03 July, 2006

Lieberman Hedging His Bets

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, who has turned off the liberal wing of the Democratic rank and file with his support for President Bush's policies in Iraq and on other issues, is hedging his bets in his bid for re-election.

As the Hartford Courant is reporting on its Web site, Lieberman announced today he would petition his way onto the November ballot as an indepdendent if he does not win the Democratic nomination.

Lieberman faces the darling of the liberal blogsophere, businessman and anti-war candidate Ned Lamont, in an Aug. 8 primary election.

The Lamont campaign does not appear to be too upset about the news. In a statement on the Lamont Web site, campaign manager Tom Swan said his candidate will just have to beat Lieberman two times.

"The only thing better than the people of Connecticut getting an opportunity to reject President Bush's energy policy, Supreme Court nominees and failed plan in Iraq, is an opportunity to reject it twice."

In one of the more recent barometers of the race, a June 16 Rasmussen Poll had Lieberman six points ahead of Lamont, 46% to 40%.

As we said, Lamont is being pushed by the liberal blogs, and one from his home state - My Left Nutmeg - has plenty to say about the Lieberman announcement.

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The blogosphere is playing a unique role in a race here in New York as well. Brian Keeler, a Democrat running for state senator from the 41st District (most of Dutchess and Columbia counties), is hosting a "Blog-Raiser" next Monday night in New York City. Keeler has invited bloggers and journalists and anyone else who's curious for the pay-what-you-can fundraising event.

Keeler is a contributer to the Daily Kos and founder of ePluribas Media, described by his campaign Web site as "the largest citizen investigative journalism organization on the Internet." ePluribas Media takes credit for breaking the Jeff Gannon story last year. Gannon, you will recall, is the "journalist" for a Republican-backed "news" site who lobbed softball questions at President Bush as a psuedo member of the White House press corps and also happened to be pictured on a male escort service Web site.

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We missed lots of stuff in our three week absence. In no particular order, here are a few things off the top of our head.

Fox News reports on the latest in the Republican battle for the U.S. Senate nomination - KT McFarland's allegations about her father etc...

In the 19th District Democratic congressional race, Ben Shuldiner is busy collecting petitions despite gathering little support at the various county conventions held in late May and early June; John Hall and Judy Aydelott have given their campaign Web sites a bit of a facelift; and Hall got the endorsement of the heavyweight health care workers union 1199 SEIU.

I thought things might shake out in this district after the first-quarter fund-raising deadline in March. Aydelott was in the lead in dollars at the time but did not show any ground support at the conventions. I thought the convention results might shake out a few candidates. But, all six candidates remain in the race. June 30 has come and gone, but the reporting deadline for that fundraising period is still ahead of us - July 15. You would think the smoke would start to clear after that, but there is no evidence of it yet.




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