Show Me the Money, Honey
One of the most interesting stories to emerge out of Lieberman’s Desperation 2006 bid is the money trail. Many have been doing great research into who exactly is writing the checks to finance this massively expensive campaign (characterized today with high hilarity to the AP’s Sue Haigh as "an alternative to the establishment" and all about "people power" — boy that takes some stenographic aplomb to transcribe a howler ilke that without comment). But in a complex web of interests that must factor in big money donors, grassroots momentum and presidential aspirations, it is interesting to note who is stepping up to support Ned Lamont — and those who would rather be perceived as doing something rather than actually do it.
It’s notable that John Kerry and John Edwards have been quite vocal in their support of Lamont, while Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer — who, as Taylor Marsh and Matt Stoller have documented share strong financing and donor ties with Joe Lieberman, particularly through Steven Rattner (not to mention Schumer’s former Chief-of-Staff Josh Isay) — have done the absolute minimum. And I think the question naturally arises as to how much their pale support ($5000? come on) is due to the concern for the best interests of the party, and how much of it is being dictated by the people who are filling their war chests. Ken Lay was the biggest campaign contributor to George Bush in 2000, and we’ve all seen what that has brought us over the past 6 years. If Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer are so eaily cowed into silence by their big donors over something like this, who are we selling ourselves to now?
Matt Stoller has a very good post up about "Dismantling the Lieberman Machine" and if anyone has not yet read it I highly recommend doing so. It offers much insight into the architecture of influences that holds an unseen hand over the race. It would be very encouraging to see anyone with presidential aspirations give some kind of public display that they are not controlled by their check writers, who have now plunged Ned Lamont into a very expensive race.
As one reader noted (via email):
Lieberman’s latest "I’m really a good Democrat and do fire Rummy" bit suggests that his own polls are showing his Dem support melting like frost in July. Hope that’s true. If so, Hillary’s window for getting progessive brownie points could be closing.
Certainly an interesting observation.