to Chris' new post, and it will tell you exactly why we don't have a coherent energy policy. Look at the biggest political donors and what business they're in.

Posted by: Drindl | July 6, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

RMill: Thank you for your expertise...I was obviously wrong in my opinion due to the caucus clause. I still wonder about the majority party if two independents caucasing with the dems put them over-the-top for the majority in say a 49-49-2 split.

Drindl: If they had been actually shooting at us, they would no longer be a country. As for our energy policy...Clinton had some great ideas on that front...yea right. The fact is our energy policies have been focused in one direction for generations. Why we have not come up with a better solution in this regard or at least a fall-back position is beyond me. Actually it's probably simple supply and demand...oil being the cheapest form of energy available, but our lack of foresight has really come back to bit us. You won't get an argument from me there.

Posted by: FH | July 6, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Sandwich

The RI example is perfectly analagous to the CT situation. And don't forget that Burns faced primary opposition as well in MT.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

An independent senator doesn't *have* to caucus with either party if they don't want to. Sen. Dean Barkley (I-MN) didn't in 2002.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 1:14 PM | Report abuse

FH, does anything get through to you at all??? Both your most recent assertions remain absolutely WRONG. If Jeffords can't vote for the Democratic leader, then how on earth did he switch control of the Senate in 2001? Obviously, HE CAN!

The caucus elections for leaders are like primaries; each caucus elects its own leader. Whichever caucus has more members is recognized as the majority, and their leader becomes Senate Majority Leader. In 2001, there were 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans in the Senate. Because of Vice-President Cheney's tie-breaking role, Lott was the Majority Leader and Daschle the Minority Leader. As soon as Jeffords announced he was switching caucuses, the Democrats had 51 members in their caucus--including Jim Jeffords as an Independent--and Republicans had 49 members in their caucus. There is no need for a new vote; it happens automatically.

The exact same thing will happen if Lieberman is elected to the Senate as an Independent! He has committed himself to caucusing with the Democrats, and he would be counted as a Democrat. His election as an I rather than a D has ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT on the size of the Democratic caucus in the Senate or on which party controls the Senate.

Furthermore, the Senate right now is 55-45. The only way this comes into play at all is if the Democrats gain EXACTLY 6 Senate seats this fall. (The Vermont election, going from one Independent who caucuses with Democrats to another, has no effect.)

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 1:11 PM | Report abuse

FH-how to deal with the Saudis? How about a sane energy policy? How about fuel standards for cars? How about serious investment in alternative energy sources? How about not calling conservation a 'joke'?

All of the problems we face in the middle east are about oil. Kind of figures that when you have a government run by lackeys of the oil industry, you're not really going to do anything but encourage people to use more, and use our troops to secure more.

That is the sole focus of our current foreign policy. Bush is completely inept and please don't try to argue with that. When faced with a real threat [because they always knew saddam wasn't] they start shaking in their boots, because they don't have a clue what to do. They have 'dealt' with North Korea by ignoring it and allowing them to do any damn thing they pleased. That's not policy, it's negligence.

In your mind, it's better if they're actually shooting at us? That's great. Polish those rose-colored glasses some more.

Posted by: Drindl | July 6, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Independents can caucus at the invitation of the party leaders.

How is this for a scenario-

Senate ties 49-49, with Cheney as VP he breaks the tie.

Senator Sanders of VT often caucuses with Dems in the House and is invited by his new Senate colleagues.

Dems 50 Reps 49

Joe Lieberman elected as Independent. Who does he caucus with? Does rejection by Reid and Clinton push Joe to caucus with R's? 50-50 tie goes to Reps.

Reid has to be carfeul how this gets handled and keep the attack dogs within the party at bay should Joe lose the primary and run (and win) as an I.

Posted by: RMill | July 6, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

That is the information that I found. I believe that means that Jeffords can not vote for the leader of the dem party nor does he count as a dem when deciding who gets the majority in the Senate. It is broken down in the case of the 2001 Senate as 50 dems. 49 rep. and 1 ind...therefore the dems gained the majority with no need for a vote.

Posted by: FH | July 6, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The floor leaders of each party today are elected by a majority vote of all the Senators of the said party assembled in a conference or, as it sometimes is called, a caucus. The practice has been to choose the leader for a two-year term at the beginning of each Congress. After the parties have held their elections, the selection is made known through the press or by announcement to the Senate. The majority and minority leaders are the elected spokesmen on the Senate floor for their respective political parties, having been elected by their fellow Senators of the same party to whom they are responsible.

http://www.senate.gov/general/common/generic/officer_responsiblities.htm

Posted by: RMill | July 6, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Jack: And yet more Democrats voted for the vaguer, open-ended resolution than the Kennedy-Feingold one calling for a hard timetable. You applauded Lieberman for not just towing the party line, but there isn't one to tow. And of the two options, more Democrats in the Senate supported an open-ended withdrawal over a timetable. The netroots and bloggers may get a lot of press attention, but they hardly define the Democratic Party or its positions. Barack Obama is immensely popular, but he opposes a timetable too.

I love the comment above about how Republicans don't do this to their elected officials. I wonder how that explains the primary challenge Steven Laffey is mounting against Lincoln Chafee right next door in Rhode Island. Or if the person who said that has ever heard of the Club for Growth. Toomey challenging Specter? Scott Garrett challenging Marge Roukema? In fact, Republicans do this a lot MORE than Democrats; that's why the term RINO is a lot more common than DINO.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Sandwich Repairman,

There may not be an official Democratic party line, but there is a lot of pressure from many Dems, mostly bloggers (whose influence is growing mightily) and those pushing for a more anti-Bush platform in order to gain votes. I was merely applauding Lieberman for not crumbling and falling into a political nightmare by supporting the "deadline" approach. That's all.

Posted by: Jack in New Orleans | July 6, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Drindl: Talk about ignorance is bliss. By your comment since we didn't know about the N. Korean threat, we were better off. They were developing those weapons right under Clinton's nose. In my mind it's better that we all have our cards on the table. Most experts I've heard seem to be in agreement that Bush is handling the situation in N. Korea about as well as you can. Using all parties concerned to put pressure on them seems the only reasonable policy right now.

I'm not going to argue with you about Bush's fiscal policy, because I have been disappointed in the Republican congress and President in this regard as well. I will say that as a percentage of GDP this debt is not the largest in our history.

As for the Saudi's, we're over a barrel, literally, with them. I would love to hear some democratic ideas for dealing with them.

As for Isreal and the Palestinians, it's hard to put the blame on Bush when this conflict has been going on for 60 plus years. You have to have a partner for peace and that's something Isreal does not have.

Posted by: FH | July 6, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

It is depressing to think an honorable public servant who has done so much for his state and country as Lieberman has could have his seat hijacked by a bunch of extremist. Whatever happen to moderate politics. If John Kennedy was alive today, he would be ran out of the democratic party for being a right wing extremist. My God, what has happen to my party?

Posted by: A Mainstream Joe | July 6, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

FH, there are no rules to post. Perhaps if you paid attention in 2001 (or bothered to search for any articles from the time) you'd refrain from making such clearly false claims. The Senate switched hands in June 2001 because Sen. Jeffords left the Republican caucus and announced that he would become an Independent and CAUCUS WITH THE DEMOCRATS. Jeffords counts as a Democrat. That's why once his announcement took effect, Tom Daschle was recognized in the Senate as the Majority Leader. There is no vote for the leader of the Senate like there is in the House. It's simply a matter of which caucus has the most members. Absolutely nothing prevents Lieberman from winning reelection as an Independent and caucusing with the Democrats. He would still be counted as a Democrat, Democrats would NOT lose his seat, and it would NOT throw control of the Senate to Republicans.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

FH -

"Not only that, his election will not help the dems in their goal to grab the majority, because he will not be considered a Dem."

FH let me see if I can explain this to you. You know how Jeffords is considered a Dem even though he is an independent? BY the way - you are wrong, who do you think Jeffords voted for as Minorty Leader? That's right - Harry Reid. Independents do vote for leadership positions.

Anyways, IF Joe loses the primary and then IF Joe wins the general as an independent, he will also be considered a Dem B/C HE HAS PLEDGED TO REMAIN A DEMOCRAT AND CAUCUS WITH THE DEMS EVEN IF HE WINS AS AN INDEPENDENT. His election therefore WILL NOT BE A NET LOSS FOR DEMS. I'm trying to think how I could possibly make this any clearer.

The moral of the story is that no matter how the CT race turns out, it will not hurt the Dems' chances of winning back the Senate.

Posted by: Ohio guy | July 6, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

When Jeffords switched from R to I he made the dems the majority. It was 50 R and 50 D, when he switched it made the D's the majority 50 - 49. It had nothing to do with him voting.

You're right about one thing, though. I don't know the rules regarding I's voting for party leadership. If you could find that info and post it, I'd appreciate it...I could not find it anywhere.

Posted by: FH | July 6, 2006 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"You seem to blame everything that goes wrong in the world on Bush and the Republicans".

Last time I looked, repubicans were in charge of all three branches of government. They started the debacle in Iraq and now don't know how to get out. They don't have a clue how to deal with Israel. They kiss up [and hold hands with] the saudis who financed 9/11.

Domestically, our trade deficit is bigger than it's ever been. Because of tax cuts to the wealthy who don't pay their share anyway, we have the deepest deficit in history. Our treasury bond, the basis of our economy, is on the verge of being downgraded to junk.

During the clinton administration, the 'nut' in north korea was not lobbing missiles at us. His nuclear program was under seal.

And by the way, if a nuclear-armed 'nut' was lobbing missiles at us [and if it's not a grave threat, why have they upgraded the alert status of NORAD?] during the Clinton administration, I don't think Clinton would have responded by going to a Dunkin Doughnuts [which is what bush did today.] I don't know why, maybe he was going to read 'My Pet Goat.'

There's nothing over the top about describing the extremely serious crisis we face today. Just a lot of people who are delusionally ignoring it. Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

Posted by: Drindl | July 6, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

FH, you simply have your facts wrong. Independents most certainly CAN and DO vote for Democratic and Republican party leaders. Ever heard of Jim Jeffords? Rep. Bernie Sanders? Rep. Virgil Goode? If Independents can't vote for the leader of a major party, how did Jeffords switch control of the Senate 5 years ago? And why then did Lieberman insist he will vote for Reid as Senate Majority Leader and continue to caucus with Democrats?

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Here's a Rasmusen poll from June 19 which shows Schlesinger winning a commanding 15% of the vote (to 29% for Lamont and 44% for Lieberman): http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2006/State%20Polls/June%202006/connecticutsenate06162006.htm

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Ohio Guy: I don't understand your comment. If Joe is an Ind., he can't vote for Reid as leader of the party...he will not be affiliated with the Dems. Not only that, his election will not help the dems in their goal to grab the majority, because he will not be considered a Dem. He may be able to change from an Ind. to a Dem. after the election...I honestly don't know the legal ramifications of such a maneuver.

Drindl: You seem to blame everything that goes wrong in the world on Bush and the Republicans. I'm not exactly sure why George Bush is responsible for the "Nut" that runs North Korea. Clinton did no better at trying to reason with this group of idiots. He signed a treaty that the N. Koreans simply ignored. I would like to here your strategy for dealing with this issue instead of all the ridiculous, over-the-top rhetoric.

Posted by: FH | July 6, 2006 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Well, he did run to the right of Sen. Lowell Weicker (R) in his initial 1988 election.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman is so far right, even repubicans have to run to the left of him. Which about sums it up.

Posted by: Drindl | July 6, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

You can't run a serious campaign without money. If Republicans thought Schlesinger had any chance in a three-way race, they'd have started contributing by now. Nothing says "sacrificial lamb" like a report of $20,000 raised with no cash on hand and $10,000 of debt.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, that Schlesinger's a real go-getter candidate! From the Hartford Courant:

"Some delegates appeared unenthusiastic about Schlesinger, particularly after he took the stage to a variation on the "Mickey Mouse Club" theme: 'S-C-H, L-E-S, I-N-G-E-R.'

...

Schlesinger wanted to run for former Gov. John Rowland's vacated congressional seat in 1990 but failed to receive the party nomination.

...

U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R- Bridgeport, has said he plans to support the Democrat [Lieberman]

...

He describes himself as "a true fiscal conservative" who backed the war but now wants 50 percent of the troops withdrawn within 12 months of Election Day. [Gosh, the Republican wants a faster pullout than Lieberman!]

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Why should Schlesinger be receiving money now? If Lieberman wins, then the Republicans will know Schlesinger has no chance, and nothing will happen. If he loses and creates a 3-way race, then that will be the time to watch the money come in.

Posted by: Zathras | July 6, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Now, that point about the Republican gaining ground might actually have some merit if the candidate were raising any significant amount of money, sending direct mail, buying radio and/or TV ad time, or mounting any kind of campaign at all.

The 2nd quarter FEC reports aren't due until next week, but as of April 30th, here's what the fundraising numbers in this race looked like:

Total Raised Cash on Hand
Lieberman $5,906,206 $4,294,766
Lamont $776,880 $179,601
Schlesinger* $20,350 $0

*Schlesinger's campaign also had debt: $10,000.

(Source: http://www.tray.com/cgi-win/x_candpg.exe?DoFn=S6CT05066*2006)

The NRSC website doesn't even provide a link to their candidate's website, and its latest news release on the race is almost 3 months old. The candidate's own website is totally bare bones, also with 3 month old news and a bunch of "Coming Soon" notes. http://www.schlesinger2006.com

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"There's a difference between discipline with regard to policy and discipline with regard to elections."

If republicans never ELECT the candidate(s) with the "right" policy position, how are they ever going to implement their policies? Your statement just illustrates that Republicans are a win-at-all-cost party that dosen't stand for anything besides retaining power. This may explain why republicans are having such big problems with their base tight now - the base wants restrained spending and smaller government, but the establishment republicans are doing just the opposite, b/c they keep reelecting the same morons so they can retain power, rather than running a "true" republican who might (GASP!) actually LOSE a race.

Posted by: Ohio guy | July 6, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Zathras -

"If Lieberman loses the primary, you will really see the Republican money start pouring into the state."

LOL - I will laugh my head off if Elizabeth Dole and Ken Mehlman are stupid enough to waste money in the CT race, especially when Lamont is worth $90-$300M and the internet alone has raised over $500,000 for Lamont. But hey, have it your way. Liz Dole is welcome to flush money down the toilet.

"But the Republicans would never have funded a serious primary challenge against him [Voinovich], so that the seat would be up for grabs in the general election."

Again Zathras, you are completely fogetting (or ignoring?) the fact that the republican has no chance whatsoever in this race. If Liberman loses the primary and runs as an independent, CT Democrats will rally behind behing Lamont, they will not throw their votes with the republicans to either elect Lieberman or the republican. You are ignoring the fact that after the primary everything changes, and if Lamont wins he will have the full Democratic state establishment behind him, and CT is overwhelmingly anti-Iraq war and anti-Bush. Lieberman cannot rally that majority b/c he is pro-Iraq war and pro-Bush. Lamont CAN rally them.

Posted by: Ohio guy | July 6, 2006 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Read an analysis on how the Lieberman v. Lamont race is being incorporated into the Karl Rove midterm election strategy...here:

http://www.thoughttheater.com/2006/07/political_strategy_the_numbers.php

Posted by: Daniel DiRito | July 6, 2006 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman getting elected as an Independent and caucusing with the Democrats equals ZERO LOSS for the Democrats of that seat. Did you notice that Sen. Jeffords (I-VT) caucuses with the Democrats, which gave us control of the Senate in 2001 and 2002?

Lieberman would have to break his word to caucus with Republicans. And if Lamont beats him in November, there is absolutely no argument here.

But then, as usual, right-wingers can't be bothered to check the facts.

Jack: Have you read Harold Myerson's column (which I posted a link to above)? Did you check the Senate votes on alternative Democratic resolutions about how soon we should leave Iraq? THERE IS NO PARTY LINE ON THIS QUESTION! I defy you to tell me what it is. So Lieberman is neither towing nor bucking the party line on a timetable for Iraq no matter what he does.

Speculating that a Republican candidate whose campaign office is apparently closed will magically get 30% of the vote (when Republican registration in the state is only 23%) is just nonsensical. There is absolutely no evidence or rational analysis behind that claim. Republicans will vote for Lieberman as an Independent over a hopeless unknown. They've fielded a joke of a candidate and made no effort to find a better replacement. We're talking here about the only state that passed civil unions legislatively, without any judicial branch involvement, through a Democratic legislature and signed by a REPUBLICAN Governor. The nominal Republican is not a factor in this race. He's likely to poll in the 10% range. This race is between Lieberman and Lamont.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 11:06 AM | Report abuse

sorry, zathras. i'm afraid i'm a little overwhelmed by the news this morning-- not thinking clearly. look at the mess we're in, jesus christ. look what republicans have done to this country. and how awful all of our options are in every case. with anyone with half a brain in charge, things would never have gotten this bad. with anyone who gave a damn about the country, who wasn't interested simply in raping and pillaging it.

anyone who's really a patriot ought to be enraged at the repubican desecration of everything america stands for.

Posted by: Drindl | July 6, 2006 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I may deplore Lieberman as a Democrat, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the war. In fact, I applaud him for stepping outside of the party's platform to make the decision to continue helping the people in Iraq. I don't like the fact that our troops were sent there for what seemed to be a personal vendetta, but I refuse to conform to my party's views that a timeline for withdrawal is necessary.

It is bad to go to war for the reasons we did. It is equally as bad to sacrifice the rights of the Iraqi people to pull out early and lead the country to a civil war. Like it or not, that is what will happen unless we stay to help until a viable political system has been created with some base of support among the people of Iraq. If we (the Dems) were to take power and withdraw our troops, we would be no better than Bush for having put us there in the first place. How would it appear to the rest of the world if the supposed military "superpower" of the globe couldn't finish the job in a very small country?

I agree with Truman's approach - lend unconditional support to a country in an effort to prevent the "enemy" (Soviets in Truman's day, terrorists and radical Islamic theocrats in our day) from taking over and expanding power. It worked in Turkey and in Greece and we should not be willing to see it fail in Iraq, regardless of party.

Now, I still deplore Lieberman's other views, such as the "short-ride" for rape victims. I also hate his "me-first" attitude, but it's hard nowadays to find a legitimately powerful senator who cares more for his/her constituents than s/he does for him/herself. I would love to see Lamont win, but I would hate to see us leave Iraq. It would be a major victory for every major enemy of democracy. It may sound like GOP rhetoric, but even Republicans hit with their shots in the dark every once in a while.

Posted by: Jack in New Orleans | July 6, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Drindl, can you read? You quote me twice, put the quotes together so they are out of context, and use this to put me in the Republican camp? I agree that the Clinton impeachment was ridiculous.

To put it more clearly for you. I WANT the subpoenas to start flying down Penn Ave. I WANT Bush to be investigated fully by a Democratic Congress. That's why I said "The only thing that really matters is putting the Senate into Democratic hands, so that the subpoenas can start flying." The second comment, "This kind of nonsense never happens in the Republican party," deals with the lack of discipline which hurts the Democrats' chances at the primary goal, as I stated above. Is that clearly stated enough for you?

Posted by: Zathras | July 6, 2006 10:44 AM | Report abuse

zathras-'The only thing that really matters is putting the Senate into Democratic hands, so that the subpoenas can start flying.

This kind of nonsense never happens in the Republican party. '

Jesus, I don't know how you people manage to maintain the delusional world you live in. No, republicans NEVER NEVER get involved in that legal nonsense. They certianly never would have spent 8 years and over 70 million dollars in taxpayer's money investigating and trying to lynch a president over NOTHING. That was just treaon, my friends, financed by you and me.

Why don't you admit that republicans are not in the least interested in governing, just staying in power and robbing the treasury of every last cent? Why don't you just admit that the repubican party is about as moral as a KKK lynch mob?

Posted by: Drindl | July 6, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Ohio guy,

The 8% figure is meaningless right now, since Schlesinger has no name recoginition yet. With a little campaigning, it will go up to 30% easy, and from there it's not far to win a divided 3-way race. The poll data is also obviously out-of-date, as it gives Lieberman a 3-1 edge over Lamont, which is obviously not true now. If Lieberman loses the primary, you will really see the Republican money start pouring into the state.

There's a difference between discipline with regard to policy and discipline with regard to elections. Republicans were furious when Voinovich went on his crusade against Bolton for the UN. He was also called a traitor, etc. etc. (although for a shorter time than Lieberman). But the Republicans would never have funded a serious primary challenge against him, so that the seat would be up for grabs in the general election. Republicans don't fund serious challenges against pro-choice candidates on this level, even though many Republicans feel as strongly on this issue as many Democrats feel about the war. Losing focus of what the important goal is (recapturing the Senate) to satisfy some voters on one issue is political suicide.

Posted by: Zathras | July 6, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Zathras:

You're not making sense. It appears that you have not read even the three posts before yours which says whether Lamont or Liberman wins the Democratic primary, the seat would still stay in the Democrat column. The little-known Republican't only has at least 8% of voter approval at this point. You're also forgetting that Liberman still has to prove that he could gather the thousands of signatures needed--which is becoming increasingly impossible given he disapproval numbers--to qualify for the Independent slot.

Regarding your statement: "This kind of nonsense never happens in the Republican party. They might not be happy with some of the pro-choice politicians out there, but you don't see any of them with being booted out in a primary..." why is it "nonesense" to replace a senator who the voters are not happy with? Liberman no longer represents his constituents. The voters will speak and should there be more voter discontentment then Liberman will definitely get the boot. Sorry if you think that democracy is "nonesence".

Posted by: Marve | July 6, 2006 10:29 AM | Report abuse

FH -

If Lieberman is elected as an independent, he has pledged to vote for Harry Reid as Majority Leader. So it seems you are the one who is wrong - if Joe chooses to caucus with the Dems, then he is for all intents and purposes still a democrat, just like James Jeffords currently is. James Jeffrds is counted as a Democrat b/c he causcuses with Dems. Your logic is extremely weak and wrong.

Posted by: Ohio guy | July 6, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

As someone who is registered to vote in CT to vote, but attends school here in DC,I get the opportunity to hear inside the beltway gossip, but home state news as well.

First, Lieberman will do much better as an independent than a Democrat. There was a poll recently down that showed that Republicans in CT are more likely to vote for Lieberman if he ran as an Independent than a Democrat. So, if he ran as an Independent, what Lieberman would lose as the " strong Democratic base" would be balanced by moderate Republicans.

Second, in the "three-way race" no one has spoken about the Republican challenger. Which I just read in the Hartford Courant has a campaign office that looks closed. And after the first FEC filing period, the challenger had no money in the bank. This will not be a three way race. Even if Lieberman loses the primary, the race will be at best Lieberman as an Independent vs Lamont the Democrat. The DSCC could not be in a better situation. Either way they get Democratic support. Lieberman would never throw support to the Republican party. He may vote with them more often than Democrats like, but he would never jump ship.

In response to previous posters comments about the DSCC quiet nature on who they will support after the primary. Its premature. If Lieberman wins the primary, we have nothing to discuss. If he loses, that's a different story and the DSCC support will only matter if one Lieberman wants their support and two, if the Republican challenger gets off his butt and starts a real challenge. The DSCC needs to put money in real races like TN, VA, MO ect. Not in some fight over who is the bigger Democrat.

Posted by: JD | July 6, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Zathras -

Apparently you are one of those people who does not bother yourself with reading the previous posts. I can tell this b/c you spout your nonsense about the seat going to a republican if Lieberman runs as an independent.

For the gazillionth trillionth time, for you and any other mouth-breathers who happen to read this, a recent three-way poll was done between Lamont, Lieberman, and the republican(btw: can you even name the republican in this race? I thought so. That shows how much of a chance he has). In this poll , the republican received a whopping 8%. E-I-G-H-T. Lieberman got 56%, and Lamont 18%. So please stop spouting your idiotic nonsense about the seat going to a republican. A state where 70% of the voters do not approve of Bush is not going to elect a Bush lapdog no matter what.

And you're right, the republicans are very disciplined. Republican Senators do not go on liberal tv news shows and tear apart other republicans when they do not agree with them, do they? No, b/c they are disciplined. You see, there is this Democrat, Joe Lieberman, who goes onto Hannity and Fox News and rips on the entire Democrtic party to make himself seem like a "centrist" and in the process gives Bush bipartisan cover. You may see the primary challenge to Lieberman as a LACK of discipline, myself and other Democrats see it as an ENFORCEMENT of the most basic discipline that a Democratic Senator should have - and that is to not undermine your own party. Disagreement is fine, undermining your own party to make yourself look good to wingnut screamers like Hannity, Coulter, Santorum, Frist and Bush is not.

Posted by: Ohio guy | July 6, 2006 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I see a great many people on this blog saying that if Joe gets elected as an independent-dem. that the dems will still hold this seat - wrong. You are either a R, D or an I, not one or the other. If Joe gets elected as an I, it goes as a net loss for the dems.

As for whether Joe gets funding if he goes for and Independent bid...don't be surprised if he gets funding from some Republican sources. Don't be surprised if he gets some votes from Republican voters as-well-as Independents and Dems. Anyway way you slice it, an Independent bid for Joe is a loss for Dems, which is why the above comment is so on point "The Democratic party has no discipline, and that's why they keep losing elections."

Posted by: FH | July 6, 2006 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Democrats may not be crazy about Lieberman, but what's the alternative? If he loses the primary and runs as an independent, his seat will go over to Republicans. Is that what the anti-war activists want? The only thing that really matters is putting the Senate into Democratic hands, so that the subpoenas can start flying.

This kind of nonsense never happens in the Republican party. They might not be happy with some of the pro-choice politicians out there, but you don't see any of them with being booted out in a primary. The Democratic party has no discipline, and that's why they keep losing elections.

Posted by: Zathras | July 6, 2006 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I didn't realize this before, but Lamont's ads are being done by Bill Hillsman. This is the same guy who helped elect Paul Wellstone in 1990 and Jesse Ventura in 1998 with his funny, whimsical TV and radio spots. Lamont's ads from North Woods remind me of Wellstone's. The Underdog one is especially funny. These ads are engaging and have a gentle touch--not heavy-handed or scorched earth attacks.

As Wellstone's and Ventura's victories show, they work. Lieberman's ads could well backfire. He should change media consultants. But then gain, no matter how much lipstick you put on a pig...

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Bush's approval numbers in CT are 30/68. Ranked by net approval, Connecticut is #46; only 4 states like him less.

http://www.surveyusa.com/50State2006/50StateBushApproval060613Net.html

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 8:42 AM | Report abuse

You can also see that among Democrats, Lieberman's numbers over the past year have fallen from 70/22 (+48) to 46/50 (-4). Pitted against no other candidate, Connecticut Democrats no longer like Lieberman. And the trend doesn't look good for him.

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollTrack.aspx?g=5b2ae37d-ddb3-43ce-9ef4-f463f260dbe9&x=751,2

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Survey USA finds that Lieberman has an approval rating of 55% and a disapproval rating of 41%, ranking him 56th in the Senate in net approval. A year ago, they showed his approval figures at 65/28. In other words, he's plummeted from a net +37 to +14 in the past year. I'd expect that to continue getting a little worse.

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollTrack.aspx?g=5b2ae37d-ddb3-43ce-9ef4-f463f260dbe9

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Here are the party registration stats for Connecticut:

Registered Voters: 671,656 D (34.2%); 449,727 R (22.9%); 844,433 unaffiliated and minor parties (43.0%)

CT voted for Clinton twice, Gore in 2000, and Kerry in 04. It hasn't elected a Republican senator since 1982. Bush and the Iraq war are staggeringly unpopular in the state (thus Lieberman's problem). And again, you can scroll up and click to see the raw data yourself from the Quinnipiac poll which found a month ago that in a three-way race, Lieberman (I) would get 56%, Lamont (D) would get 18%, and the Republican would get 8%. I suspect Lamont has since narrowed the gap between himself and Lieberman, but for the millionth time, there is no chance of a Republican winning this seat.

Rob: P.S. If there are no signature requirements, who decides which 3 candidates get on the ballot for each party, and how do they decide that?

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Rob: What you suggest has already been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court--it violates the free association right of political parties. Besides, if primaries had no connection to parties, what would be the point in having them?? The purpose of primary elections is to choose the nominee of each party for the general. If you gut the purpose of the primary, you might as well eliminate it and just have large, multi-candidate fields in general elections. If that's what you're advocating, that's fine, but it makes no sense to dress it up as a reform to the primary system.

Why do we need 3 candidates nominated from each party? You want 15 names on the ballot for every race? As if US elections weren't complicated enough already! And then multiple rounds of voting, counting, or ranking? Far too complicated, and unnecessarily so. You really think anyone but political junkies would ever understand how that system worked?

I think elections need to be simpler: voting by mail and same-day registration (or none like in North Dakota), cap the number of elections that can be held in any place per year at 3-4, and get the other 49 states to follow Nebraska's example and get rid of bicameral legislatures. There's no reason for states to have more than unicameral legislatures anymore; only Congress has a real justification for being bicameral. Canadians have one MP and one representative provincially, and I find that they are much more likely to know who their representatives are than Americans who each have 1 Congressperson, 2 Senators, and at least 1 state senator and 1 state represenative (sometimes more--in WA everyone has a state senator and TWO state reps). It's overly complicated in the US, which increases ignorance and decreases participation.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 6, 2006 8:14 AM | Report abuse

>>>Also, though I much prefer Lamont to Lieberman, it's hardly logical for you to say that the Democratic primary decides who gets to represent Connecticut.

It is a Democratic state, a blue state, that is avidly against the war. Im not saying that Republicans shouldnt be able to run, but more than likely it is either going to be Lamont or Lieberman who wins the general election.

>>>If Lieberman can run as an Independent and win, then that pretty damn well shows who the people of Connecticut think represents them.

That's true. But I dont think that's going to happen. I think the way things are going, Lamont is going to win the primary and the general. Reason being, the tide has turned, Lamont is polling almost even, and every time Lieberman goes out on the campaign (dragging career D.C. politicians in tow) he has CT voters calling him turncoat and Traitor Joe. Running as an Independent will clearly lose him a LOT of Dem voters, and, again, Ive been trying to find voter registration numbers for CT, but im fairly certain Dems significantly outweigh R's in the Constitution State.

>>>I hate to be the one defending Lieberman on here, but the extent to which a tiny segment of netroots activists project their own opinions onto the rest of the population never ceases to amaze me.

Yes, these are my opinions, and I am happy to qualify them as such, but again, we are talking abt CT. A liberal dem state in the northeast. It is not just some generic population we are talking abt. Over 70% in CT disapprove of Bush. Etc.

Also, everyone knows that Lieberman is a dredfully boring and passionless speaker. When faced against the dynamic and passionate Lamont in debates, and when the CT voters have a better idea of LAmont's whole platform, we are going to see just how little a chance Lieberman has to move on, imho.

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | July 6, 2006 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman said he had higher ideals than just the democratic party. Bullocks! Lieberman just shows he's an egomaniacal twit who puts his person above party. "Me Me Me", that's the gest of his argument. He's just showing himself a sore loser.

Posted by: Frederik | July 6, 2006 6:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you there Jeff, thats why I believe the present primary system should be done away with. Run a race with all candidates and do a runoff if necessary. The small percentage of voters that come out for a primary is so pathetically small that the primary doesn't mean a thing. Lamont could very well win the Democratic primary, but if Leiberman crushes him in the general then what good did that victory do Lamont.

The process should work like this.

People get on the ballot, you run 3 slots for each party, and I mean each party, Green Libertarian every party, none of this signature drive BS. If people want to run, let them run. Limit the people who can run as an independent the same way, only 3 independents can run. Use a primary to narrow the fields down to 3. Then, run all the candidates in an election, if no one gets a majority, run the highest vote getter from each party and the highest independent. Run again, if no one gets a majority, remove any candidate that didn't get 5%. This race is the final race, it has eleiminated all the candidates who have no shot at winning, namely, most of the third party's and indies. By this time you should only have 2 or 3 people left on the ballot or a declared winner that truely is the choice of the people, not the choice of the Democrats running against the choice of the republicans with the indies in the middle trying to decide which candidate is the lesser of 2 evils.

Heck, you can run 2 primaries too if you have too, if you've got 4 people within 5 % of each other and 20% of the peopel voted for someone aside from these 4, run a runoff to see who gets the rest of the 20%. This also gives the former candidates a chance to endorse someone else. It also gives the third parties a voice. In the event that their candidate is eliminated in the first run off, the party, say the Greens, can endorse a candidate running, say the Democratic one, so their voters will vote for the democrat. This allows the third parties to get involved with the big boys and maybe the big boys can return the favor. I've seen before where there is no Dem candidate but there is a Green who the Dems could get behind, the DNC could then send out an e-mail or a flyer endorsing the Green candidate and giving them a boost in the election, maybe even getting more third party candidates elected. I don't see how that could be a bad thing.

Posted by: Rob Millette | July 6, 2006 5:48 AM | Report abuse

FairAndBalanced?, you're right, I don't know what's happening on the ground in Connecticut, seeing as I don't live in that state. I suspect that what's "happening on the ground" may be important in the Democratic primary but that a lot of people aren't paying that close attention. I also know that people who are perceived as independent-leaning (Jeffords, Powell, McCain) are usually incredibly popular with Americans even if they do not have the esteem of hardcore Democrats or Republicans.

Regardless of whether Lieberman is a panderer or not (and I think he is), the fact that you personally think he is an idiot is not at all connected to whether or not he can win an election in a state where he enjoys high approval ratings in both parties.

Also, though I much prefer Lamont to Lieberman, it's hardly logical for you to say that the Democratic primary decides who gets to represent Connecticut. If Lieberman can run as an Independent and win, then that pretty damn well shows who the people of Connecticut think represents them.

I hate to be the one defending Lieberman on here, but the extent to which a tiny segment of netroots activists project their own opinions onto the rest of the population never ceases to amaze me.

Posted by: Jeff | July 6, 2006 1:29 AM | Report abuse

>>>Besides, everybody loves an Independent.

Sorry Jeff, but imho that shows total lack of knowledge of what's happening on the ground in CT. He's not just any ol' Independent. He is a do-nothing career politician who wants to pander to both sides at the same time while running as neither. That's not being an Independent that's just plain idiocy.

>>>an outright defection by Lieberman to the Republican camp could tip the balance of power

Let him defect. A Lamont VICTORY would ensure that the people of CT are adequately represented in the US government. A right they have been denied since Lieberman's last hurrah as a Dem in 2000.

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | July 6, 2006 12:07 AM | Report abuse

We needed Lieberman to retire from the Senate in 2000 and let Richard Blumenthal run and keep the seat then for the same reason. Why was Traitor Joe so eager to remain on the ticket and hand over his seat to a Republican if he became Vice-President over a 51-49 Republican Senate (which would have been 50-50 in our favour had Lieberman gotten off the ballot)?

Lieberman has said repeatedly and strongly that he will continue to caucus with the Democrats. What kind of principle would he demonstrate by breaking his word on that too?

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 5, 2006 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I think Lieberman could end up on top after all this. For starters, Lieberman has a decent chance of winning the general, even if he loses the primary. Some Democrats will undoubtedly still vote for him, since Lieberman's popularity numbers among Connecticut Democrats haven't exactly tanked. Likewise for Republicans, especially when Chris Shays and others line up to support Lieberman. Besides, everybody loves an Independent.

And, there's a slight chance that Democrats could need Lieberman's vote for a majority. If the Democrats win Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Montana, Missouri, Arizona, and Tennessee, an outright defection by Lieberman to the Republican camp could tip the balance of power.

Posted by: Jeff | July 5, 2006 10:05 PM | Report abuse

In the immortal words of Calvin (the boy with the stuffed tiger, not the theologian), "I take it by your silence that you agree." :)

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | July 5, 2006 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Why the heck are we even devoting so much attn to this race? I know Republicans like CC just love talking abt infighting Dems, but really. Two posts in a row with a joke Condi post in betw? A Condi Sandwich?

Is there NOTHING else going on in politics? Is this a diversion? What gives? What's the latest in TN? MO? MT? OH?! Im a NorthEast Liberal and im sick of hearing abt NorthEast politics and on The Fix. How bout the rest of the country?

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | July 5, 2006 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be so cavalier about calling Lamont the underdog in this primary. The latest Rasmussen poll showed him behind 46-40, and over the last few months the polls have showed incredible momentum behind Lamont (remember it wasn't long ago he was polling under 20%). If you look at the favourable/unfavourable numbers in the Quinnipiac poll, you see that the number of people who like Lamont is increasing as the number who don't know who he is decreases. His unfavourable ratings haven't changed, while Lieberman's have steadily risen.

Then you have to remember that this primary takes place in August when most people are on vacation or in any case hardly paying attention to politics. It's going to be a low-turnout affair in which the most passionate voters turn out. That clearly benefits Lamont. One of the big blogs, Swing State Project maybe, compared the poll numbers in this primary to those in the 2004 Specter-Toomey primary. They showed that Lamont has been gaining steam at a much faster pace than Toomey did in PA against Specter, and also that Lamont's poll numbers are higher with more days remaining before the election. As of today, I would give Lamont a 50-55% chance of winning this primary.

http://sandwichrepair.blogspot.com

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | July 5, 2006 8:32 PM | Report abuse

No matter how you look at it, this just isn't right. If Joe wants to run as an independent, he should run as an independent. If he wants to run as a Democrat, he should run as a Democrat. One or the other -- nothing wrong with either option. But both? What about his supposed principles? If he were really standing on principle, he'd be willing to take an electoral defeat for what he thought was right. Seems to me that he's more loyal to job security than to any principles.

Posted by: anon onlooker | July 5, 2006 8:10 PM | Report abuse

How anyone could compare Webb (who was a strong opponent of the decision to invade from the start) and Lieberman (who was gung-ho to send our soldiers to die for Exxon/Texaco) is beyond me.

Webb is a Republican who has found his senses, and Lieberman is a Democrat (?) who has lost his.

Posted by: B2O | July 5, 2006 8:10 PM | Report abuse

to kelly -

When you tell all of the defense contractors and big drug companies to stop donating money to Lieberman from out-of-state, i'll tell Soros and Streisand to stop doanting money to Lamont, if they even are, which i'm sure you have no proof. Thanks.

Posted by: Ohio guy | July 5, 2006 7:39 PM | Report abuse

'A Democrat' spewed:

"I also find it humorous that all those loyal Webb supporters do not embrace Joe. After all, they are both strong-willed leaders who fight for what they believe in right, right?"

Hey buddy, can you please bestow some of your infinite wisdom on the rest of us and tell us ONE THING that Lieberman and Webb have in common? Do you think Republicans would elect a Senator from a deep red state like Utah who did NOT support the war simply b/c that person " was a strong-willed leader who fought for what they believe in"? LOL - not in a million years you dolt. B/c that would be the reverse situation for republicans as to what is happening right now with Lieberman.

The double-standard that republicans are trying to force on Connecticut Democrats in this race is laughable and highly hypocritical.

Posted by: Ohio guy | July 5, 2006 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Drindle thinks that "it's none of your business" if your from Virginia. By that I assume he means only Connecticut voters should have any voice in their Senate election.
Will he tell Geo Soros, Streisand,
and all the others outside of Connecticut to stop sending thousands of dollars to Lamont. After all, it's none of their business.

Posted by: kelly | July 5, 2006 7:24 PM | Report abuse

On social issues, Lieberman and the rest of the GOP would be more at home in a fundamentalist Islamic Republic under cozy Sharia law than they would be in the freedom-valuing United States of America. I don't know why they don't just make the formal emigration to one of those countries instead of ruining this one.

Posted by: B2O | July 5, 2006 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Bush just name Lieberman as his new Secretary of Defense and get it over with? We all know that's the post Joe really covets anyway.

His "short ride" for rape victim comments have disqualified him for re-election, in my book.

For those who never saw it, since the media buried it, that story is here:
http://scootmandubious.blogspot.com/2006/03/lieberman-proposes-short-ride-for-rape.html

Posted by: scootmandubious | July 5, 2006 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Is this disturbing, or what? In the fine tradition of European monarchs, Bush has moved his own birthday to July 4th???

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/04/AR2006070400552.html

Posted by: Mark | July 5, 2006 6:49 PM | Report abuse

So, 'A Democrat' -- you're from Virginia? That means it's none of your business, doesn't it?

And the different between Webb and Joe? Joe doesn't stand for any principle except expedience. The only thing he believes in is that he's entitled to a lifetime appointment to the Senate.

Posted by: Drindl | July 5, 2006 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Oops sorry for bad editing. that should be 'apparatchiks' i believe and of course 'little' people.

Posted by: Drindl | July 5, 2006 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I am amazed by all of these exterme democrats who cannot stand Joe.

Joe will win the nomination.

If he does not, he will be seeing two large contributions from Virginia. He may have to run as an independent, but I know that when he returns to the Senate, he will remain an outspoken voice for many Democrats who feel they have no voice.

I also find it humorous that all those loyal Webb supporters do not embrace Joe. After all, they are both strong-willed leaders who fight for what they believe in right, right?

Oh, of course not. That's not what wacko Kos thinks, so then that must not be true...

Posted by: A Democrat | July 5, 2006 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I find it astonishing that Chuck Schumer won't say whether he will support the winner of the primary. Do we, the voters, get to choose our candidate? Or does Mr. Schumer feel, in his infinite wisdom, that only the party appartchiks are wise enough to do this and we poor lttiel people can't be trusted?

Mr. Leiberman is doing his best to destroy the Democratic party. Do our other elected officials really need to help him?

Posted by: Drind | July 5, 2006 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Just to allay some fears-- there really is no way that a split dem ticket in Connecticut will lead to a republican senator. As you may have realized, the republicans actually prefer Lieberman to their own party nominee. In real numbers, at this moment the general election would result in 18% for Lamont, 52% for Lieberman, and a whopping 8% for Schlesinger (R), the rest being undecided. As you can see-- this seat WILL NOT be going republican. Unless you count Lieberman as a Republican. (sorry-- couldn't resist.)

Posted by: Jake | July 5, 2006 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman is a horse's ass.

Posted by: Shag | July 5, 2006 5:59 PM | Report abuse

james:

Perhaps so, if Conn. is over 70-80% dem (?). Nevertheless, Instant Runoff Voting is something that in all likelihood would have put Gore in the White House in 2000 rather than President Disaster, as most Nader voters preferred him as a second choice. People *really* need to learn about IRV if we are to return our country to sanity, IMO.

Posted by: Mark | July 5, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Very sorry for that double post. The first time the site rejected it saying it needed "a name and a comment" (which I clearly had supplied).

Posted by: B2O | July 5, 2006 5:53 PM | Report abuse

(trying my hand at a little satire here...)


Cilliza Stands by Clinton Assertion

Washington (AP) - Washington Post political commentator Chris Cilliza, widely seen by his readers as a transparent spokesman for the establishment political machine, again today declared Senator Hillary Clinton as the 'frontrunner' in a Democratic nomination process which has not yet begun and is not scheduled to for many months.

When asked about his continued practice, Mr. Cilliza's staff, which consists of one summer intern and a Chia Pet, refused to comment. In the past Cilliza has responded to requests for documentation of this claim with vague references to "many party watchers" in addition to a little-known Washington think tank going by the name "They".

Despite a demonstrable history that early public polls such as those which find Mrs. Clinton ahead test primarily name recognition and not the eventual winner, Mr. Cilliza stands by his assertion. Detractors have noted two other polls which show a majority of American voters already having resolved not to vote for the Senator should she receive the party's nomination. Cilliza has dismissed this point as inconsistent with the fact that "she is widely seen as the party's frontrunner" and therefore irrelevant.

When pressed, Cilliza later cited He and Himself as two others widely seeing Mrs. Clinton as the frontrunner. He also mentioned a colleague who, upon being interviewed by this reporter, said he had heard that a political blog writer at the Washington Post considered Mrs. Clinton the favorite.

Cilliza was yesterday spotted walking into the Washington restaurant Hawk and Dove with two of his close associates, Me and Myself. Both men have also gone on record that Senator Clinton "all but has the nomination wrapped up".

Posted by: B2O | July 5, 2006 5:51 PM | Report abuse

(trying my hand at a little satire here...)


Cilliza Stands by Clinton Assertion

Washington (AP) - Washington Post political commentator Chris Cilliza, widely seen by his readers as a transparent spokesman for the establishment political machine, again today declared Senator Hillary Clinton as the 'frontrunner' in a Democratic nomination process which has not yet begun and is not scheduled to for many months.

When asked about his continued practice, Mr. Cilliza's staff, which consists of one summer intern and a Chia Pet, refused to comment. In the past Cilliza has responded to requests for documentation of this claim with vague references to "many party watchers" in addition to a little-known Washington think tank going by the name "They".

Despite a demonstrable history that early public polls such as those which find Mrs. Clinton ahead test primarily name recognition and not the eventual winner, Mr. Cilliza stands by his assertion. Detractors have noted two other polls which show a majority of American voters already having resolved not to vote for the Senator should she receive the party's nomination. Cilliza has dismissed this point as inconsistent with the fact that "she is widely seen as the party's frontrunner" and therefore irrelevant.

When pressed, Cilliza later cited He and Himself as two others widely seeing Mrs. Clinton as the frontrunner. He also mentioned a colleague who, upon being interviewed by this reporter, said he had heard that a political blog writer at the Washington Post considered Mrs. Clinton the favorite.

Cilliza was yesterday spotted walking into the Washington restaurant Hawk and Dove with two of his close associates, Me and Myself. Both men have also gone on record that Senator Clinton "all but has the nomination wrapped up".

Posted by: B2O | July 5, 2006 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Liberman will instantly lose all of his union endorsements if he runs as an independent for one thing. That's a fact. Also, his fundraising will dry up and he will not receive any money from the DSCC or DNC. So he will be broke from having spent all his money on the primary. Lamont will continue to raise money from the activist base and online, and will invest even more of his $90-$300 M fortune into the race.

Secondly, he will be so damaged by a primary loss that Lamont will end up running away with the general election as well.

Posted by: Ohio guy | July 5, 2006 5:50 PM | Report abuse

If Lieberman is still favored in the Democratic primary, it seems to me like he intends this latest disclosure as a threat. "If you don't select me the Democratic nominee, I'll spoil the general election for the Democrats." The question is, are CT Dems willing to rid themselves of Lieberman on the chance that his departure from the Dem ranks leads to a new Republican senator? I think there is a distinct possiblity that the Democrats could control the Senate after the upcoming elections. Would CT Dems want to be responsible for putting a Republican in a Democratic seat from an overwhelmingly Democratic state just out of spite, and possibly allowing the Republicans to maintain control?

Posted by: Joe Voter | July 5, 2006 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I understand Mark's fear, but in a strongly Dem state like Connecticut, I think it's more likely that the party will work hard to solidify support behind Lamont if he wins the primary, as Sen. Clinton's remarks seem to signal.

I wonder how much backing Leibermann will get if he has to run as an independent. There doesn't seem to be a lot of loyalty to him as an individual, and I won't be surprised if he quits before November. Unless he switches sides next year (which he would if he were more honest) his political career seems to be at an end.

Posted by: james | July 5, 2006 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Schumer according to Dem party rules will have not utilize any resources raised on behalf the Democrats Senatate campaign comittee for the party nominee in Connecticut. Hillary's posture puts even more pressure on him in New York state.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | July 5, 2006 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone considered this? Joe Lieberman running as an "independent Democrat" in November would mean 2 Democrats and 1 Republican on the same ballot. This raises a real possibility of a split Democratic vote and the Republican winning election in a state where the MAJORITY of voters prefers him LEAST of all (a fundamental flaw in our antiquated voting system).

Is anyone there (or nationally) discussing the solution to this "vote-splitting" phenomenon, namely Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)? If not, they should. We don't need another spoiler election putting into power corporatist theocrats (of which Lieberman is actually another).

Posted by: Mark | July 5, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"...Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is widely seen as the frontrunner for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination." Chris, I am hoping and praying for the day that we will see the first four words in this phrase without the next thirteen. Can you not control yourself? You think Clinton is the frontrunner-- WE GET IT. I love The Fix, and I like your writing, but we all know who she is and don't need you to tell us that you think she "widely seen as the frontrunner for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination" every single time you mention her.

Posted by: J | July 5, 2006 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"...Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is widely seen as the frontrunner for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination." Chris, I am hoping and praying for the day that we will see the first four words in this phrase without the next thirteen. Can you not control yourself? You think Clinton is the frontrunner-- WE GET IT. I love The Fix, and I like your writing, but we all know who she is and don't need you to tell us that you think she "widely seen as the frontrunner for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination" every single time you mention her.

Posted by: J | July 5, 2006 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Good for Lamont- someone had to attack Lieberman as the Republican he is. It's not only Iraq but his position on faith based institutions getting federal funding and a host of other issues. It is time the Democratic Party stood up and said what they stand for instead of becoming Republicans lite. That doesn't mean we can't have varying opinions in the Party and for Democrats in different States- but if you are a Democrat than accept the verdict of the Party when you put your name in a primary. Good for Hillary when she said she will abide by the process and support the winner of the primary. Personally I hope the Democrats in Ct. find that it is time to retire Joe Lieberman.

Posted by: concerned voter | July 5, 2006 4:34 PM | Report abuse

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