Q&A Friday #43: What About Lieberman?

Question: What do you make of the effort within the Democrat Party to knock off Lieberman? What does it mean if they succeed? How about if they beat him in the primary, but he comes back to win and keep his seat as in independent?” — Mike_M

Answer: A lot of liberals are angry at Lieberman not only because he’s in favor of the war, but because he isn’t vitriolic enough when he attacks Bush and the GOP. So, the netroots candidate du jour, Ned Lamont, is actually gaining a lot of ground on Lieberman. In fact, a recent Rasmussen poll only has Lieberman up by 6 points.

Given that Lamont has so much momentum, Lieberman looks like he could be in trouble….and that’s where the drama comes in. Could Lieberman drop out of the primary and run as an independent? Will he run as an independent if he loses? If he ran as an independent, could he split the vote with Lamont and give the Republican Alan Schlesinger, who’s polling way, way, way back, a chance to sneak in and take the seat?

Moreover, consider the dilemma a Lieberman independent candidacy could cause for the Democrats. In a three way race, Lieberman could very well be a stronger candidate than Lamont. But, if the Democratic establishment supports Joe Lieberman, the netroots and activist crowd will go nuts. On the other hand, if they don’t support Joe and he wins, he may might start voting Republican more often. He might even vote to give the GOP control of the Senate.

If Joe loses…well, the Democrats have a right to have a candidate that best represents their interests in Congress and while Lieberman wants to win the war, Lamont wants to “cut and run”. A “cut and run” candidate for the “cut and run party of defeat” makes perfect sense. So, at least in that respect, Lamont is a better fit for the Democrats. On the other hand, anyone who would make a commercial this lame, featuring Kos sitting next to him on the couch, may lack the judgment needed to be a US Senator.

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