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 stubborn political observer in America, but I continue to believe that if state Democrats, national Democrats, political donors, and of course Lamont supporters are all urging Lieberman to give up his independent candidacy dream, he will.
I just got off the phone with Connecticut Democratic State Party chairwoman Nancy DiNardo a few moments ago, and she says there are no plans tomorrow to do anything but provide a media moment for today�s winners and to focus positively on their victories and general election possibilities. Asked if the party would make any statement about the Lieberman independent candidacy if Lamont is in the Democratic winners circle tomorrow, DiNardo was adamant that the party was, well, not going to go there.
�There won�t be anything like that tomorrow,� she said. �Which is not to say something down the line.�
Pressed a bit as to whether she has been feeling pressure to be prepared to do something about a Lieberman independent candidacy, she said that most Democrats are not leaping that far ahead yet. �I have to tell you that right now everybody is just waiting to see what happens,� said DiNardo. �To me, the most important thing on August 9th is to be electing Democrats.�
That�s good, party-line Democratic talk, but I frankly would hate to be in DiNardo�s shoes if Lamont wins and Lieberman doesn�t bail within a week or so.
Sidenote: There is a pool in the room immediately adjacent to the Charter Oak ballroom where the Lamont election night party and media event will be held tonight. My prediction? If Lamont wins, there will be some wet volunteers and maybe a few staffers �- and some great video and pix for the national media tomorrow morning.