The revenge of the towns
You don't see me for years, now you
come to me for a favor. Why do
you disrespect me so?
I think the Lieberman race is one that people should study in the coming years because it was a textbook way on how to squander every natutal advantage that an incumbent has and then add on to it.
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 they’ve stopped trying to figure it out.
While some in the Lamont campaign was surprised by the Quinnipiac poll, they shouldn't have been. They've done everything right, from raising money, to ignoring Washington consultants, to not being scared away from Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson when Lieberman went for the black vote.
Because Lamont is a mild looking WASP, claims that he was some kind of wild eyed radical seemed as credible as calling him a flesh eating zombie.Lamont was likeable in a real way, not in the phony, mannered way that Lieberman showed.
Also, for some reason, Lieberman lost his shit early on. He never got a handle on how to deal with Lamont and the blogs, instead of railing at them, he should have met with some of them, or posted a Kos diary to make his case. Instead of characturing them as anti-semitic outposts of hate. I find that personally deeply offensive, as should the numerous Jewish bloggers opposing him. Many of us were especially careful not to make religion an issue in this.
But then Lieberman had drunk so heavily of the Beltway juice that he didn't see what a disaster endorsements by the hard right would be. When Rush Limbaugh endorses a Dem, fighting Dem doesn't come to mind. GOP Bitch is more like it. His people could have called them and shut them the fuck up. And should have.
Lieberman had created an opening because he had neglected the towns. Kevin Rennie may be a Republican, but he's right about that. Every locality has certain touchstones which must be dealt with. In New York, you better hit the outer boroughs. In a state wide race, you better be seen in Western New York a lot. Lieberman had neglected the towns in favor of the Beltway.
Then, to make up for it, he went for the black vote, thinking it was lopsided in his favor. If he had hired an actual black person from Connecticut and not a DC consultant, he wouldn't have treated the "low information" voter with such neglect. Black people get CNN, and they know their kids are in Iraq. They also know Lieberman's kids are at home, yet he says Iraq is going well.
Then he doesn't just kiss the president's ass, he gets a man kiss worthy of a BBC drama about the Cambridge Spies.
I know that a lot of people are wary of the above post, but this was predictable when Lamont qualified to get on the ballot at the convention. That was the turning point. Lamont should have left there frustrated. But that sent a signal that the towns were mega pissed. Rennie isn't saying anything I didn't figure out when people started to send me stories about how Lieberman didn't help them.
Chuck Schumer isn't going anywhere because when you need something, he's there. He's always fighting for the city and upstate. He's on TV, local TV every Sunday. You may not agree with his politics, but he's not going to face any Lamont-style challenge anytime soon. He actually lives in New York, not Washington and his wife is an NYC commissioner. His kids went to public school. So he's got those bases covered.
You can run against the party, if you deliver for the people. You can't ignore the people and run against the party and keep your seat.
Then Lieberman has literally run the worst campaign possible without a naked boy involved. Instead of flooding the state with people a month ago, trying to meet and deal with at least the local blogs, try to explain his actions, he acted like he was to the manor born. No where else in this country is that kind of high handedness as poisonous as in New England. People like their democracy direct there and Lieberman acts like William Howe and his fleet is waiting to take out New Haven if he doesn't win.
Lamont ran a smart campaign from day one, but Lieberman could have undercut it with some mea culpas and some smart campaigning. You don't go to black voters at the end of the day and expect a miracle when you're insulting them.
Lieberman took TNR's attack on the blogs way too seriously and internalized it. Which was a mistake. He didn't like what they said, but it wasn't like he was explaining himself, either. Then, he basically said we needed to shut up and support Bush.
I could run a campaign against him with the things he's done. My 11 year old nephew could. Because it seems like Lieberman was tired of the campaign before it started. Now, he's snapping at people, voters, and thinking it's a blog conspiracy.
What's even worse is that he ginned up arguments against Lamont like he was a racist, instead of discussing the issues. That wasn't going to play because this election is about issues, well one issue and that's the war.
Having people intimidate voters seems to be suicidally desperate. Amazing.
But in the end, if Lieberman loses, it's because he forgot who he worked for.
posted by Steve @ 1:56:00 AM