Saturday, July 29, 2006

Joementum just not on

"After Sluggish Start, Lieberman Heeded Warnings of Trouble - New York Times." Read this quote from this article and then tell me Lieberman hasn't got problems:
“I want to assure you that I’m not surprised that I am in a fight for the Democratic nomination,” he said. “I always expected that I would have a primary challenge based on Iraq. I was hoping that God would send me a poor challenger. I am being tested with a rich challenger.” (emphasis added)
Que? He counted on winning against a cash-poor challenger. Never mind the issues to Joe. He hoped for a "poor" challenger in order to hang on. Poor Joe! Instead, God sent him ! What a telling comment, even if said in jest, about how calculating has become. It's not his first display of cold calculation either. Read this insightful analysis by Hendrik Hertzberg in the New Yorker of late for a spotlight on his fateful decision in 2000 to run for Senate and Vice-President at the same time and its "Joe-first" consequences:
Lieberman’s seat was up that year, and he decided to run simultaneously for senator and Vice-President. Lyndon Johnson had taken out a similar insurance policy forty years earlier, but there was a difference. The governor of Texas in 1960 was a Democrat, so when Johnson resigned his Senate seat after the election a Democrat was appointed to replace him. The governor of Connecticut in 2000 was a Republican. If Lieberman had made way for the state’s popular Democratic attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, who would have won easily, and if the Supreme Court had allowed Gore to take office, then the new Senate would have split 50-50, with Vice-President Lieberman breaking the tie in favor of the Democrats. But, by insisting on having it both ways, Lieberman single-handedly guaranteed that the new Senate would be Republican—either by a 51-49 margin under a Gore Administration or (as it turned out) by the tie-breaking vote of Vice-President Dick Cheney. This was more than just routine political expediency. It was what was known that year as a character issue. (emphasis added)
So as Hertzberg points out, it's not just Lieberman's position on Iraq that's at play in this primary...

(And more on Joe's struggles here, AP today.)