Archive

  • LAMONT-LIEBERMAN POSTGAME.

    LAMONT-LIEBERMAN POSTGAME. The voting is done -- let the post-game spin begin! Most outside-the-box spin here . Best postgame spin here . Now, of course, the world faces the question of whether Lieberman pursues and independent bid. Tragically, this seems caught up in the meta-analysis of the expectations factor. Relative to, say, six weeks ago, Lamont far exceeded expectations -- he won, which looked very unlikely quite recently. But relative to expectations set about a week ago, he underperformed; winning narrowly when some polls had shown him winning big. Over the past couple of days, Lamont supporters tried to lower expectations, but one of the difficulties with having a campaign do so much communication unofficially through high-profile blogs is that your strategic gambits get very transparent. For the broader future of progressive politics, I think a narrow Lamont win is a good result, for roughly Chait -ian reasons -- it establishes that there are some limits to the behavior...
  • MORE ON DEMS IN '06.

    MORE ON DEMS IN '06. I agree with Ezra that donor cash is an unfixed variable dependent on the enthusiasm of the base. That's certainly true for online donors who contribute small sums. The problem though is that small donors haven't played a large role in the Connecticut primary and still probably won't in the general election. Lamont has been a self-funded candidate, and Lieberman for the most part has relied on funding from large donors and PACs. And this is what I'm talking about: the corporate PACs, special interests PACs, individual PACs, unions, and the town, county, and state parties that form the bedrock of a campaign donor base, on top of which sit the dynamic small donors. For the most part, these institutions set out at the beginning of the year with a fixed budget, saying they'll spend such-and-such amount on the contested races in Connecticut. They dish out a token amount to begin with, and then wait and see where things become heated. With a three-way contested Senate...
  • WHAT DOES JOE WANT IN '06?

    WHAT DOES JOE WANT IN '06? No surprise that Alec raised hackles with yesterday's post . In light of the primary's outcome and Lieberman 's oddly-phrased determination that he will "not let these results stand" -- that is, as we now look to a general election wherein Democratic resources do have to continually be expended in Connecticut on account of Lieberman's independent bid -- surely it's worth flipping Alec's analysis around and putting the onus back on the senator. The real threat to a full-bore Democratic offensive to take back Congress this fall is posed by the guy who lost his primary and won't accept defeat. Lieberman struck a nicely rancid and defiant tone this morning and claims there's no phone call that could be made by anyone to dissuade him from running as an independent, but the The New York Times 's reporting this morning (some of it done by Tapped alumnus Nick Confessore ) makes, I think, a good case that he could be swimming up hill stream against Lamont's momentum...
  • WHAT DO DEMS WANT IN '06?

    WHAT DO DEMS WANT IN '06? Democrats in Connecticut may succeed today in replacing one moderate Democrat with another moderate Democrat, and if so, their chances at taking back the House will be somewhat slimmer. My thoughs: Democrats never had much of a chance in taking back the Senate, but winning the House was a distinct possibility. The most likely scenario for this would involve Diane Farrell , Joe Courtney , and Chris Murphy defeating Chris Shays , Rob Simmons and Nancy Johnson , respectively. I was Murphy�s campaign manager in 2004, when he was running for re-election to state Senate, and I know what the district is like. Murphy has his work cut out for him, to say the least, and will need all the resources he can get. The attention and energy directed at the Senate race have been at Murphy�s and the others� expense. Campaign donations and volunteers that may have gone to Murphy or Farrell have instead gone to Lamont or Lieberman . And the argument that building support at the...
  • UNITY EVENT PLANNED FOR WEDNESDAY.

    UNITY EVENT PLANNED FOR WEDNESDAY. A person involved in Connecticut politics who, so far as I can tell, would be in a position to know, noted that Democratic state party leaders are planning a �unity event� on Wednesday to rally behind the winner of today�s primaries for governor and Senate. His implication was that the state party was prepared to begin pressuring Lieberman to abandon his independent candidacy if he loses today. (Obviously, the point is moot if Lamont loses, because Lamont has no such plans and has pledged to back Lieberman as the party�s choice.) I asked Lieberman directly last night if, following such a show of state party unity, he would reconsider his third-party plans. �But I�m going to win the primary,� he said, before jumping on his bus. Lieberman campaign manager Sean Smith , who is not a lifelong Lieberman guy, told me that he doesn�t see Lieberman dropping, even if the margin is in the high single digits or even double-digits. Maybe I�m just the most...
  • MORE FROM CONNECTICUT.

    MORE FROM CONNECTICUT. At Stratford�s Frank Scott Bunnell High School this morning, those who stopped to share their views spoke with plain, if surprisingly unsentimental, conviction about their choice. �I�ve lived through too many wars, and I want my two young grandsons to have the same opportunity to vote that I�m exercising today,� said Susan Delbene , a professor of nursing at New York�s Pace University who wearily returned to her Connecticut condo at ten o�clock last night so she could vote against incumbent Joe Lieberman this morning. Apart from his stubborn support for the Iraq War, Lieberman has �greatly taken Connecticut voters for granted,� underestimating their intelligence and exploiting their good will for too long, she believes. As if on cue, voter Bob David stepped from Bunnell�s lobby into the sparkling midday sun, quickly separating his feuding sons, aged 3 and 5. �Enough,� he scolded. �We�re not warring Republicans, you guys!� David, a fiber-optics executive and...
  • ELECTION DAY PARANOIA -- PART XIV.

    ELECTION DAY PARANOIA -- PART XIV. If somebody in the extended Lamont campaign family had anything to do with crashing Weepin' Joe Lieberman 's website today, then they are dumber than a box of rocks. Period. However...If I were running behind, and my entire campaign over the past three weeks had been based on the theme "Crazy Bloggers Are Eating My Leg!," and if I had been fairly successful in getting the media Bigfoot class to repeat my theme, and if I'd made a big deal out of a tasteless piece of Internet art, and if one of my most prominent Establishment spokescritters this very morning had published a piece in The Wall Street Journal that meretriciously conflated bloggers with their anonymous commenters, then, I dunno, creating an Election Day feeding frenzy over an arcane Internet issue that not half the campaign press corps could be expected fully to understand on the fly might be just the kind of thing I'd try. Just sayin'. Sometimes, I think growing up around Massachusetts...
  • EQUIVALENCE AND PRAGMATICS.

    EQUIVALENCE AND PRAGMATICS. Noam Scheiber responds to my post on Israel's attack on Lebanon as a preventive war, and offers up two observations that I think are red herrings. One is that -- as I'll happily agree -- it made perfect sense for Israel to deploy some level of retaliatory force to try and discourage Hezbollah from a repeat of the cross-border raid that launched the current round of fighting. Another -- as I'll also concede -- is that "I don't think you can regard all preventive wars as morally equivalent." Clearly not. Different situations are different. That said, the core notion that Israel's preventive war is, in this case, essentially the same as one aimed at preempting an imminent attack seems bizarre. Sure, Hezbollah has expressed an intention to destroy Israel. That and a pony will get Hezbollah a pony. The group was hardly on the verge of obtaining parity with the IDF. Which is where we get back to the enormous practical problems with preventive war. By shifting the...
  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: NO END TO IDEOLOGY, ROUND 2.

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: NO END TO IDEOLOGY, ROUND 2. Scott Winship 's article about the netroots and ideology attracted a flurry of responses. Winship has now stepped up to engage his critics -- in two parts. Over at the Democratic Strategist blog, he takes on the critiques offered by Chris Bowers and Sterling Newberry , and things get a wee bit heated. ("It seems that Newberry needs a guide to rhetoric, which I�m happy to provide here. The belief that his TPMCafe photo is pretentious, for instance, would be an opinion . The major arguments in my essay would be supported factual claims , even if we might disagree about the extent to which they are adequately supported.") Here at TAP , meanwhile, Winship now offers a (very thorough!) response to critiques made by Ezra , Matt , and Mark Schmitt . Anyone who's interested in this debate should take a look . --The Editors
  • ON THE GROUND.

    ON THE GROUND. On judgment day, the mood at the Lieberman headquarters in the Hartford suburb of Rocky Hill is surprisingly upbeat. Young volunteers loaded up cars with signs and placards, heading out with directions and walk-lists in hand. Inside, people were dialing voters. I had dropped by to get a sense of how the Lieberman team feels about their election-day ground prospects. As I walked down the hall to find campaign manager Sean Smith , I overheard a conversation among a few top staffers who were excited by reports that the Lamont campaign had thus far shown a limited presence around the state. That discussion may have been one part electoral uncertainty, one part false optimism -- or maybe one part truth. Whatever the case, the Lieberman folks did not seem particularly worried. Smith then sat down with me for 20 minutes to provide candid answers to some probing questions about their own field operation, all but a couple of which were shared on the record. Before moving to the...

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