It's hard to believe that Senator Lieberman was the vice presidential candidate for the Democrats in 2000. In the six years since Senator Lieberman was Vice Presidential Candidate Lieberman, the Democrats have moved so far to the left that they may chase Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic Party. Apparently, he is considering running for reelection to the Senate as an independent.
Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman, warily watching his primary challenger advance in the polls, must soon decide whether to start collecting signatures for a possible independent bid this November.
Lieberman's campaign contends that it's focused only on winning the Aug. 8 primary, but the Democrat has not ruled out petitioning his way onto the November ballot as part of a backup plan to secure a fourth term in the Senate.
"I am not going to close out any options," the senator recently told reporters.
Lieberman has until Aug. 9 _ the day after the Democratic primary _ to collect 7,500 signatures from registered voters to gain a spot on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate.
But any effort to gather signatures before the primary would be a sign of weakness, indicating that Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000, fears that he could lose to businessman Ned Lamont. The effort also would rile Democrats who already question Lieberman's party loyalty and his perceived closeness to President Bush.
The senator has been a strong backer of the Iraq war.
Senator Lieberman's support of the Iraq war is the main problem. The Democrats have become so militantly anti-war in their feverish efforts to destroy the Bush presidency that there is no room for pro-defense, pro-national security candidates in the Democratic Party. If anyone speaks out in a way that indicates even the slightest support for the Iraq war, they are seen as a pariah among the Democratic base. Hillary Clinton was even booed by liberal activists and rebuked by John Kerry today because she refused to demand that all US troops leave Iraq immediately.
Lamont, a multimillionaire owner of a cable television company, launched an ad campaign this week asking for Lieberman's support should he win the primary, and promising to back Lieberman should the senator prevail.
"What do you say, Senator?" Lamont asks in the radio ad. "May the best Democrat win."
Lamont's campaign manager, Tom Swan, said Democrats want to know what Lieberman will do.
"If Joe Lieberman is considering abandoning the Democratic Party, the people have a right to know it," Swan said. "Ned is agreeing to abide by the process and respect the choice of the people. Will Joe?"
So, the Democratic Party is in a quandary. On the one hand, the base needs Senator Lieberman because if the senator decides to run as an independent, he could very well win. As the article states, a Quinnipiac poll said Lieberman would get 56% of the vote if he ran as an independent compared to Mr. Lamont's 32%. This would doom even the slightest chance the Democrats have in taking back the Senate. On the other hand, the party's leftist base already thinks Lieberman is a traitor to its anti-war manifesto and acts like it resents his even being a Democrat.
The modern day Democratic Party has morphed into an unrecognizable blob of leftist insanity. What does it say about the Democratic Party and its future if it has no room for its members who are reasonable and judicious? Maybe the more appropriate question is why would politicians who are reasonable and judicious want to stay in the Democratic Party?
Update: Senator Chuck Schumer sees the writing on the wall and knows that if Lieberman runs as an independent he could win, which would spell bad news for the Dems.
Schumer said that the DSCC "fully supports" Sen. Joe Lieberman in his primary bid, and he refused to rule out continuing that support if Lieberman were to run as an independent.
There were degrees of independence, Schumer said. "You can run as an independent, you can run as an independent Democrat who pledges to vote for Harry Reid as Majority Leader."
Schumer said he had neither sought nor recieved assurances from Lieberman that an independent bid would not ensue if Ned Lamont tightened the noose.
As I said, the Dems are in a quandary.