I really don’t understand Joe Lieberman’s new ad, or his campaign strategy to highlight what he considers Ned Lamont’s "inexperience." One of the most powerful and enduring myths of American politics is the honest, uncorruptable newcomer vs. the political hack, the Mr. Smith Goes to Washington tale. Ned Lamont’s rather squeaky clean good-guy persona becomes even easier to tie to the Jimmy Stewart image as a direct result of Lieberman’s efforts, and nobody screams "tired old hack" right now louder than Joe Lieberman. He’s got nothing in the tank, no new solutions, no big ideas to run on — just a record of supporting an abysmal failure of a war and a history of selling out everything he ever purported to believe in so he could go steady with the GOP.
As Tim Tagaris points out, Joe isn’t even consistent in this particular sentiment. From his book, In Praise of Public Life:
“Of course I’m not saying that our political system should not sometimes be shaken up through the election of a new kind of leader, like Jesse Ventura in our time, or that it should not be open to the fresh perspective of someone from an entirely different profession, a person who has been successful, say, in business…”
No-Show Joe is guilty of virtually everything he ever accused Lowell Weicker of and more. He’s accepted large speaking fees, failed to show up for just as many votes as Weicker in half the time, and worse yet — confused bipartisanship with rolling over for personal gain. If he can put his finger on the American Myth of the Entitlement of the Cranky Old Git he might have a better shot at success.