Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Lieberman (D-CT): Going, Going...

Update: On June 14, Political Wire reports that Lieberman's lead over Lamont has slipped to 6 in the latest poll.

When I wrote up the history of the 2008 Presidential campaign, I noted that Joe Lieberman lost his bid for renomination to the Senate in 2006. And Political Wire reports that Lieberman and his team are preparing for that as a real possiblity. Further, Lieberman's campaign manager has apparently told a Connecticut radio station that Lieberman will not back Ned Lamont if he is the Democratic nominee. Longtime backers are encouraging Lieberman to run as an Independent, and Lieberman has said nothing to indicate he won't.

Lieberman's defeat in the primary would raise very seriously the specter of Connecticut sending a Republican supporter to the Senate this year. Now don't get me wrong; I've already noted that while Lieberman's primary lead is small, he would win handily as an Independent. But if he were so elected, why exactly would he then back Harry Reid for Majority Leader? I mean, Lieberman IS a Democrat. He has refused entreaties to switch parties, often enough that I take him seriously. He ran for President as a Democrat. AND, he clearly is a man of principle. So there is a lot that could keep him a Democrat.

But if his own party kicked him out, aided by the Chairman of the DNC, why for heaven's sake would he go back to get kicked around some more? No, I think that if Lieberman is denied re-nomination, and elected as an Independent, he is likely to swallow hard and back a Republican as Senate leader. The Democrats are likely to be one vote further away from retaking the Senate Majority - and it would be a vote that they intentionally kicked away.

Please be aware that I will continue to tout my "prediction" about the primary every chance I get, until it actually looks like it is wrong. At that point, it will be quietly and unceremoniously swept under the rug.

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