I made mention of this in the FIVE WORST PEOPLE OF THE WEEK below, but I just thought it deserved a fuller rundown by me. (Thanks to New Haven Independent via ConnecticutBLOG.)
Lieberman -- who after losing an Aug. 8 Democratic primary to Ned Lamont has launched a third-party bid to hold onto his seat in the Nov. 7 general election -- was asked whether he still endorses Diane Farrell, Joe Courtney and Chris Murphy, three Democrats looking to unseat endangered Republican incumbents Chris Shays, Rob Simmons and Nancy Johnson.Look, Lieberman's gotta know that he's flat out hurting Dems at this point, doesn't he? Seriously, is he that dumb and blind or is there something else to it? Is he doing this because he's trying to be the stern father figure who's teaching naughty children a lesson? Sort of like, "If I have to tear down the Democratic Party to its foundations in order to fix it, then that's what I'll do. 'Let justice be done though the heavens fall!'" Is that his game?
The comment was significant because analysts from both major parties believe that Lieberman's campaign could help the three Republicans keep their jobs in the face of tough challenges. Lieberman's strongest support -- 75 percent in the most recent Quinnipiac poll -- comes from Republicans. If he succeeds in drawing more Republican voters to the polls to support his candidacy, that could help the Republican Congressional candidates. Those three races are considered among the 10 most competitive Congressional races in the country; both parties consider the races key to deciding which party controls the House in 2007. National Republican strategists and donors have come forward to help Lieberman's campaign; party leaders have abandoned the nominal Republican in the Senate race, Alan Schlesinger. Prominent Republicans like Shays and former Republican House leader Newt Gingrich have endorsed Lieberman.
Actually, I think it's a third option. Basically, I believe that he's made up his mind to join the Republican Party or at least caucus with them as an independent (or CTfL member) much like Jim Jeffords (I-VT) did with the Democrats when he left the GOP in June 2001. With this being the case, it would serve no purpose to support any Democratic efforts to retake Congress, including supporting the aforementioned Farrell, Courtney and Murphy. One other thing he said makes me firmly believe that caucasing with the GOP is exactly what Joe intends to do:
Lieberman laughed Friday when asked if he was endorsing the three Republican Congressional candidates instead. He subsequently said they hadn't asked for his endorsement.
Logically, the next question the reporter should have asked was that if the three Republican Congressional candidates asked for your endorsement, then would you give it? If he refused to answer, then my next three calls would be to the three GOP candidates (Shays, Simmons and Johnson) to ask them if they intended to ask Joe for his endorsement? Given that Joe's strongest support comes from Republicans (75% in the most recent Q-Poll), one would assume that the three GOP candidates would benefit from a pat on the back from ole Joe.
Given this scenario, the only way that I can see him dropping out the race is if there is a significant drop in his Democratic support in the next few polls, a trend that may already be underway according to Rassmussen and ARG. "Playing Switzerland" by not endorsing the three Dem candidates for the House could assist in lowering Joe's unfavorables among Dem voters. And if those "miracles" continue to happen in Iraq over the next 70+ days, I would suspect that his support for Bush's policies in the region will certainly have a negative impact. To be continued. ...