The Lieberman (I, Conn) Problem

With so much effort focused on getting Ned Lamont into the race against Joe Lieberman, then making sure he's well funded, then the excitement as he slowly closed the gap with Sen. Lieberman, one very large problem has been largely ignored.

What happens if Joe really does run as an independent?

Kevin Rennie, guest contributor at the Political Wire and columnist at the Hartford Courant approaches the issue this way:

The Lieberman campaign in the towns, where the race is fought at the end, is in a full-scale retreat that rivals the French west of the Ardennes. The Washington generals who came in to inspect, organize and deploy the troops with nods and waves have sent word back to Washington that all is lost. The news has shaken cozy beltway types who did not think Connecticut had enough barbarians to defeat one of their favorites. The staff of Meet the Press doesn'’t identify voters and make sure they get to the polls, so Lieberman is a lonely figure at home.

State Democratic leaders are now trying to figure out how to dissuade Lieberman from carrying on as an independent. The first formal shot should come at a unity press conference on Wednesday. If he wins the night before, Lamont will find himself surrounded by dozens of Democratic leaders now pledged to Lieberman.

No one can see how Lieberman will save himself from a stunning rout on Tuesday and theyƂ’ve stopped trying to figure it out.
Mr. Rennie is a former Republican state senator and representative, so I'll ignore the 'barbarians' comment.

Yes, it seems Mr. Lamont may pull off a win in the upcoming primary. If Ned doesn't, he's promised to endorse Lieberman. Sen. Lieberman has made no such promise.

This is my question: Where are all the national Democrats, the Hillary Clintons, the Harry Reids, the Bill Clintons telling Joe that if he loses the Primary, he should be gracious and endorse Ned Lamont?

The Party as a whole has to know that a run by Independent Joe Lieberman is bad for the party symbolically, and the fact that what in all rights should be a Democratic Senate Seat (Connecticut has a large majority of registered Democrats) could, by twist of fate, end up with a Senator who won't vote for Harry Reid as Majority Leader, be it a Republican, and Independent Joe Lieberman, or Joe Lieberman, R-Conn.

The inside-the-beltway Democratic Leadership must realize this isn't about the 'angry left' or 'peaceniks' or 'blog politics.' This is about a candidate with political positions out of step with his constituents. If Joe Lieberman was running in Kansas, this wouldn't be an issue. But he's running in a state that isn't right leaning and the people want democracy, primaries and all, to work for them. They just want a Senator that represents their views. That isn't Joe.

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