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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Editorials against Lieberman

The newspapers who endorsed Joe Lieberman are asking him to stop his indy bid.

From the highly conservative New Haven Register (get the print edition for the full effect).
Joe Lieberman should accept the results of his party's primary. He lost.

He should reconsider his bid to run as an independent candidate and get out of the race.

For an 18-year-incumbent who was the Democrats' 2000 vice presidential candidate, his margin of defeat to Ned Lamont, a political unknown until a few months ago, was significant. Lamont even carried Lieberman's home town of New Haven.

Lieberman says he is still a Democrat, but his campaign will divide the party that rejected him.

As an independent candidate, he can only hope to win if he holds onto a significant percentage of those Democrats who voted for him in the primary, and picks up sizeable votes from both independents and Republicans.

Somehow, the irony of a general election strategy that relies on Republican votes to win seems to have eluded a politician who touted his Democratic credentials during the campaign. It merely supports Lamont supporters' charge that Lieberman is a closet Republican.

By running as a third-party candidate, Lieberman has left himself open to the charge that he is not only a spoiler but that he cares more about himself than the party to which he still claims allegiance.

The primary vote should have told Lieberman that he was out of touch with the state that he had taken too much for granted. Until almost the closing days of the election, he seemed unable to gauge the deep anger of Democrats over the war in Iraq and his support for it.

He is mistaken if he believes that this disquiet is shared only by Connecticut Democrats. By primary day, 14,505 unaffiliated voters had switched their registration to Democrats to vote in the primary. Another 14,380 new voters registered as Democrats. It is a safe bet that most of these voters wanted to vote against Lieberman; his loyalists were already signed up.
The editorial goes with a subtle smearing of Lamont (I guess they couldn't help themselves) but the main point is that a heavily conservative editoral board gave the thumbs down to Lieberman idy bid.

and the hits keep coming.

From the News-Times

Step aside, Joe Lieberman.

On Tuesday night, Connecticut voters went with a fresh political face, an engaging, intelligent and seemingly kind-hearted Democrat named Ned Lamont, who ran essentially a one-issue campaign with clarity of purpose, with respect to his opponent, and with plenty of state and national support.

Most every newspaper in the state endorsed your re-election, Joe, including this one. So did a lot of Democratic voters -- 135,000 of them, to be exact. But it wasn't enough. Lamont gathered 10,000 more votes than you did from an amalgam of people who dislike President Bush, feel your career has run its course, and who are convinced the war in Iraq is a mistake that we will never be able to rectify.

Your position, senator, is that you will continue your quest for re-election by running as a third-party candidate, hoping to pick off enough unaffiliated and Republican voters -- and hold onto your Democratic backers -- to eke out a November victory over Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger.
Ironically, you may in fact win this way if you push onward. But you shouldn't continue.

If you are successful, Joe, your next term would be difficult to say the least. You have said you will caucus as a Democrat, which means siding with the party whose voters just chose your opponent in your home state. You would meet regularly with Democratic colleagues and leaders who today are asking you to reconsider an independent candidacy, and who publicly and repeatedly will support Lamont between now and November.

You could, in fact, owe your re-election to Connecticut Republicans -- people who largely support the president and his decision to invade Iraq. Yet, Connecticut Democrats rejected you Tuesday night because they feel just the opposite -- they want out of Iraq, and they are angry at the man who put our troops in harm's way there.
It would be an untenable fourth term, an ignoble swan song for a senator who has earned a reputation over 18 years as a man of principle and integrity.

There are other mountains to climb, Joe Lieberman, and we have no doubt you will scale them. Please put your party, your state and your country before your career and step aside. Lamont won the primary, he has an opponent, and we'd learn soon enough whether one of them can fill your shoes.