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George Bush’s Favorite Democrat: Running Scared

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Last night Holy Joe was openly booed by his own party, which indicates he’s known all along something we only suspected.  When Lieberman went on the attack early in the game and started raising Ned Lamont’s profile I speculated that they must’ve had some really awful internal polling.  Why else would Lieberman be calling attention to a candidate whose biggest problem is that few people know who he is? 

Recently Lieberman has been desperate to convince journalists that he is not, in fact, "George Bush’s favorite Democrat" and he has not ALWAYS gone along with the Bush Administration.  You know, like the time he voted against Samuel Alito in that really meaningful symbolic floor vote (after his cloture vote that actually put Alito on the bench).  Which suggests to me that although polls may show Lieberman ahead of Lamont, the polling question that probably puts Lieberman in the shitter is:  "How would you vote if you knew that Joe Lieberman was George Bush’s favorite Democrat?"

Members of the Connecticut Democratic party certainly know where Lieberman’s true loyalties lie.  And they didn’t even bother to hide their open contempt for Lieberman last night.  Which says to me:  it’s just a matter of getting the message out. 

As Digby says:

His voting record is beside the point. Through his rhetoric he’s given tremendous solace to the Republicans over and over again at the most critical times. He’s advanced their most pernicious ideas, not through votes, but by continuously validating their premises. He’s not the only member of the party to have done this, but he’s the one who has gone the farthest to normalize the cheap, phony moralism the GOP sells as "character."

He just doesn’t seem to understand the nature of the current political environment, probably because he is ensconced in the bosom of the establishment, sharing cocktail weenies with the cognoscenti and believing his own hype. The terrain looks far different from where the rest of us sit. "His way" looks a lot like treachery.

I did not think it was possible for him to lose the primary. But damn if it doesn’t look like it is. Lamont is an impressive candidate, attractive and well-spoken. His run is not joke and it appears that Lieberman is actually worried. Joementum seems to leave the door open to running as an independent if that happened, a la his nemesis Lowell Weicker. I don’t know why he wouldn’t just make the leap and join the GOP. That’s what his new idol, the very moral Frank Sinatra, did. Why play games?

Lieberman is so fearful of Lamont that true state party machine boss he is, he made sure Lamont was seated next to the kitchen door at last night’s event while Holy Joe was openly booed as he hid in the fat cat section, from which he did not emerge.   

Ned Lamont is a savvy guy, a successful businessman running a smart campaign.  In a state where the labor vote is meaningful he just hired Rick Melita as field director, who comes with 25 years of local union politics and field organizing. 

And Lamont seems to be golden in the Connecticut press.  He impresses everyone he speaks with, even as Joe gets continuously kicked to the curb by journalists tired of his crybaby, arrogant warmongering ("the Lieberman campaign isn’t engaging, it’s whining" says a columnist in the Hartford Courant).

It’s a long haul to beat an incumbent Senator but Lamont is doing everything right, and Lieberman could not be helping him out any more if he tried.

If you were thinking of giving early high-impact dollars to Ned Lamont, today would be a good day to do it.  You can do so here .

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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