WELCOME TO THE GARDEN PARTY. MY NAME IS STEVE, AND I'LL BE YOUR SKUNK.
I don't feel any better about the Connecticut situation than I did last night.
Of course Lieberman's running as an independent -- why wouldn't he? He's the odds-on favorite.
We all know about the Quinnipiac poll that showed Lamont (temporarily) with a double-digit lead over Lieberman, but let's look back at a Quinnipiac poll from two weeks earlier. That poll showed Lamont beating Lieberman 51%-47% -- almost exactly where the election wound up. And what did that poll say about a three-way general election?
Lieberman 51%, Lamont 27%, Schlesinger 9%.
You'd run under those circumstances, too.
In that poll, by the way, Lieberman beat Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger among Republicans, 58%-24%, with Lamont getting 7%. He beat Lamont among independents, 54%-22%, with Schlesinger getting 7%. And that was before much of the pro-Lieberman national media was fully engaged.
As I said last night, the good guys won the primary but lost control of the message. Lamont and his campaign are on the verge of becoming the new Howard Dean -- shorthand for everything that's evil and dangerous about us wild-eye angry hippie America-haters. And liberals have never countered that message, at least not with any success. And believe me, the haters have barely begun attacking Lamont -- go ask Michael Dukakis or John Kerry how that's likely to go.
And now Lamont's running not just against Lieberman, but against all of Wingnuttia and against the centrist commentariat. We liberals have fallen into a trap, like Bush and Rumsfeld fighting in Iraq and not seeing the insurgency coming. We didn't see the wingnuts and pundits coming.
Good luck, Ned -- but I'd like to focus a bit more on people who are running to defeat Republicans, and who have a real chance of winning.
UPDATE: I said above that "Lamont and his campaign are on the verge of becoming the new Howard Dean -- shorthand for everything that's evil and dangerous about us wild-eye angry hippie America-haters." Well, here ya go:
Mehlman: Sherrod Brown Is Ohio's Ned Lamont
In a speech today in Cleveland, RNC chairman Ken Mehlman calls Ohio's Democratic Senate candidate, Sherrod Brown, "Ohio's answer to Ned Lamont" and that Lamont's victory "reflects an unfortunate embrace of isolationism, defeatism, and a ‘blame America first’ attitude by national Democratic leaders at a time when retreating from the world is particularly dangerous."...
A footnote: the RNC research department sent out a document entitled "FROM FDR TO NED LAMONT: THE DEMOCRAT PARTY'S TRANSFORMATION FROM STRENGTH TO WEAKNESS"
They're framing him. They're demonizing him. Did any Lamont supporter ever even think about whether we needed to try to devise a way of framing his candidacy?