Can Joe Lieberman Win His Primary?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by red states rule, Jul 1, 2006.

  1. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    Here is a TIME article I found interesting.

    The man libs voted for in 2000 for VP have turned on him with such hate and rage

    Even Al Bore has ingnored his former running mate

    I think Sen Lieberman will win his primary and then what will libs do? Vote Republican or stay home?



    Can Lieberman Survive Iraq?
    With bloggers, consituents and many party officials still angry about his support for the war, Connecticut's moderate Democratic senator is fighting for his political life
    By PERRY BACON, JR./EAST LYME


    Posted Sunday, Jun 25, 2006
    As Joe Lieberman was criss-crossing Connecticut last Friday, picking up endorsements from labor unions and being greeted with applause at diners, it seemed like nothing had changed for a man who has long been one of the state's most popular politicians. Then, in the small town of East Lyme, Joe Barry, a retired Vietnam veteran and local Democrat, literally got in Lieberman's face.
    "Senator, that was the plan, to get rid of Saddam," Barry said, sitting with about 12 people in a senior center that Lieberman had stopped at. "We got rid of Saddam, now let's get out of there. What are we looking for, Vietnam, where 50,000 people died?" Lieberman calmly responded, "We have a plan," but Barry shot back, "Who has a plan?" "The United States Military, the United States Government," Lieberman said, naming General George Casey, who leads American forces in Iraq.
    Lieberman was standing right in front of Barry, and as the discussion continued another minute, the burly veteran stood up face-to-face with the Senator to emphasize his point. "I'm not going to let it go," Barry said, adding, "I would love to see your plan." Lieberman didn't give any ground either. "I'm not for an open-ended [commitment] but I don't want to leave like that," he said, snapping his fingers. Barry can't even remember the name of Lieberman's opponent, but still he says that Lieberman's strong support for the war has left him unsure if he can vote for him. "I would probably vote for Donald Duck right now," Barry said.
    A lot of Lieberman's once loyal constituents might join him. Barry is not the only frustrated Connecticut Democrat who doesn't like what he's hearing from Lieberman on the war. So it is that only six years after Lieberman was picked by the Democrats to be their vice-presidential nominee, he and his party could be headed for a divorce.
    Lieberman is facing the toughest challenge he's had since wining his Senate seat in 1988, a Greenwich millionaire cable company executive named Ned Lamont who is tapping into an anger from both local and national Democrats at Lieberman for taking positions at odds with the Democrat orthodoxy. The liberal blogosphere has made defeating Lieberman one of its chief causes of 2006, poring in thousands of dollars to Lamont's campaign and constantly bashing Lieberman, especially for his fervent support of the Iraq War and standing as the strongest Democratic supporter of President Bush's policies there. Even celebrity Democratic supporters, like George Soros and Barbra Streisand, have donated to Lamont's campaign.
    "He's too likely to support the President, particularly on this war," Lamont told TIME. "It takes away from the Democratic voice." Polls show Lieberman's lead over Lamont, once more than 40 points, has shrunk to about 15, and Lamont is gaining more and more support. If he loses the primary, Lieberman is leaving open the possibility of running as an independent, in which case he would be able to rely on the support of moderates in both parties who are still in his camp. But that might alienate Democrats, who are the biggest force in this blue state. Susan Voigt, head of the Democrat committee in Lieberman's hometown of New Haven, said she would have to reconsider her support of Lieberman if he ran as an independent.
    It's extremely difficult to defeat any incumbent, especially an 18-year veteran like Lieberman, but many forces are in place to do just that. Some liberal Democrats in Connecticut have long been frustrated by Lieberman's centrism. When he ran for President in 2004, Lieberman supporters at the time complained that Democrats in his home state wouldn't make the short trip to New Hampshire to work on his behalf. And that opposition began to build early in 2005. Many local Democrats were furious about Lieberman's support of Bush's nominations of Condoleezza Rice and Alberto Gonzales to cabinet posts and his seemingly constant willingness to compromise with the GOP on many issues — such as helping President Bush get some of his conservative judicial nominees confirmed after they had been filibustered by Democrats.
    Connecticut party officials were particularly incensed when President Bush kissed Lieberman on the cheek following his 2005 State of the Union address. In meetings with state Dems, Lieberman tried to assuage their concerns, but also kept reminding party officials he had a 70% approval rating. Even so, the attacks on the kiss became so vocal that an exasperated Lieberman told one group of Democrats "I didn't kiss him back," a response that didn't exactly hearten them. (The incident has become so radioactive that Lieberman now denies Bush actually kissed him, telling TIME last week "I don't think he kissed me, he leaned over and gave me a hug and said 'thank you for being a patriotic American.'")
    But it's Lieberman's statements on the war that have most infuriated both local and national Democrats. With his public backing of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his statement last December that Democrats should be careful about partisan attacks on Bush because "in matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril," Lieberman has galvanized the left at a time when it's eager to flex its political muscle by attacking Democrats who don't tow the party line. A site in Connecticut called myleftnutmeg.com, run by a 61-year-old named Kelly Monaghan, who actually attended Yale with Lieberman, has become the Daily Kos of the state, providing video and links to everything the Senator does wrong.
    Some Democrats who favor Lieberman even asked Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid to tell the bloggers, who love Reid, to dial down their attacks on Lieberman. Reid, realizing the blogs won't relent on this race, declined to even try. And the influential Democratic activist group Moveon.org has started encouraging its supporters to back Lamont, ignoring pleas from Senate Democratic leaders in Washington to stay out of the race.
    Lieberman, of course, also has powerful backers. Reid, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have all spoken or written letters encouraging Democrats to back him. He said Joe Biden, another Democratic foreign policy hawk and a likely 2008 presidential contender, will come to the state and campaign for him. And Lamont says as recently a few weeks ago, even as he was investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into his campaign, Charles Schumer, the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, asked him to drop out. Schumer has told colleagues he thinks that if Lieberman lost the primary, it would send a bad signal to moderate voters and might hurt the party's chances of winning Senate seats in places like Montana and Missouri in November.
    Along with the bloggers and local Democrats, Lieberman faces another dangerous opponent in Lamont. He's a wealthy upstart in a primary, which tend to draw low turnouts — and the people most motivated to vote may be those angry at Lieberman. To try to counter that and turn out more voters for himself, the moderate Dem is spending a lot of time courting labor unions. Still, "the only people who seem to know when the primary is are the Lamont people," says John Droney, a former state party chair and Lieberman ally.
    Most challengers without name recognition are simply drowned out by the huge campaign coffers of incumbents, and Lamont won't have this problem. Worth in excess of $90 million, he has already invested more than $1.5 million of his own money, much of which has paid for radio and TV ads; Lamont says he'll start airing a bio ad this week introducing himself to voters.
    Lieberman, as savvy a political pro as there is, hopes to make sure that media saturation doesn't do its job of raising Lamont's profile. In a full day of campaigning last week, he talked about his inexperienced, uninformed "opponent" without ever uttering his actual name.
    Lieberman does have one thing going for him: Lamont is not a particularly charismatic or compelling candidate. As he spoke in New Haven at a book signing for the Democratic activist David Sirota last week, he looked the part of a politician, with his carefully cropped hair, blue tie and a light, folksy manner. But he seemed almost reluctant to answer the policy questions people asked him, at one point being so deferential in suggesting Sirota answer a question that a person in the crowd declared he wanted "the candidate" to respond.
    Other than his opposition to Lieberman's war support, Lamont doesn't have much of a campaign platform: his stump speech is largely devoid of anything beyond the jobs, health care, and education boilerplate that Democratic candidates always offer. And even on Iraq, his views seem less than defined. Last week, as Lieberman announced he would oppose two different Democratic resolutions in the Senate — one that called for troop withdrawal by July 2007 and another that called for a gradual withdrawal starting this year — Lamont told TIME he would have supported the proposal for troop withdrawal by July, while his campaign manager Tom Swan told the Hartford Courant the same evening that Lamont "wouldn't necessarily vote for" that bill. (The campaign now says Lamont supports a withdrawal by next July)
    But this race is not so much Lamont's to win as it is Lieberman's to lose. On the trail, Lieberman is trying to get voters to look beyond the war, touting his liberal voting record on such issues on the environment and health care and his effectiveness as a Senator in bringing pork back to his home state. He's hoping to use a July 6 debate between the two candidates to talk about something other than the war.
    That won't be easy, since this year's election is all about the Iraq War — particularly this race, which is why Lieberman says his Democratic colleagues urged him to vote against the withdrawal resolutions so he would at least have a consistent position. "A few of them said to me, I don't agree with you, but you're doing the right thing," Lieberman told TIME. "The last thing you want to do is change your position in the middle of a primary."
    That may be true, especially since Democratic activists are always calling on their party's politicians to stand up for what they believe in no matter what the polls say. The question in this particular high-stakes case is whether Democrats like Joe Barry will ultimately reward Lieberman for sticking to his convictions — or hand down a harsh political punishment.
    From the Jul 3, 2006 issue of TIME magazine
     
  2. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Doesnt really matter to me. but it would be nice to see Democrats loose more power and if Joe goes independent they will.
     
  3. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    Joe will stay a Dem. I doi agree with him on economic policy, but he has sttod firm on his stance in Iraq

    I will give him credit. Joe Lieberman is one of the few Dems who has put his country ahead of his party
     
  4. Abbey Normal
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    Abbey Normal Senior Member

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    From what I understand, Lieberman has also committed the unpardonable sin of being pro-life.
    He appears to be a man guided my a strong moral compass; of course the Dems hate him.
     
  5. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    How can anyone with a strong moral compass be a Dem?
     
  6. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    I would love to see Lieberman run as an Independent. That would insure another R seat in the Senate.
     

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