THE CLINTON FACTOR:
I was for Joe Lieberman. I wrote an article about the race between him and Ned Lamont in Monday’s Wall Street Journal. It was not neutral. But, though it got plenty of attention in the blogs and on television, it did not, alas, help Joe very much. Worse can be said of Bill Clinton’s stumping in Connecticut for Joe (and Hillary’s endorsement, too.) When Clinton came into the state, Lieberman and Lamont were running dead even in the polls, more or less. Clinton’s appearance began Lieberman’s decline. Within two or three days, Lieberman was down by ten points. (In the last few days of the campaign, Lieberman recovered considerably … but not enough.) I know there’s some nostalgia in the Democratic Party for Clinton and for Hillary, too. But for many, in the party and out, the Clintons are a nightmare. A nightmare, as James Joyce said, from which we are trying to awake. The common wisdom is that Al Gore would have won in 2000 had he embraced Clinton more or had he allowed Clinton to embrace him. Well, look at what happened to Joe.
So basically Peretz has just stated that he lacks influence in two theoretically different venues; the Right Wing WSJ editorial pages and his own
Joe Lieberman Times demi-quasi-pseudo if-you-squint-and-turn-it-sideways classically liberal New Republic.
Without Joe, he’s O magazine without Oprah.
And really, can’t these people get their message straight?
But that’s not what’s astonishing about this piece. It’s that Richard Goodstein came to the attention of journalists and observers in Connecticut during the Ted’s Burger joint stunt where a bunch of Lieberman supporters ambushed Lamont in a small restaurant. What made Goodstein stand out was that he was screaming “Are you a Sharpton Democrat or a Clinton Democrat” over and over again. That’s called race baiting, folks.
This particular line seemed to be Goodstein’s specialty, since he showed up at a rally the next day with a sign that said “Lieberman = Clinton, Lamont Weicker = Sharpton.” He was taped giving an interview to the local press in which he said “Lieberman has the support of Bill Clinton who speaks for inclusion and Ned Lamont has the support of Al Sharpton who speaks for divisiveness.”
So Bill Clinton is good for Lieberman until Marty needs an excuse for being completely fucking wrong. Again.
Such is the power of the Clenis to cloud men’s minds…