The AP is reporting that Lieberman is weighing his options and considering whether to begin a signature campaign to get himself on the November ballot as an Independent. We always knew he had no problem planting a knife firmly in the back of the Democratic party; giving it a little twist must seem like no big deal.
The more I think about the idea that all those Unity 08 pricks setting up shop to "urge" Joe Lieberman into an independent run, the more I want to smack myself on the forehead and say "how did I miss that." I don’t know that they’ll actually do it, but the framework is certainly in place if the need arises. It’s no coincidence that it happening along side the rising power of the Netroots. When the DLC types get targeted for fucking up the party and standing for nothing more than fattening their own larders, they’ve got to have some place to jump. Now we know where that is.
The polling numbers out today on Holy Joe must have them all in a shitless state of perma-pucker. My jaw dropped open when I saw them myself. According to Rasmussen (via Kos and Taegan Goddard):
- Lieberman 46
- Lamont 40
That’s moved from 51/31 on April 27. It is going to take me the rest of the day at least to wrap my brain around the idea that this is no longer a long-shot.
It’s still going to be tricky. We’re heading into unknown territory; there is no yardstick to measure the new dynamics of this particular race. As Colin McEnroe wrote this morning (via email):
There are so many questions. The main one is: is there some kind of new paradigm working here or not? As far as the poll goes, Lieberman’s real number is even softer, because the only stat that matters is likely voters and conventional wisdom says that the falsely self-identifying likely voter is more apt to say he will vote for the familiar name.
On the other hand — from an operative’s point of view, the game works a little differently. The truth is that 20 to 25 percent of the eiligible primary voters will vote in this thing. 20 is the smarter number. So then it’s all about phone banks and super-prime voters. You call and you call and you call and you try to nail down and motivate that sliver — 11 percent of the registered democrats — that you actually need in order to win. Lieberman has more seasoned people for a field operation. And more resources. The reason he has not bolted toward an independent candidacy — although he is absolutely thinking about it — is that the numbers game is a much smaller one and it can be won by very sophisticated people.
Ordinarily, you cannot win by registering new voters and widening the pie wedge.you have to nail down the people who already do vote. On the other hand, it could be a real actual paradigm shift in which case Ned wins. The internet is kind of a wild card.
Colin also has a very good piece up this morning about Lieberman booster and former Connecticut Democratic Party chief John Droney, who yesterday referred the challenge to Lieberman as "terrorism." He’s quite a piece of work:
In explaining why he thinks his old buddy Joe Lieberman sould run as an independent, Droney disaparages the people who are likely to show up at the primary polls on Aug. 8. He said, "Every single weirdo in the left wing will be there," Droney said. "That’s what the Lamont strategy is all about."
Apparently, if you deplore the stagnating war in Iraq, if your stomach turns to see your country acquire an international reputation for torture and human rights violation, if you look upon Lieberman’s blithely unrepentant attitude as proof that he is prepared to make the same kind of mistake again and again, you are a left-wing weirdo. It’s the kind of remark you don’t want to make about the other team before the game, because it gets taped up to a wall in the locker room and fires up the opposing squad. A smarter guy than Droney would know that.
Actually, there’s a sub-text to Droney’s remark that a lot of people might miss. It goes at least as far back as 1992 when his total lack of influence with the voters of his own party and his mortifying ineffectuality as a political operative were made manifest. He was chairman of the Connecticut Clinton for President campaign that year. He and longtime Clinton buddy Lieberman were supposed to deliver the state to Clinton, but a bunch of left-wing weirdos showed up at the polls and gave the state to Jerry Brown. It was a humiliating blow for Droney who has always fancied himself a player on the national level.
Matt Stoller has more on Droney. All I can say is, I wholeheartedly approve of the team Joe is putting together for The Cut-And-Run 2006 Campaign.
(Graphic by NeoJoe)