Lowering the expectations
Remember this gem of a quote from Joe (Doug Flutie) Lieberman yesterday.
Embattled Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman - facing a possible primary defeat Tuesday because of his strong backing for the Iraq war - yesterday launched a Hail Mary attack on the Bush administration's handling of the war.Desperate move from a desperate politician you say? You haven't seen anything yet.
"I supported our war in Iraq but I have always questioned the way it was being executed," Lieberman said.
"This administration took far too many shortcuts. We continue to suffer the consequences, as do the Iraqi people."
I know everyone is looking at the latest polls and saying "Lamont has this in the bag" but this is FAR from the case. In fact, this race is close...REAL close.
Trust me, I love in CT and the Lieberman has a enormous staff working the streets. Also, Lieberman and Sean Smith know every trick in the book.
In multiple outlets, super-secret Lieberman leakers are telling the world that they are toast.
In Political Wire and the Washington Post, among other outlets, leakers tell reporters that their ground game is so dismal that they are scrapping it. From the Post:Facing a likely defeat, Lieberman has scrapped plans for a massive and costly get-out-the-vote operation on primary day, according to several Democratic sources.
Mmmm hmmm.... National Journal, also today, reports another notion that's bubbling up - everyone in the party is thinking about a Lieberman loss (something they wouldn't do unless they thought he was going to actually lose):
If Democratic challenger Ned Lamont beats Joe Lieberman in Connecticut's Senate primary next Tuesday, we're told, Democrats will sigh heavily and wring their sweaty palms for the rest of 2006.
So who are these sources that are calling the time of death for Lieberman, days before a vote is even cast?
My bet is on Team Lieberman itself. This is the campaign's true Hail Mary - declare the whole thing over in hopes that Lamont volunteers and voters exhale a little before election day, and maybe jolt soft Lieberman support into gear, by painting scenarios of a Joe-less world.
In campaigns, this type of tactic happens on a much lower scale all the time; it's called lowering expectations. Whether it is predicting lower fundraising than you really have just before quarterly reports are filed, or pretending your opponent is an Oxford-level debater and yours is Howdy Doody, whispering to reporters that you're not as good as they say is a fun game.
But predicting your own political death is the "nuclear option" of campaigns. It could work, and get Lamont's network to take a little rest and pat themselves on the back prematurely, or it could backfire and completely destroy the morale of the Lieberman network of voters who lay down their arms and surrender before Tuesday.
It's simple, Ned Lamont has a great amount of work to do and he needs your help BIGTIME!
Donate a portion of your time this weekend and help GET OUT THE VOTE!