Archive

  • RANDOM NUTMEG NOTES....

    RANDOM NUTMEG NOTES. First of all, my guess (it�s only a guess) is that Lieberman will drop out. I said why in the last paragraph of this Web piece last week, but it bears repeating. Establishment Democrats want to take back the Senate. Period. They don�t want any distractions. From the day he announced until yesterday, Lamont was the distraction. But starting today, Lieberman is -- he, not Lamont, now sucks oxygen out of Democratic efforts to win Senate races. I get a lot of things wrong in life, but I think I can say with confidence that in situations like this, this is how politicians think. Electoral life is replete with obstacles, and the first thing pols want to do is minimize obstacles. So my bet is that Schumer , Reid , et al. have been thinking about how to minimize the distraction-in-Connecticut obstacle for days now. So they�ll lean hard on Lieberman, and they�ll work to get the Clintons to do the same, and urge everyone to follow suit. If the frame is set properly and the...
  • DEATH WITH DIGNITY.

    DEATH WITH DIGNITY. I've been arguing for a long time that the Lieberman independent bid would fizzle, that Lieberman stood a much better chance of winning the primary than the general, and I still believe that. If I'm wrong about that, then my comment below is inoperative. But if I'm right, the question is not whether the Connecticut for Lieberman Party ends, but how. The next few weeks are going to be one of those desperate last chapters in a political career, the kind of thing that Lieberman's biographer will label "epilogue." Political careers never end gracefully, never, and if a politician sees a chance, however slim, he will take it. And they always end with the desperate pol claiming that he is trying to practice "a different kind of politics." (The kind in which winning and losing elections doesn't matter.) The next two, three or at most four weeks of Lieberman's life will be sad and painful to watch. He'll find every potential supporter saying, "Sorry, Joe, I'd love to help...
  • MORE KISSES TO COME.

    MORE KISSES TO COME. This seems almost too perfect to believe: According to a close Lieberman adviser, the President's political guru, Karl Rove, has reached out to the Lieberman camp with a message straight from the Oval Office: "The boss wants to help. Whatever we can do, we will do." At any rate, it's a bit hard to figure what the prez can do to help any endangered candidate this year, let alone Joe. UPDATE: Joe Conason writes in to remind me of the Lieberman campaign's accusations of "Rovian tactics" regarding the alleged hacking of their website yesterday. Karl doesn't take it personally. --Sam Rosenfeld
  • LIEBERMAN'S VICIOUS CYCLE....

    LIEBERMAN'S VICIOUS CYCLE. To add to the post-mortems of the day, my guess is that the relationship between Joe Lieberman and the Democratic Party is about to get a whole lot more fraught. Previously, there was a real unwillingness on the part of the party mandarins to go against Joe who, even if he were to run as an independent, would still be bound in the Senate by long ties of friendship and esteem with the Democratic caucus. But now that so many from the caucus have bowed to base pressure and endorsed Ned Lamont -- I'm thinking here of Dodd , Clinton , Feingold , Kerry , Bayh , Kennedy , Schumer , Emmanuel , Reid , Obama etc -- Lieberman is apt to feel as betrayed by his colleagues as he does by his voters. That radically increases the chance he'll switch parties or leverage his independence against his side which, in turn, radically increases the importance that the party kill off his candidacy and ensure Lamont's election. So Lieberman's in a rough cycle here -- his loss in the...
  • SORE LOSERMAN.

    SORE LOSERMAN. A few changes would need to be made, but the Arizona Cap Company can probably expect strong demand for some of its products . --Alec Oveis
  • THE OTHER PRIMARIES....

    THE OTHER PRIMARIES. Given our obsession, here in the blogosphere, with the Lieberman - Lamont contest, one would be forgiven for thinking that this was the only primary of consequence that took place yesterday. As noted here by Steve Benen , another striking defeat of a Democratic incumbent, however, took place yesterday in a Georgia Democratic run-off , with the loss of the entertaining Rep. Cynthia McKinney to the rather serious-looking DeKalb County commissioner and attorney Hank Johnson for the state's 4th District House seat. Although two contests may amount to weak evidence for any kind of trend, I do suspect that, taken together, the losses suffered by Lieberman and McKinney show that Lieberman's loss is not simply a matter of ideology; it's about integrity. McKinney is surely a left-wing type, but her antics with the Capitol Police soured her electorate on her candidacy. Not that she accepts that verdict; McKinney is blaming her loss to a fellow African-American Democrat on "...
  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: SORE LOSERMAN.

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: SORE LOSERMAN. Tom reports from Connecticut and identifies some lessons from the primary -- ones that Joe Lieberman himself, so far at least, seems disinclined to hear. --The Editors
  • 'AN ANGRY ELECTORATE LOOKING FOR CHANGE.'

    'AN ANGRY ELECTORATE LOOKING FOR CHANGE.' Connecticut's Senate primary clearly captured the political world's attention, but let's not forget that other states had noteworthy primaries as well. In Georgia, Democrats replaced a combative and controversial lawmaker, while in Michigan, Republicans rejected a rare House centrist. The defeat of Georgia's outspoken Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D) and Michigan moderate Rep. John J.H. "Joe" Schwarz (R) appeared to confirm the strong headwinds that polls suggest members of Congress will face in November from an angry electorate looking for change. McKinney lost to former DeKalb County commissioner Hank Johnson in a runoff election. Schwarz was defeated in the Republican primary by a conservative challenger, Tim Walberg. Meanwhile, Colorado's Ed Perlmutter, who ran as "a Democrat's Democrat," defeated former state representative Peggy Lamm and a third candidate. Amy Walter , a House political analyst with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, told...
  • CEDAR REVOLUTION DOWN THE DRAIN.

    CEDAR REVOLUTION DOWN THE DRAIN. Don't miss Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora 's Washington Post op-ed. Keep in mind that Israel's initial objective here seems to have been to give the Lebanese government a swift kick in the ass in hopes of convincing them that letting Hezbollah run free in the south was a danger to all of Lebanon and that they ought to try and clamp down. As you'll see from Siniora's article, the military strikes have accomplished the reverse, pushing Siniora -- and, indeed, Lebanese opinion in all religious groups -- into alignment with Hezbollah's views. Fred Kaplan asks the good question of whether Bush understands his own policies. For over a year now, what he keeps saying about Lebanon is that we need to be supporting its democratically (sort of) elected government and that the Hezbollah issue should be understood in those terms. And he keeps saying it, as if Siniora is an enthusiastic supporter of current Israeli and American policies. --Matthew Yglesias
  • CH-CH-CHANGES. I didn't...

    CH-CH-CHANGES. I didn't follow the ins and outs of the Lamont - Lieberman contest as closely as some on this site, since I've been off blog and in an intensive reporting project for the past few weeks, but permit me a few observations. Lamont won not just because of the netroots, or his deft use of house parties and other community-based organizing techniques in Connecticut, but because he was a damn good candidate. I watched both Lamont and Lieberman out of the corner of my eye on ABC's This Week over the weekend, and while Lieberman appeared much more affable than I'd expected, he still turned in a tepid, milquetoast, forgettable performance. Lamont, on the other hand, was clear about exactly what he stood for and against, and made a strong and compelling case for himself. It was like watching a Republican take on a Democrat, except in this instance Lamont was playing the role of clear-spoken Republican to Lieberman's Democratic wuss. Which brings me to my second point. Noam...

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