Entry for August 18, 2006

“Leiberman’s Aria, ” a cartoon, c.  D. Honig appeared on his blog, Hypnocrites on August 13.

Joe Lieberman (CT)  may think that he’s still a Democrat, despite continuing to run for re-election to his Senate seat, despite his loss in the party primary to Ned Lamont, but the President’s press chief, Tony Snow, formerly of Fox News, was waltzing around questions of who Bush supported.  From the transcript of the press briefing on August 14.

Q Does the President support the Republican candidate for Senate in Connecticut?

MR. SNOW: The President supports the democratic process in the state of Connecticut, and wishes them a successful election in November.

Q Wait a minute. I realize he supports democracy, but I’m wondering, does he actually support his own party’s candidate?

MR. SNOW: I know that’s not news —

Q Why aren’t you committing — why wouldn’t the President commit support for the Republican candidate in that —

MR. SNOW: I don’t know. Why do you ask? Is there something about the candidate that I should know about that would lead to judgments?

Q I’m just asking you —

MR. SNOW: No, that’s just a —

Q — it seems like a very natural thing, why wouldn’t he support a member of his own party? Is it because he’s well behind in the polls? Is it because the President likes Joe Lieberman? What’s — why not?

MR. SNOW: There may be — there are a whole host of reasons the President — I’m just not going to play.

Q It’s not really a game —

MR. SNOW: It’s not a game. It’s not a game, but I’ll — okay, I’ll tell you what. I’ll refer you to the political office to give you the full judgments on that. I think you know the situation in Connecticut.

 Republicans in his state have asked Bush not to endorse their own candidate, Alan Schlesinger  for the office,  according to the Augst 15 Reuters story, “Bush will not endorse Republican opposing Lieberman.”

Dave Altimari, Jon Lender and Edmund H. Mahony  of The Hartford Courrant broke a story July 21, “Two N.J. Casinos Sued Schlesinger Over Debts.”  Schlesinger was asked to step aside but refused to do so, according to the story.

“Pretend Pndit,”  the author of Page One blog, thinks that Schlesinger will win, due to the split Democratic vote, analagous to Clinton’s victor over Bush I due to Perot’s entry in the race.  Most of those posting at his site think he or she’s delusional.

Meanwhile in a poll released August 17, Quinnipiac University,

Among registered voters, Sen. Lieberman gets 49 percent, followed by Lamont with 38 percent and Schlesinger with 4 percent. This compares to a 51 – 27 percent Lieberman lead over Lamont, with 9 percent for Schlesinger in a July 20 poll…In this latest survey, Lieberman leads 75 – 13 – 10 percent among likely Republican voters, and 58 – 36 – 3 percent among likely independent voters, while likely Democratic voters back Lamont 63 – 35 percent. Two percent are undecided, but 28 percent of those who name a candidate might change their mind before Election Day. 

Said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Dr. Douglas Schwartz,

Sen. Lieberman’s support among Republicans is nothing short of amazing. It more than offsets what he has lost among Democrats. As long as Lieberman maintains this kind of support among Republicans, while holding onto a significant number of Democratic votes, the veteran Senator will be hard to beat. 

A posting by Allahpundit at conservative  Michelle Malkin‘s Hot Air site speculates on the meaning of Bush’s non-endorsement.

Some of those  posting at GOPUSA.com, a site with the slogan, “bringing conservative views to America” don’t appear to be ditching Schlesinger. Wrote the user Lucky Me,

At this point, I don’t know what I will do…..but I know I will not be voting for either Lieberman or Lamont. I might just have to hold my breath and vote Republican on the off chance he would win. To do that, I have to keep in mind that it’s the numbers of Republicans in DC that count.

But Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)  is backing Lieberman according to Portland’s  NBC affiliate.

While Lieberman claims Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has promised he can keep his senority rights, Reid’s aid refuses to confirm.  According to the Associated Press on August 18.  Leiberman said,

Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic leader of the Senate, called me after the primary. And we had a good talk, we’re friends,” Lieberman said. “He said, ‘Look, I’ve heard some of the statements that people have been making, but I’m the Democratic leader and if you get elected, you’ve got your seniority, you’ve got all your committee assignments, nothing is going to change.’ And I appreciated that very much.

But Reid spokesman Jim Manley, while declining to comment on any private conversation has said,

As is customary, Senator Reid and the Democratic caucus won’t be making any decisions on such things as committee assignments until after the election in November.

In his August 16 story, “Dem’s Angst Escalates,” The Hill’s  Alexander Bolton reports that some senior democratic aides believe the caucus should strip Lieberman of his seniority should he defeat Democrat Ned Lamont in the general election this November.

According to Bolton,  aides say that Leiberman’s former chief of staff, Michael Lewan, now a lobbyist with Brown Rudnick,   is trying to steer Democrats away from campaining against Lieberman.  Bolton, meanwhile says that in his talks with Democrats from between eight and 12 Senate offices the issue of stripping Lieberman’s seniority did not come up.  Said Lewan,

It would be terrific from my point of view that during the time in September, October, and early November, if they campaign, they spend their time in places other than Connecticut.

(for Lewan’s even more questionable doings, see the  AP’s Larry Margasak’s January 17, 2002 story,  “Former Lieberman aide lobbied staff of the senator, who now leads Enron investigation” )  

If Lieberman keeps his seniority within the Democratic party, despite trashing its candidate,  it will be a special slap to Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) who saved his party’s seat when he stepped in at the last moment to replace the disgraced Robert Toricelli, but got not credit for his tenure. *

*

I would have used this cartoon from the blog Enigmatic Paradox, but couldn’t read the attribution.  By the way, author Star A. Decise (this must be a pun on stare decisis, right?) has good coverage on the Lamont-Lieberman race.

*

Tonight,  when I talked to Mom about Lieberman, she became incensed and told me my ideas were idiotic, although she denied calling me an idiot.  I gave up and let her talk.  Since I had stopped talking, she finally wound down and said goodnight, with this caviat, “But I love you anyway.”

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