Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Lieberman Republican Campaign

An amusing quote, I won't say yet who supplied this rich line to the Hartford Courant, but it reveals something important about the Lieberman campaign.
I oppose the Lamont model of leaving now or prematurely in a few months

One would think that it is Joe himself, attacking his opponents position on the war. That would be respectable enough, but wait, its not Lieberman at all, it is Connecticut Republican Congressman Christopher Shays who is in a tight battle for reelection in a race that could shift the balance of power in the House of Representatives. Why would Shays be singling out Lamont? A separate race involving 2 "Democrats"? A race that on a surface level does not effect Rep. Shays? Because Shays needs to coordinate his campaign with the Lieberman campaign to be viable, Lieberman currently as much as 15% up on Ned Lamont in some polls has become the de-facto Republican nominee for Senate as Alan Schlesinger is polling arround 5%. Lieberman, with his Sean Hannity, Anne Coulter, and Michelle Malkin endorsements has become a symbol for Republicans, particularly on the war for preventing a pullout from the mess in Iraq. The solidarity that he has expressed with the President ove the war has tied him closely to many figures on the far right. Lieberman's support in the polls is coming heavily from Republicans who have abandoned Schlesinger for not being viable. That's why Shays must coordinate his talking points with the Senate race, because the better Lieberman does, the more Republicans in Connecticut will have voted. Of course Shays denies all this, but that's just an attempt to hide what he's doing, trying to link his campaign with Liebermans.
One thing I'd like to say to all of you [reporters] is that you are dead wrong if you think the Lamont-Lieberman race had anything to do with what I'm going to decide on war or peace.

Shays needs Lieberman, and by attacking Lamont together they drive up Republican turnout. With three endangered Republican incumbents in the State of Connecticut, Lieberman's very presence in this race is a threat to a Democratic House as the Shays comment demonstrates. Lieberman can no longer seriously be called a Democrat when his fate goes hand in hand with the fate or Republicans in his State. If Lieberman does well he dramatically improves the chances of Shays, Johnson, and Simmons. And all the players in this game know that, that's why Shays joins Lieberman to attack Lamont's position. If Lieberman expects to be welcomed back to Washington as a Democrat with his committee seniority in place its time he does something for the Democratic Party instead of standing with Republicans. Lieberman should be standing with Dianne Farrell, Chris Murphy, and Joe Courtney instead of standing with Shays.

Here's the link to the article with the Shays quote, I just didn't want to give it until after I had revealed who said it.

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