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The Two Faces of George Bush

If Fix readers had any shred of doubt left that the 2006 elections will be a referendum on President George W. Bush, two new television ads in Senate contests in Connecticut and Nebraska should dispel that notion.

Each ad features the president prominently. In one he is treated as an object of scorn while in the other he is venerated. The discrepancy in the two ads reveal that Bush and his legacy remain a mixed bag just five months before the election -- in some places he is reviled, in others revered.

Let's look at the reviled side first. In Connecticut, Ned Lamont, who is challenging Sen. Joe Lieberman in the state's Aug. 8 Democratic primary, is up with a new ad that morphs the incumbent into the president. The commercial features images of Bush paired with audio from Lieberman -- creating the effect that Bush is speaking with the Connecticut Democrat's voice.

"Joe Lieberman may say he represents us, but if it talks like George Bush and acts like George Bush it's certainly not a Connecticut Democrat," says the ad's narrator as a picture of Lieberman is morphed into one of the president.

The Lamont ad is designed to be provocative and it accomplishes that goal. Lamont has made up ground in the polls by attacking Lieberman's Democratic bona fides -- especially on the war in Iraq; this ad is simply the latest incarnation of that strategy. Linking Lieberman to Bush could continue that positive movement for Lamont as the chief executive is decidedly unpopular in the state. In a poll conducted for the Hartford Courant in April, just 24 percent of voters said Bush was doing either an "excellent" or "good" job compared to 75 percent who said he was doing a "fair" or "poor" job.

Now to the revered. In Nebraska, the state Democratic Party is up with an ad attacking the campaign of former Ameritrade executive Pete Ricketts (R) and praising Sen. Ben Nelson (D) for his independence. "We know no one's more independent than Ben," says the ad's narrator. The ad then features a clip from Bush's visit to Nebraska in February 2005 (in the midst of the failed selling of his Social Security reform proposal) in which he praises Nelson as "a man with whom I can work, a person who's willing to put partsianship aside to focus on what's right for America."

Ever since Bush uttered those words, Nelson's political team has viewed them as political gold -- essentially an endorsement of the Senator's centrist politics by one of the most popular figures in Nebraska. Bush carried the Cornhusker State with 66 percent in 2004 but like everywhere else in the country his numbers have taken a hit. In a recent Survey USA 50-state poll, 48 percent of Nebraska voters approved of the job he was doing compared to 49 percent who disapprove -- his fifth best showing in the country. Remember, though, that in order to win a second term, Nelson must win a significant bloc of Republican voters -- a segment of the voting populace that remains largely supportive of the president and his policies.

Expect ads featuring President Bush prominently to crop up more and more as election season begins in earnest after Labor Day. The vast majority of these ads will be in the Lamont vein -- using Bush's unpopularity as a cudgel against an opponent. But, as the Nebraska ad reveals, Bush can also be used as a validator for Republicans -- and even some Democrats -- in certain parts of the country, making an election that shapes up as a referendum on his time in office a difficult one to predict.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 28, 2006; 12:46 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: Texas Redistricting: Winners and Losers

Comments

1980! 1980! :) Democrats are worse than Hitler but I would vote for them if they were'nt! :) :) Lick my feet! Internet bloggers will sink the Democratic party!! 1980! :) :) Hitler is better than the Democrats! Democrats will have to pander to morons like me if they ever want to win an election again - start licking my feet Dems! :) :) 1980! Ronald Raegan! I got banned from Daily Kos and I am NEVER going to get over it and stop ranting about it!! :) :) 1980! Republicans are great - Democrats are bad! Lick my feet!

YYaaarrggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

Posted by: SandyK | July 3, 2006 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Actually, OGGy, that's what I am, since I don't care about social conservatism, yet on most other issues, I'm very clearly a Traditional conservative.

Now it's better label than being a member of the Jackass Party (you know with Dean being the perfect HHHHHHHeeeeeeeHHHHHHHHHaaaaaaaw mascot!!).

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | July 3, 2006 4:06 AM | Report abuse

demopol - Ben Nelson is the best Senator we are going to get out a state as red as Nebraska. If he were from a state like New York and he had the voting record he does, then you and others would have a point and he should be taken out. But he's the best kind of Democrat we can hope for to get elected from Nebraska. You don't see republicasn trying to take out Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe do you? No, b/c they realize they are lucky to have those two.

On an unrelated note, people who give themseles such specific political labels as "compassionate conservative" and "moderate traditional conservative" are in my experience to dumb to know what they realy stand for so they give themselves labels.

Posted by: Ohio guy | July 1, 2006 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Peter: Liberal conservatives have always been there, as they are the right of center conservatives. They would be close cousins of Lieberman.

Colin and OGGy: Because you don't like the answer, doesn't disqualify it. What I posted is the major divisions, and I would know of them, as I am one.

SandyK
A Moderate Traditional Conservative

Posted by: SandyK | July 1, 2006 4:55 AM | Report abuse

Joe Lieberman is about one of the dumbest Senators I have ever seen and Ben Nelson isn't far behind and I am a Democrat. I saw Lieberman in person when he ran for Vice President and I was appalled at how stupid he was.
I also watch Sen Nelson on C-Span and watch him when there is going to be a vote on a bill and I notice how all the Republicans hang around him. He and Senator Lieberman should both be defeated, surely the Democrats can get better candidates than those two. If I lived in Connecticut I would be ashamed of him but I live in PA and our Junior Senator is one of the worst.
How can anyone ever trust our elections again after the fiascos we have had in the past twelve years?
I am so disappointed.
Who are these people who disparage Senators who try to make living better for our people? Why don't they get educated and listen to what they want to do to make things better for us all, it doesn't always include welfare and giveaways to those in need. They try to educate the young to take care of themselves and to care for the future of themselves and their fellowman.
Democrats get a bum rap because we don't fight dirty. We aren't perfect but we care about people. We are not soft on terrorism, We fight for what we think is right and when the need calls for defending our country we are there too.
The Republicans have botched the Iraq war and the Economy and the Health Care &
Drug Programs and everything else that they could.
What is going to become of the detainees in Guantanamo after Bush and his crew get out? Who has an answer for that question?
There are a lot of questions out there, too numerous to mention, it's time those Red States realize it is us here in the Blue States that provide most of the tax money they get for all their subsidies and their disasters. We are not neocons and we are not stupid, our time will come again and we willshow you how to run a country with dignity and intelligence.


Posted by: demopol | June 30, 2006 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Sandy -

Yet again your idiotic rantings make sense to no one but yourself. It dosen't matter how long you try to make your posts they are still nothing more than drivel. I don't know where you pulled thos classifications from but obviously the only person buying them is you.

Like I said before sweetheart - this is a GROWN-UP blog.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 30, 2006 6:40 PM | Report abuse

SandyK -- Not sure where you got your "definitions" from, but they really have not basis in reality. There is quite a bit of data out there analyzing the different parts of both the Democratic and Republican coalitions. Your analysis doesn't fit with any that I've seen. Honestly, why don't you try engaging in some kind of conversation instead of simply posting your "teachings" and then refusing to engage with anyone that challenges your points? That would be MUCH more interesting.

Posted by: Colin | June 30, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Unnecessary designations.

Liberal conservatives? Liberal Republicans maybe, but the only example of a liberal conservative I could think of would be a libertarian, with a very conservative view of the role of government and consequently a liberal disposition toward social questions.

I'm not entirely sure I buy the bit about neocons either.

Posted by: peter | June 30, 2006 9:48 AM | Report abuse

OGGy with Foot and Mouth disease coughed:
===========================================
"So Rick Santorum is "just" to the right of Lincoln Chaffee?? Sandy, I don't know who told you that you were smart or maybe you got a Poli Sci degree from DeVry University, but neocons are not 'just right' of liberal republicans. Only a COMPLETE moron would ever say something so dumb."
===========================================

Let's do a little show and tell for OGGy, that's very simple to read...

===========================================
Main conservative wings in order of orthodoxy
===========================================
Liberal Conservative
Neo-Conservative
Religious Right
Traditional Conservative
Paleo-Conservative

[You can stop right there OGGy as the rest may confuse you]

Liberal Conservatives: basically Democrats that can't get voted in conservative areas any other way. They'll be Liebermans and Zig Zag Millers.

Neo-Conservative: are converted Democrats (and some who were Communists/Socialists/Maxists) that came over from the Reagan years and later (they also bring over the Ted Kennedy attitudes too). :(

Religious Right: Subset of Neo-Conservatives who make up the bulk of the social conservative agenda.

Traditionals: Old line "Old Guard" conservatives that are closest to Lincoln and TR (and oddly, ideology closest to old line liberals. It's why such Liberals can read Pat Buchanan's magazine and actually agree with it ;)). They were the GOP that was progressive/populists. Keepers of tradition/heritage and Law and Order. Ardent gold standard believers. Isolationists (ardent debunkers of imperialism).

Paleo-Conservatives: Stone age conservatives who'd think anything after 1950's conservatism isn't conservative. Most ardent of States Rights (detest the federal government, especially the IRS, ATF, FBI, CIA and any other 3 letter agency). Think militia members. Unfortunately, it's filled with racists, and despise Jews as a people like a policy. They're the "far, far, FAR, Right" of the party. Fascism is liberal to them.

[Side note: Some folks confuse Paleos with Traditionals, the ideology is different. Traditionals are populists at heart; Paleos want the world to return to before 1950's politics. Two different dogmas].

There's other wings of the wings (with moderates and liberals of each), the conservative Libertarians, and the Constitutionist party types (they border on Paleo ideology, but not that archaic).

Traditionals and Paleos may be independents (like I am), since the GOP no longer represents the old line conservatism. For example, Pat Buchanan left the GOP years ago in protest.

So OGGy, stop trying to make up definitions out of thin air.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | June 30, 2006 4:15 AM | Report abuse

OGGy with Foot and Mouth disease coughed:
===========================================
"So Rick Santorum is "just" to the right of Lincoln Chaffee?? Sandy, I don't know who told you that you were smart or maybe you got a Poli Sci degree from DeVry University, but neocons are not 'just right' of liberal republicans. Only a COMPLETE moron would ever say something so dumb."
===========================================

Let's do a little show and tell for OGGy, that's very simple to read...

===========================================
Main conservative wings in order of orthodoxy
===========================================
Liberal Conservative
Neo-Conservative
Religious Right
Traditional Conservative
Paleo-Conservative

[You can stop right there OGGy as the rest may confuse you]

Liberal Conservatives: basically Democrats that can't get voted in conservative areas any other way. They'll be Liebermans and Zig Zag Millers.

Neo-Conservative: are converted Democrats (and some who were Communists/Socialists/Maxists) that came over from the Reagan years and later (they also bring over the Ted Kennedy attitudes too). :(

Religious Right: Subset of Neo-Conservatives who make up the bulk of the social conservative agenda.

Traditionals: Old line "Old Guard" conservatives that are closest to Lincoln and TR (and oddly, ideology closest to old line liberals. It's why such Liberals can read Pat Buchanan's magazine and actually agree with it ;)). They were the GOP that was progressive/populists. Keepers of tradition/heritage and Law and Order. Ardent gold standard believers. Isolationists (ardent debunkers of imperialism).

Paleo-Conservatives: Stone age conservatives who'd think anything after 1950's conservatism isn't conservative. Most ardent of States Rights (detest the federal government, especially the IRS, ATF, FBI, CIA and any other 3 letter agency). Think militia members. Unfortunately, it's filled with racists, and despise Jews as a people like a policy. They're the "far, far, FAR, Right" of the party. Fascism is liberal to them.

[Side note: Some folks confuse Paleos with Traditionals, the ideology is different. Traditionals are populists at heart; Paleos want the world to return to before 1950's politics. Two different dogmas].

There's other wings of the wings (with moderates and liberals of each), the conservative Libertarians, and the Constitutionist party types (they border on Paleo ideology, but not that archaic).

Traditionals and Paleos may be independents (like I am), since the GOP no longer represents the old line conservatism. For example, Pat Buchanan left the GOP years ago in protest.

So OGGy, stop trying to make up definitions out of thin air.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | June 30, 2006 4:14 AM | Report abuse

I am one Democrat in the state of Nebraska who will never cast another vote for Ben Nelson. His voting record since the start of the Bush administration has been abysmal in terms of upholding basic democratic principles. As governor, Nelson was nothing but a lackey to business interests and as a United States senator, he has been even worse.
Pete Ricketts is a living example that money can't buy brains. He spent $4 million on ads that were just plain stupid, against a weak opponent with little money and a long, negative history.
Nelson didn't campaign well against Hagel and I don't think Hagel's election was such a surprise. He's a sharp guy and Nelson just doesn't present well. He was one of the first Nebraskans I met when I moved here and, after years of covering politics in Texas and Florida, I was impressed by how very unimpressive he is on the stump. He projects more of the insurance man he was before running for office than national figure.

Posted by: BetteDavisEyes | June 30, 2006 2:39 AM | Report abuse

Once again Sandy proves how insane she is:

"Actually they're Neo-Cons, and Neo-Cons are just right of Liberal Republicans."

So Rick Santorum is "just" to the right of Lincoln Chaffee?? Sandy, I don't know who told you that you were smart or maybe you got a Poli Sci degree from DeVry University, but neocons are not 'just right' of liberal republicans. Only a COMPLETE moron would ever say something so dumb.

"You can tell a Neo-Con easily: they spend and have the morals of Ted Kennedy."
"In short, Neo-Cons and Liberals are two peas in a pod."

Yes, Sandy, b/c just like the neocons, Ted Kennedy and the liberals voted to invade Iraq, voted against the minimum wage hike, voted to try to force the teaching of intelligent design in schools, increased the size of government by 50% in 6 years, cut student loans, gave tax breaks to the richest 1%, gave subsidies to oil comapnies at a time of record profits, and increased the national debt from $5.5 trillion to $9.5 trillion in 6 years.

Yeh, Sandy, they may as well be twins.

Sandy you make such an ignorant fool of yourself on this blog sometimes it is painful to read your idiotic rants. Please, go back to high school and graduate this time. Then maybe you can post on a blog for grown-ups. :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)\

Proceed with your standard rant about feet and DKos and Hitler:

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 29, 2006 11:30 PM | Report abuse

1980! 1980! :) Democrats are worse than Hitler but I would vote for them if they were'nt! :) :) Lick my feet! Internet bloggers will sink the Democratic party!! 1980! :) :) Hitler is better than the Democrats! Democrats will have to pander to morons like me if they ever want to win an election again - start licking my feet Dems! :) :) 1980! Ronald Raegan! I got banned from Daily Kos and I am NEVER going to get over it and stop ranting about it!! :) :) 1980! Republicans are great - Democrats are bad! Lick my feet!

YYaaarrggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

Posted by: SandyK | June 29, 2006 10:24 PM | Report abuse

OG spewed again:
===========================================
"Santorum, Frist, Coulter, Hannity and Malkin are not the middle - they are the far, far right"
===========================================

[Libs should stick with trying to understand themeselves, because they don't understand the conservative wings]

Actually they're Neo-Cons, and Neo-Cons are just right of Liberal Republicans. Only the Paleos are "far, far right". Traditionals are right in the middle. :)

You can tell a Neo-Con easily: they spend and have the morals of Ted Kennedy. Think nothing of turning the USA into Israel (including inviting Mossad agents over to direct security). Think nothing but to sell this country short, everywhere. Think social issues are the only domestic policy (besides revoking the Constitution). And just love to return to their Commie Democratic roots again (which Neo-Con elites actually are).

In short, Neo-Cons and Liberals are two peas in a pod.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | June 29, 2006 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Slim Girl:

"The radical left will continue to badmouth the President."

What's wrong with badmouthing Bush? He badmouths everyone else. Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke, Joe Wilson all had their turn at being smeared, just because they told the truth. As long as this thread is called "The two faces of George Bush" I thought I'd apply it to the terrorist financial transactions bro-ha-ha, from my blog:


World's Dumbest Terrorists (Bloggers: On Your Marks)

Since we know Bush has been publicly crowing about finding and shutting-down terrorist financial connections since almost the day after 9/11, today's little skit against the New York Times seems aimed not so much at protecting "secret" programs as at turning Americans against their own Freedom of the Press. The NSA warrantless surveillance scandal gave us the Bush M.O.: use ridiculous arguments that leave everyone rolling their eyes except the vital Red State swing vote that never, ever reads a major newspaper, and gets everything they know from Fox News. Broadband is expensive and anyhow, who has the time? What with two-and-a-half jobs just to make ends meet in the Bush Tax-Breaks-for-Halliburton-Millionaires Economy?

The job for bloggers is to dig up video, audio, and news ink that shows just how stupid the Bushies believe us to be. To get things started, here's a photo of the high-profile FBI raid of the Muslim charity the Holyland Foundation in Richardson, Texas back in 2001. Which we are not supposed to remember until it's Great Victories in the War on Terror Day, rather than Bad-Guy Newspapermen Who Love Al Qaeda Day. Google like crazy until we have the video and audio clips of Bushies hollering that they will attack terrorist financial networks, like THIS ONE. Post it here. Swamp the Internets (sic) with it, so that even poor slobs in Cucamunga County, Ohio, or wherever, will have to see that they are being played for suckers, just like the rest of us.

This smells like a set-up: at the next terrorist attack, Bush (through Cheney) can say it's the fault of the Free Press, and cook up evidence of a terrorist so dumb, he didn't know the U.S. was watching for him until he read it in a paper. Sort of like that gang of Goobers in Florida which was supposed to bring down the Sears Tower. My main gripe? Jeez, if you're going to insult my intelligence, I expect you to put a little more thought into it. First Faris, the guy who was supposed to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge with a blowtorch, then Jose Padilla, who was going to blow up a dirty bomb in New York until he was - oops! - actually going to blow up gas mains in an apartment building. We pay good tax money for these guys to keep us scared in the War on Terror. I want my money back.

Like always, incumbent Democrats grovel and cower, which only dignifies arguments which rightfully should be getting Republicans laughed out of the Capitol Building. Calls to investigate the "damage" done by the NY Times? Great! Why don't we hear calls to investigate the damage done by the betrayal of Valerie Plame? Who was a real, live intelligence officer doing real work on tracking weapons of mass destruction? Whose blown cover may yet make it easier for our enemies to attack us, unlike the blown cover that just tells us what we already know: that the Bushies are busy gathering little bits of dirt on EVERY ONE OF US, in case it might ever come in handy? Conspiracy? You steal two elections, start an unprovoked war, make all your buddies filthy rich beyond imagination...naaw, there's no conspiracy...

``Unless they were pretty dumb, they had to assume" their transactions were being monitored..." -Victor D. Comras , former US diplomat in charge of efforts at the UN to combat terror financing, ("Terrorist funds-tracking no secret, some say" Boston Globe)

http://ralphlopezworld.com

Posted by: polis | June 29, 2006 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Slim Girl:

"The radical left will continue to badmouth the President."

What's wrong with badmouthing Bush? He badmouths everyone else. Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke, Joe Wilson all had their turn at being smeared, just because they told the truth. As long as this thread is called "The two faces of George Bush" I thought I'd apply it to the terrorist financial transactions bro-ha-ha, from my blog:


World's Dumbest Terrorists (Bloggers: On Your Marks)

Since we know Bush has been publicly crowing about finding and shutting-down terrorist financial connections since almost the day after 9/11, today's little skit against the New York Times seems aimed not so much at protecting "secret" programs as at turning Americans against their own Freedom of the Press. The NSA warrantless surveillance scandal gave us the Bush M.O.: use ridiculous arguments that leave everyone rolling their eyes except the vital Red State swing vote that never, ever reads a major newspaper, and gets everything they know from Fox News. Broadband is expensive and anyhow, who has the time? What with two-and-a-half jobs just to make ends meet in the Bush Tax-Breaks-for-Halliburton-Millionaires Economy?

The job for bloggers is to dig up video, audio, and news ink that shows just how stupid the Bushies believe us to be. To get things started, here's a photo of the high-profile FBI raid of the Muslim charity the Holyland Foundation in Richardson, Texas back in 2001. Which we are not supposed to remember until it's Great Victories in the War on Terror Day, rather than Bad-Guy Newspapermen Who Love Al Qaeda Day. Google like crazy until we have the video and audio clips of Bushies hollering that they will attack terrorist financial networks, like THIS ONE. Post it here. Swamp the Internets (sic) with it, so that even poor slobs in Cucamunga County, Ohio, or wherever, will have to see that they are being played for suckers, just like the rest of us.

This smells like a set-up: at the next terrorist attack, Bush (through Cheney) can say it's the fault of the Free Press, and cook up evidence of a terrorist so dumb, he didn't know the U.S. was watching for him until he read it in a paper. Sort of like that gang of Goobers in Florida which was supposed to bring down the Sears Tower. My main gripe? Jeez, if you're going to insult my intelligence, I expect you to put a little more thought into it. First Faris, the guy who was supposed to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge with a blowtorch, then Jose Padilla, who was going to blow up a dirty bomb in New York until he was - oops! - actually going to blow up gas mains in an apartment building. We pay good tax money for these guys to keep us scared in the War on Terror. I want my money back.

Like always, incumbent Democrats grovel and cower, which only dignifies arguments which rightfully should be getting Republicans laughed out of the Capitol Building. Calls to investigate the "damage" done by the NY Times? Great! Why don't we hear calls to investigate the damage done by the betrayal of Valerie Plame? Who was a real, live intelligence officer doing real work on tracking weapons of mass destruction? Whose blown cover may yet make it easier for our enemies to attack us, unlike the blown cover that just tells us what we already know: that the Bushies are busy gathering little bits of dirt on EVERY ONE OF US, in case it might ever come in handy? Conspiracy? You steal two elections, start an unprovoked war, make all your buddies filthy rich beyond imagination...naaw, there's no conspiracy...

``Unless they were pretty dumb, they had to assume" their transactions were being monitored..." -Victor D. Comras , former US diplomat in charge of efforts at the UN to combat terror financing, ("Terrorist funds-tracking no secret, some say" Boston Globe)

http://ralphlopezworld.com

Posted by: Anonymous | June 29, 2006 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Bill Nelson and Ben Nelson each voted against both withdrawal plans. Ben Nelson, additionally, voted for the federal same-sex marriage amendment, and all of the above except for Conrad and Dorgan voted for the flag desecration amendment. Lieberman, meanwhile, voted no on each of the latter amendments. How is it that Lieberman is undermining the party but these Senators are not?

Let's stop treating Lieberman like he's the only Democrat to break ranks on occasion. I still have not read any remark he's made questioning the patriotism of Bush's critics. If you have any examples, please post them, but I will repeat that Lieberman sought the Democratic nomination to unseat Bush in 2004. That, to me, represents a substantial criticism of the president's policies.

I appreciate the sentiment that Democrats should stick to their core beliefs and agree that any praise from the characters you mentioned is unsettling. However, they praise Lieberman for his stand on one issue and one issue alone, the war, and they praise him only because he is a prominent Democratic figure taking something resembling their position on a lone issue. They've said almost nothing about those other Senators, despite the fact that they presumably voted the pundits' positions on the flag-burning and marriage amendments, and in the Nelsons' case, the withdrawal proposals.

Posted by: peter | June 29, 2006 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"In order for Democrats to win convincingly - especially for those who don't come from blue states like Connecticut - they have to show that they can talk to the whole country, not just their base."

Neither party is ever going to win "the whole country". We have to show we can carry our base and the all-important middle. Santorum, Frist, Coulter, Hannity and Malkin are not the middle - they are the far, far right and no Democrat should spend so much time (any time at all really) engratiating themselves to these bigoted morons.

Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Byron Dorgan, Kent Conrad, Tim Johnson, Evan Bayh - those are all Democratic Senators who are all extremely popular and easily re-elected in deep red states. Obviously each of these Sanators enjoys the support of the majority of independents and even a significant bloc of republicans. Do any of them question the patriotism and/or wisdom of questioning the President? NO. Do any of them ever undermine the party? NO.

You can connect with moderates and republicans without making out with the President, sticking your nose up his rear end, and openly chastising your own party for wanting a sensible withdrawl plan from Iraq as Lieberman does I guess is my point.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 29, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"Lieberman's credibility has been lampooned by many Democrats, but those Democrats seem to miss the signficance of the fact that he enjoys good standing among Republicans and especially Indepedents."

And why on Earth should this at all matter? We want Democrats who are in good standing with other DEMOCRATS, not with Sean Hannity and Rick Santorum. Lamont's views are more mainstream than Lieberman's on almost every issue - healthcare, Iraq War, energy legislation, education, labor, prescription drug legislation, etc etc.


Posted by: Ohio guy | June 29, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman has been "endorsed" by conservative pundits and shock-jocks in the same sense that McCain was glorified by liberals and for the same reason: he broke with his party on something. Yes, 21 Democrats voted against the Iraq war resolution, and I support that vote. But 29 voted for it. The 37 who voted for the Levin/Reed amendment constitute a difference of just eight Democratic votes that show a change of heart translated into concrete measures. Lieberman's credibility has been lampooned by many Democrats, but those Democrats seem to miss the signficance of the fact that he enjoys good standing among Republicans and especially Indepedents.

I'm not defending his support for the war. I'm merely pointing out that legislators who don't vote the straight party line all the time gain a reputation for principle that sits well with a diversity of voters. A tremendous failure of this administration has been its tendency to govern first to conservatives, shunning liberals and many monderates. In order for Democrats to win convincingly - especially for those who don't come from blue states like Connecticut - they have to show that they can talk to the whole country, not just their base.

Additionally, I have not researched the matter thoroughly, but I'm not aware of any instances of Lieberman challenging the patriotism of the President's opponents. I'm especially skeptical because Lieberman sought the nomination to challenge the President in 2004. Could you post any?

Posted by: peter | June 29, 2006 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"Despite his support for an unpopular war, Lieberman is valuable because he has what many Democratic leaders seem to be lacking - credibility."

Yet another person who completely misses the whole point of the Lieberman race.

Liberman is vulnerable b/c of his voting record, his stance on the issues and his endorsements from Hannity, Coulter and Malkin, which is like a conservative being endorsed by Dukakis - the kiss of death. Credibility? My God get a clue - what about the 20+ plus Dem Seantors who voted against the Iraq War resolution? I think every single one of them has more credibilty on this issue and other issues than Lieberman does. The fact that Lieberman repeats the repub line that those who disagree witht the Prez are unpatriotic does not make him a "moderate" - it makes him a complete fool who has completely lost touch with his party and the country for that matter.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 29, 2006 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I have to disagree with Peter. Lieberman has no credibility in my eyes. I do not mind his supporting the war (although I opposed it); it is lack of reflection about what got us into it or how the administration has used it as a political hammer to slam any opposition to administration policy. If he acknowledged that mistakes were made and that the Bush team misled the American public, but now that we are there we need to figure out what is best to do, then he would not be suffering the way he has. Also his refusal to rule out running as an independent tells this CT Dem that he is more interested in his own political career than character.

Posted by: TREP | June 29, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Lamont may not necessarily be a one-issue candidate, but his supporters are one-issue voters. Despite his support for an unpopular war, Lieberman is valuable because he has what many Democratic leaders seem to be lacking - credibility. People of both parties listen when Lieberman has something to say. Too often the knee-jerk outcries of the left undermine the credibility of Democrats on issues that need liberal voices. A Lamont victory could signify that the Democratic base is unwilling to be reasonable, and crunch the numbers: self-described conservatives outnumber liberals in this country 3:2. That puts unreasonable liberals in a tough spot when election time rolls around, even as Republicans have botched a war and a government and seeded untold generations of renewed anti-Americanism all over the world. We have problems to deal with that require thoughtfulness, patience, and cooperation. Let's not throw elections away because we're lacking any of the above.

Posted by: peter | June 29, 2006 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Will in Texas: I meant to say hypocrite, not cynic. Sorry about that.

Posted by: FH | June 29, 2006 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Slim Girl in Pearls wrote:
==========================================
"If the 2004 election were held again, few people who be voting for Kerry instead of Bush."
==========================================

From someone who was advocating for Condi Rice????

Kerry couldn't win, as he was so disconnected from the people that few (but ardent Dems) would feel comfortable with him. Conservatives as a block voted against him (which is a rare feat, even rarer, folks were defecting to the Constitution party because they didn't like either candidate).

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | June 29, 2006 6:01 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Colin for correctly pointing out my thought.

Will in Texas: I am speaking "politically" how he stands. Not on your view of whether he is a cynic or not.

Posted by: FH | June 28, 2006 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Actually there are a lot of Ben-Nelson-types in the Democratic Party.

In the Senate, we also have Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad from North Dakota, which is almost as red as Nebraska , and both of them have sky-high approval ratings (70% and 75%, respectively), are MORE liberal than Nelson, and draw extremely weak republican challengers. Tim Johnson of SD could also fall into that category (65% approval).

We also have many governors who fit the same mold - Kathleen Sebelius in Kansas (who has now TWICE converted a republican into a democrat to run as her Lt. Gov), Brad Henry in Oklahoma, Brian Schweitzer in Montana, Dave Fruedenthal in Wyoming (Bush won WY with over 70% of vote yet Fruedenthal is HEAVILY favored to be reelected), Phil Bredesen in Tennessee, Napolitano in AZ, Easley in NC.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 28, 2006 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I think FH was mainly pointing out that Democrats haven't/aren't doing a very good job of articulating where they do stand - which is probably a fair point. I would add, however, that that's often the case for an out of power party without a presidential nominee.

Back to the topic of this post for a second though - is anyone else impressed by just how astute a politician Ben Nelson is? I mean, having a 70%+ approval rating as a Dem in Nebraska? The guy is seriously talented. And although obviously more conservative than I would like, he is WAAAAY more liberal than anyone else that could get elected in that state. Candidly, I wish Dems had more candidates with his political skill...who were also more liberal. THAT would be a dangerous combination.

Posted by: Colin | June 28, 2006 6:23 PM | Report abuse

FH-

"And finally...you may not like Bush, but at least you know where he stands..."

On torture? On his ponied up evangelicalism that was virtually non existent when he was Governor? On fiscal responsibility? On nation building? On the Environment? On ethics?

On what issues are you so sure you know what the President is thinking?

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 28, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I know what bush stands for. Dictatorship. Destroying the Constitution. No taxes for the rich--and the poor can eat dirt. Laws written by corporations so we choke on polluted air and water. Endless war and war profiteering. I could go on, and on and on.

What I know about the Democrats is that they AREN'T Mussolini's army, marching in jack-booted lockstep to martial music. Thank god.

Posted by: DRINDL | June 28, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

We have no idea where Bush stands. He is always changing his opinion. What Democratic candidates need to do in competitive races is to tie the Republican directly to Bush. Make them one and the same. Sherrod Brown needs to do it in Ohio, McCaskill needs to do it in Missouri, Casey needs to do it in Penn, and Klobuchar must do it in Minnesota. This election must be a referendum on Bush.

Posted by: Dave | June 28, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I just threw you in there because I thought that was funny.

I'm none too happy about number 5 myself!!!

Posted by: FH | June 28, 2006 5:38 PM | Report abuse

No one, and least of me, is calling for a rope. To begin with, I am opposed to the death penalty. And, secondly, we have to return to being a nation of laws. Under Bush and his thugs and the whack jobs that get their news from CNN, we have seen just what happen when you silence oppossing views. Never ever again! It is time we through off the tyrrany of the small minded, the fear mongers, the greedy, the fanatics, and those who profit at the expense of this once great country. George Bush is a monster and a dangerous opportunist and I, if I could, would place on trial, convict him, and imprison him for the rest of his natural life for treason. But that would involve a trial and a jury and facts. That is what diofferentiates me and people like me from Bush and those of his ilk.

Posted by: Mike Brooks | June 28, 2006 5:38 PM | Report abuse

FH -- I don't know, personally I doubt Brunell holds up for the whole season again. :)

Agreed that it ultimately doesn't matter much what people would or wouldn't do with their "do over" of th '04 election - but I was responding to an affirmative statement by another poster that Bush would still win now - which I think is unlikely.

As to knowing where Bush stands...gonna have to disagree with you on that one. Take a look at some of his "flip-flops":

1. Going into Iraq -- gotta get in their b/c of WMD....I meant to liberate people.

2. Getting out of Iraq -- Can't wait for this next one. Day 1: We can't "cut and run." Day 2: I have a secret plan to bring our troops home...

3. Homeland Security -- He was against it before he was for it. Ironically, Bush was against the Department when LIEBERMAN of all people proposed it.

4. Gay Marriage -- Before he needed extra turnout, he said that states should decide. Pretty nasty flip-flop for purely political purposes.

5. Fiscal discipline -- Do I even need to say anything here?

Interesting list for a guy that "doesn't care about the polls" and "follows his gut..."

Posted by: Colin | June 28, 2006 5:32 PM | Report abuse

To che: Thanks for our daily conpiracy briefing.

To Mike Brooks: Do you want to have investigations or do you just want to go get the rope.

To Colin: John Kerry (D)
47%

George W. Bush (R)
40%

I think the Redskins will be better next year too...I'm just not sure what that has to do with last season.

And finally...you may not like Bush, but at least you know where he stands...unlike the Democratic party.

Posted by: FH | June 28, 2006 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Yay, Mike! Yeah, there's some stuff we disagree on -- but a lot more we have in common -- like how much we love our country and how much we hate the way the goons in the admnistration are trying to destroy everything America has ever stood for.

Posted by: Drindl | June 28, 2006 4:43 PM | Report abuse


What we can spect at the November elections.

Breaking news!!!!!!!

For uncensored news please bookmark:

www.wsws.org
www.takingaim.info
www.onlinejournal.com
otherside123.blogspot.com

Diebold's Walden O'Dell, a top Bush fundraiser, publicly committed himself to delivering his home state Ohio's votes to Bush. At Diebold, the election division is run by Bob Urosevich. Bob's brother, Todd, is a top executive at "rival" ES&S. The brothers were originally staked by Howard Ahmanson, a member of the Council For National Policy , a right-wing steering group stacked with Bush true believers. Ahmanson is also one of the bagmen behind the extremist Christian Reconstruction Movement , which advocates the theocratic takeover of American democracy.

The four companies are interconnected; they are not four "competitors". Ahmanson has large stakes in ES&S, whose former CEO was Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. When Hagel ran for office, his own company counted the votes, and his victory was considered "an amazing upset". Hagel still has a million dollar stake in ES&S.

Sequoia is the corporate parent of a private equity firm, Madison Dearborn , which is partner in the Carlyle Group . (Also see here .)

Meanwhile, SAIC is referred to a "shadowy defense contractor". They have gotten into the vote count game both directly and through spinoffs by its top brass, including Admiral Bill Owens, former military aide to Dick Cheney, and Carlyle Group honcho Frank Carlucci and ex-CIA chief Robert Gates. SAIC's history of fraud charges and security "lapses" haven't prevented it from becoming one of the largest Pentagon and CIA contractors, and will doubtless encounter few obstacles in its entrance into the vote counting business.

The mad rush to install these unverifiable computers is driven by the Help America Vote Act, signed by Bush! The chief lobbying group pushing for the act (while we dumb asses sat out here and thought, 'That sounds like a good idea!') was a consortium of arms dealers including Northrup Grumman and Lockheed Martin .

For the rest of this article please go to:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHI411B.html

Posted by: che | June 28, 2006 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Slim girl - "...he has the job until January 2009". Not if the Amercian people have anything to say about it! I and people like Drindl disagree on almost everything else, but er do understand that George W. Bush is the single greatest threat this country has ever faced. He HAS to go. His agenda has been to tear apart the fabric of this society, attack our constiution and basic freedoms, and undermine the very economic foundations of this country. He is an unreasoning fanatic; a goon and a monster with no concept of the fragility of this country rght now. Allowing this ham fisted jerk to continue to rule is simply insane. Impeach him. I do think he put is best when he said "you are either with us or against us". In this case, however, you are either for America or dead set on destroying it and much of Western civilization in the process.

Posted by: Mike Brooks | June 28, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Slim Girl in Pearls --your opinions are as about what I'd expect, given your choice of screen name. There are no 'radicals' in Congress, except republicans. There are no Democrats calling for radical changes to the Constitution, or the vast, unconstiutional expansion of executive powers and the suspension of checks and balances.There are no Democrats yearning for fascistic dictators. No, that would be republicans.

Posted by: Drindl | June 28, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Bush/Cheney/Liberman/etal, they have more then two sides I would liken Bush to "Cybil", he is constantly speaking nonsense, lies, then when any of them are caught they simply say, "I didn't say that", and Liberman, he hasn't been a Democrat since gravity! Thanks

Posted by: Sue F | June 28, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

jason, what does nebraska being the birthplace of Henry Fonda have anything to do with today? I'm just confused with that comment.

Besides, all politics is local.

Posted by: jenniferm | June 28, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

People from outside Nebraska do not understand the "independent spirit" of Nebraskans. You have to remember this is the only state in the union with a nonpartisan, single house legislature; the Unicameral. The Presidents words are golden to Nelson's campaign not because they appeal to Republicans, they are golden because they appeal to the 184,000 registered independents in the state who want a politician to vote their conscience not along party lines.

Posted by: Cornchoker 4 life! | June 28, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Chris--these two ads are the same, not opposites. They are both directed toward keeping and increasing the number of Democrats in the Senate.

Posted by: larry | June 28, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Just curious as to why Nebraska is so Republican. As the birthplace of Henry Fonda, you would think it wouldn't be so Republican. But what is interesting to me also, is that even in such a Republican state like Nebraska, more people currently have a negative view of President George W. Bush than have a positive view of him.

Posted by: Jason | June 28, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Slim Girl -- Actually, polling shows that if the 2004 Election were held NOW, Kerry would win quite easily. Looks like a clear case of buyer's remorse to me:

Polling Data

Regardless of how you may have voted in the presidential election in November 2004, knowing what you know today, would you vote for George W. Bush or John Kerry if the presidential election was being held today?

John Kerry (D)
47%

George W. Bush (R)
40%

Someone else
6%

Would not vote
4%

Don't know
3%


Source: Bloomberg / Los Angeles Times
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,357 American adults, conducted from Apr. 8 to Apr. 11, 2006. Margin of error is 3 per cent.

Posted by: Colin | June 28, 2006 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Fred App, you are probably right that the President's name and image are not big vote winners at the moment, but it is not just a matter of how many votes you want to win over, but who.

Lieberman and Lamont are competing for Democrat votes. Even when the President was at his most popular in the country as a whole, his image was a negative one to most Democrat supporters who vote in primaries.

Nelson needs to win over at least some Republicans to win in Nebraska, and he is competing with a Republican for those votes. Although there are not many states more GOP-friendly than Nebraska, there are still a few where Democrats need Republican votes to win. You will recall that Tom Dachsle used footage of the President embracing him in his campaign too.

Quentin Langley
editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

Posted by: Quentin Langley | June 28, 2006 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Slim girl - Democrats are smart enough to know that Nelson is running these ads so that it will be impossible for republicans to paint him as a liberal. None of them, including myself, are annoyed by it at all. In fact, I think it's brialliant and I think Senator Nelson is great. I'm sure the ad really annoys partisan republcians though since it makes their job of defeating Nelson that much harder though. That "radical liberal" Schumer you speak of is one of the reasons why Nelson is running so strong and has raised so much moeny that the republcians coudn't find a half-decent challenger to take him on.

And recently a poll was done on who would win in a rematch between George Bush and John Kerry, and John Kerry won by 10%, 55-45.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 28, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

If the 2004 election were held again, few people who be voting for Kerry instead of Bush. There is only one choice on who is the president right now, and he has the job until January 2009. So let's get that clear first of all.

Now, various Bush states, like Nebraska and Indiana, have former governors (Nelson and Bayh) who are not the radical liberals like Schumer, Clinton, Kennedy or Boxer. That gives them some independence and is the key reason they won their Senate seats. If the voters like how they are working with Bush, they will get elected again. If the voters are disgusted by the gridlock from the Democrats on judges, and funding of the war or other items; then the voters will kick them out.

The radical left will continue to badmouth the President. Big deal. Nebraska is a Bush state, so the issue is whether the Republican in the Senate race will defeat Nelson. And with TV ads showing Nelson working with Bush, it shows that the Democrats have more reason to be annoyed rather than Republicans.

Posted by: Slim Girl in Pearls | June 28, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Funny isn't it: Nelson, a Democrat, uses quotes of George Bush favorably; Hagel, a Republican, is essentially criticizing Bush, Cheney and the rest of the House and Senate spinners for using focus group language during a serious debate on the war. But Bush was also out in Nebraska a few weeks back, with Hagel, promoting comprehensive immigration reform - which, if I am correct - Nelson opposed.

Strange days indeed.

Posted by: Irony in Nebraska | June 28, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

You have to be careful with the Lamont type ad run though. Not that the president is going to bounce back in Connecticutt, but Lamont is seen (wrongly or not) to be a one issue candidate and I think attacking Liebermann like this doesn't help his cause. If Lamont is serious about winning the senate seat (not just the primary) in Conn then he needs to start advertising like it.
He can still put his digs into Liebermann but do it while discussing some important legislation (ie health care, and Liebermann's attachment to the pharmacutical companies). Then in the ad say what he thinks and what he would do differently. Democratic primary voters aren't the only people that see these ads, and ALOT of independents and republicans like Liebermann.
The Nelson quote is genius. That race is going to be over before it starts.

Posted by: Andy R | June 28, 2006 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I do enjoy reading electoral speculation on The Fix, but the Republicans' chances of unseating him have been much overplayed. Nebraska is certainly a deep shade of red, but SurveyUSA shows Nelson holding down a 72% approval rating - that's third best in the country. I don't anticipate seeing much of a race there.

http://www.surveyusa.com/50State2006/100USSenatorApproval060620Net.htm

Posted by: peter | June 28, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Chris: If Nebraska is Bush's fifth-best state and he's polling under 50 percent approval, I imagine we'll see more ads like Lamont's than like Nelson's. I can't imagine more than one or two other candidates trying to tie themselves to Bush. The rest are going to run as far and as fast as possible.

Posted by: Fred App | June 28, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh I forget, CC 'The Two Faces of George Bush' --indeed--yes. Maybe next column you can call "Lying out of Both Sides of His Mouth'...

Posted by: Drindl | June 28, 2006 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman's a flip-flopper--all in the same mailing. Last week he sent two color attack mailing [2 in one week is pretty desperate] where he attacks Lamont both for being too left [anti-war] and too right [sometimes works with repulicans locally]. It's pathetic.

I would feel sorry for him but he's a hateful man--which is demonstratd by his supporters -- some of the most malicious, hateful, evil people in this country, like Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and George bush. He made his bed with those people, let him lie in it.

Posted by: Drindl | June 28, 2006 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman comparing Lamont to Bush is breathtaking hutzpah.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | June 28, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

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